aswim in knits

Thursday, November 29, 2007

the giving season

So, I'll be sending something to Meghann, Megin, and Debbi ... sometime between now and next Thanksgiving :)

(Ladies, send me your mailing addresses -- my email is in the right sidebar.)

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Ask and Ye Shall Receive

Terry posted yesterday about Pay It Forward:

The idea of the exchange is I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on this blog post requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don’t know what that gift will be yet, and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog - this means you must have a blog, sorry blogless readers.

This has been making the bloggy rounds. I think I was one of the first three to ask Terry to play, and therefore will get something from Terry in the next year or so (wouldja confirm that for me, Terry dear?). In turn, I will send something to three of you. I'll take the first three commenters who request to be involved. (You can leave a comment without playing, so specify if you want me to send you something!)


Also, some of you were amused by the conversation about heaven and hell that took place recently between me and the Mafia. You know, redheaded angels with cleavage and all that ... Well, the conversation continued in the comments and in emails. And someone wanted to hear the raunchy jokes, so here goes:

Lucia: (in the comments)
If hell is really more fun, why would anyone want to go to heaven? I think of heaven as an immense yarn store right next to the world's biggest bookstore, which in turn is right next to a food court of all the world's best cuisine (in my version Indian and Greek are featured). And all the stores give unlimited credit, and all the employees closely resemble either Harrison Ford or Dustin Hoffman in their younger days. (Except of course the ones looking after Mafia; she gets to decide whom they resemble.)
(Remind me to tell you all the raunchiest heaven and hell jokes I know.)

Danielle: (starts an email conversation)
Yeah, I don't think the Mafia goes for the Dustin Hoffman types -- old or young! More like the Angelina Jolie types.
The priest at our church told this (not at all raunchy) heaven joke in a sermon recently.

Oh, that was one of the ones I was going to tell you! (only in slightly different form.) Here's one my dad told me:
This macho playboy drives his Maserati over a cliff and wakes up to find himself surrounded by fiery pits, steaming cauldrons, the whole nine yards. "Oh, no," he moans, "I'm in Hell!"
"Now, now," says a large but friendly nearby demon consolingly, "Hell really isn't so bad. Take Mondays, for example. Tell me, did you smoke on Earth?"
"Well, yeah, um, I kept trying to quit..."
"You're gonna love Mondays. We have pipes, cigars, cigarettes, all with the finest tobacco, and you'll never get jittery, and you don't have to worry about emphysema or cancer or anything because you're already dead, right?"
"Um, right," says the playboy. "But what happens the rest of the time?"
"Tell me," says the demon, "did you drink on Earth?"
"Um, yeah..."
"Wait till you see what Tuesdays are like. We have all the best beers and wines, vodka, rum, tequila, gin, you name it, any mixed drink you can imagine, and you never get sick or hung over, and you never have to worry about cirrhosis or heart disease, because you're already dead."
"What about Wednesdays?"
"Did you do drugs on Earth?"
"Uh, yeah, sometimes..."
"We have every drug you could possibly think of, the old standards like marijuana, LSD, heroin, and some new designer drugs that'll knock your socks off, and you'll never get strung out or crash, and you don't have to worry about overdosing because..."
"Yeah, yeah, I'm already dead. So what do you do on Thursdays?"
"Ah, Thursdays! Thursday is my favorite day. Tell me, were you gay on Earth?"
"Certainly not!"
"Oh. Well... you may not care too much for Thursdays."

[Forwards the email to the Mafia]:
From Lucia ... I thought you might enjoy.

Mafia: (replies to both of us)
HHHHHAAAA!!!! Eggggggcellent. At least I know I'm going to the right place.
And Lucia - for the record, Angelina Jolie is #1 on my If Only List. Does Danielle know me or what? Or perhaps she's just emotionally scarred by the Jolie in a bathtub photo that I saved on my work computer? "Hello, Human Resources? Yeah, there's a hostile work
environment in progress on the 6th floor. Could you come up here and have someone take a look at this?"


Off to class now. Over and out.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Knit (some more) Unto Others

The hats and square I posted about yesterday were part of my knit unto others efforts.

Yesterday, multiple hats and one square. Today, multiple squares and one hat.

All from my bucket o' scraps. The hat will go to Lucy's mitten tree collection (scroll halfway down). The squares are for MDK Kay's American Blanket collection for Oliver.

There are 9 squares there. I had some help from Jane (niece, aged 9) and Mim (MIL, age unspecified!). This is us on Thanksgiving. Jane's mom, a decided muggle, took the photo.

3 generations

So far, my tally is 3 hats and 10 squares. I'd like to add a pair of mittens too.

FYI, the paper is written. Still needs a heavy editing, but I've got another night for that!

ETA: The Mafia keeps telling me that I knit a lot for charity, but I don't feel like I do. Then I looked at my Ravelry projects page -- of my 88 projects, 18 are for me and 30 went to charity (the rest are gifts -- 40 of them!). However, I got most of the sweaters, and charities got most of the afghan squares and hats, so it's hardly fair to compare. But, I guess this explains why I've had the urge to make something for myself recently!

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another episode of the "Danielle and Mafia Show"

During a busy day at work...

The Mafia left a comment on the last post:

You make nicer hats for charity than most people make for themselves. That must count for extra going-to-heaven points, right? But don't get too many points, cuz you'll miss me when you get there. Or perhaps those points will be good for a weekend pass. Just a thought.

Danielle's reply:
Umm, hi, Saint Peter? I have some extra brownie points. Could I trade them in for a daypass for the Mafia? I promise to chaperone her while she is here. I can't promise that she won't make a pass at the redheaded angel (you know, the one with the cleavage), but I think I can keep her under control for 48 hours. Maybe.

The Mafia, again:

I was thinking that you'd need the weekend pass to get outta there periodically. And I didn't think they'd let me in, even on a weekend pass. Clearly you have more faith in me than I have in myself. Hmmm... you = more faith. I might be onto something there.


Monday, November 26, 2007

thanks, and some knitted stuff

Thanks for your words of encouragement yesterday. The paper is going better today. In fact, it's going well enough for me to justify taking a break for a little while.

Thank you to the Mafia who talked me through some key points at lunch today. The conversation went something like this:

Mafia: Would it help you to talk it through out loud?

Danielle: No, probably not. I know what I want to say, I'm just having a hard time writing it. See, for this assignment I have to write about ... [insert 10 minutes of academic legal blah-blah-blabbity-blah here]. [pause to come up for a breath...] Oh, yeah, I guess it did help to talk it through.

Mafia: I thought it might.


In other news, I do still knit. Look, a hat!!
for charity

A square!
A hat with squares!
for charity

And thus concludes the Dr. Seuss part of this post.

(These are all part of my 2007 Knitting Unto Others. The hats will be donated to charities. The square is going to someone for a blanket to be auctioned off to raise money for an injured cyclist.)

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Sunday, November 25, 2007

we interrupt this blog silence ...

... to bring you some bitching and moaning.

I have a paper due on Thursday. Instead of knitting and spinning, I am spending the weekend curled up on the guest room bed with my laptop and this:

I've been agonizing for days about what to write. It's keeping me from sleeping well. I am so stressed out about this stupid paper, it's brought me to tears. I've been mean to my very wonderful husband for no reason at all. I've clenched my teeth so tight that I'm getting headaches. My parents want to have dinner with us and I've refused, since every hour with them means time that I should be working on the paper.

I am a smart, capable, opinionated person. I should have no problem with this assignment. I got a "A" on the last paper for this professor, and this assignment is very similar. It's only 4 pages long. Yet, my brain has frozen. I can't seem to string together any coherent thoughts. Every time I think I've figured out how to approach the topic, I start to type and my mind turns to mush. Fear of failure.

I just want to finish this stupid assignment and sit on the couch and knit.

Why, why, why must I be such a perfectionist?

Back to the grindstone ...


Monday, November 19, 2007

so close, yet so far

At Rhinebeck, I nearly finished my Nantucket Jacket. All I had left were the crocheted edges, and Lucia helped me figure out the instructions for those. Because the weather was so warm, I knew I wouldn't wear the sweater that weekend, so I didn't rush to finish it.

When I did finish the edging, it looked loose and wonky, so I ripped it out and redid it, but without a crochet expert by my side. It looked better the second time, until I put the sweater on ... the edging was way too tight. You can see in the photo below how the button bands pull the middle of the sweater upwards, and the collar won't stretch enough to fold down all the way in the back. I think part of the problem is the weight of the sweater itself ... it grows longer when it's worn, just because of its own weight.

Nantucket Jacket front

Nantucket Jacket back collar

Last night, I ripped out the edging again, and cut the buttons off. I decided that I didn't like the placement of the buttons and that if I was going to redo the edging and buttonholes, I'd move the buttons too.

The sweater is currently drying -- the poor selvedges needed a blocking after all that crocheting and ripping. I'm a little concerned, though ... the sweater seems to have grown quite a bit wider in blocking. Hopefully, it will still fit!!!


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

yarn/design suggestions needed

So, Boss Lady has declined all of my Christmas gift suggestions. Instead, she's requested a pair of convertible or "flip-top" mittens, like these or these or these. And, like last year, she was specific in her yarn request -- soft, black, and not too bulky.

So, two questions:

1) Any suggestions for a good soft black yarn, probably DK or worsted, maybe aran? Yeah, I know there are tons out there, but I'm feeling lazy and I want to know what YOU think would be good. It would be even better if it is available widely, or at Webs (I'll be there soon.)

2) Again, being lazy, I'm thinking of making the "inside" part, underneath the mitten flip top, like mittens (i.e. all 4 fingers come through one opening) instead of the more popular "glitten" style of 4 separate finger tubes. Is there any reason NOT to do this? Do the individual glove fingers keep you warmer or function any better?

Inquiring minds want to know.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

wooly legs

Remember this WIP photo from Saturday?


It's sock yarn, but it's not socks. This is the finished product:
wooly legs

Still not sure what they are (turkey drumstick cozies??)? Let me call upon the able assistance of the Wooly Babe to model for you:
wooly legs

As you might know, the Wooly Babe will be wearing this harness for 6+ weeks to treat developmental dysplasia of the hip. Unfortunately, the harness makes her wardrobe choices somewhat limited, as she can't wear those cute little footie baby one-piece outfits. Or pants. So, she needs something to keep her both warm and fashionable.

Pattern: Wooly Legs (Ruth's improvised pattern ... scroll to the bottom)
Yarn: Mama-E C*EYE*BER Fiber Signature Sock Yarn in "Jolene"
Needles: Addi Turbo and Knitpicks DPNs, size 1.5
Gauge: close to 9 sts/in

Wooly Babe, hope you are warm and toasty!

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

back in the saddle; now with photos!

Remember the dead Muppet pelts of last week? Not one to be easily defeated, I cast on for some more clogs.

not-yet-felted clogs

These ones are for my mother in law, for Christmas. They are all done except for the felting. They went pretty fast -- less than a week. The yarn is Araucania Nature Wool in pink and gray. I did some Ravelry searching and others have been successful with this yarn/pattern combo, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will work well :)

I also started something else new ...


Details to follow when they are complete. I finished the one shown above, and have cast on for the mate. Hint: they're not socks!

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long time no post

Yikes! It's been a week since my last post.

In that time, I started and finished a project. I tried taking photos, but we leave home while it's still dark and come home after it gets dark again, and that doesn't do much for the quality of the photos. Nor does having the camera battery die on the first photo.

I'll try to get some pictures this weekend. I've also started another special project, and hopefully I'll get some shots of this one too.

Laters. Have a good long weekend, for all of you who get Monday off.

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Friday, November 02, 2007

recycled content ahead

Yesterday afternoon, Boss Lady mentioned that she had not yet put in her request for any Christmas knitting. (She's Jewish, but that's beside the point.) So, I sent her this email, which she promptly printed for her bulletin board. If you don't believe me, ask the Mafia. I cc'ed her.

Dear Boss Lady,

I've thought long and hard about what to knit you for Christmas this year, and I've come up with a few options. Please let me know if any of these suit your fancy.

1) A lovely suit of fringe. Won't see this one in Ann Taylor!

2) "The Ultimate Coat" -- I'm sure you don't have one of these.

3) A well-ventilated sweater?

4) Cabled hot pants (a throwback to an earlier decade)

5) Perhaps a little something for Kitty?

6) Some home decor items?

Let me know what you think of these choices. Any favorites?


(With apologies to Maryse, Lucia, and Jessica for blatantly stealing their pics. )

The email was well received. Boss Lady may actually get a pair of mittens, as she's hinted that she could use some. How could I not, with that sense of humor?


Thursday, November 01, 2007

felted clogs

Subtitle: The post in which I admit that I am not perfect.

Remember these? (Of course not, I hardly mentioned them. A mere blip on the radar...)

felted clogs, prefelting

Nice looking clogs, right?

Unfortunately, this is what they look like after felting ...
not so felted clogs

not so felted clogs

The astute among you will notice that the 2 yarns didn't exactly felt the same. The brown Lamb's Pride got nice and felted and looks rather like a dead Muppet pelt, while the orange barely felted at all.

I should have done a test-felting with a swatch. I didn't, and now I have 2 giant orange sacks with dead Muppet treads.

Sigh. Now I need to make another pair, as these were supposed to be for Thom. He keeps asking about them, since much like Stephanie, we are in the midst of some Furnace Wars in our neck of the woods.