Monday, July 30, 2007

Out Like Trout in a Drought, Y'all

It's 8:30am on Moving day and I'm stoked! This is the most chilled out, or at least cheerful I've ever been on moving day. Am I packed? Nope. Is the house clean? Pshaw. Do I have any idea of what's staying or going? Uh-uh. Maybe it's just delirium, or maybe I'm just so excited to be out of here nothing is gonna stand in my way. It's a very Mary Tyler Moore show moment. I will be without the Internet for about a week so I will miss you all terribly. I will post as soon I get around some wireless cloud action. We're gonna make it after all.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


So I thought it would be really fun to pack my yarn, organize it and reminisce about projects of yore. Turns out that packing my stash is really depressing. I saw a picture online of a woman's destash efforts once. There were hundreds of plastic grocery bags filled with yarn on two folding tables. I always said to myself that I wouldn't let it get that far.
Well, I may not have a metric ton of wool, But I have much more than I'm comfortable with. I filled two giant rubbermaid tubs with yarn. While that may not sound like a lot, one of those is filled completely by ends and partial balls left over from other projects. What the hell am I going to do with 35lbs (I weighed it, AND remembered to subtract the weight of the empty container) of half-used skeins? I feel like I just binged on an entire apple pie and chocolate cake and now I have to live with nausea and self hatred.
Oh well. I also found this!


It's an apron I had made for an installation last year. The outside is red-orange vinyl with white trim and the inside is lined with a grey sheepskin. It's freaking beautiful. I can say that modestly because I didn't sew it and I totally forgot that I had it. I'm hoping I'll find a good use for it.

In knitting news, I've been working on the sock as a packing avoidance tactic. Andrew used Harry Potter. So we're pretty much screwed.


The heel is knit with the same yarn as the leg I dyed in a mint green color. I used a strand of grey lace weight mohair as the reinforcement and I think it lends the whole sock a Grinch Who Stole Christmas feel.


I like how the red borders the green.

I hope y'all have a wonderful day. I'm gonna pack.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

It's On

Oh my god. y'all. Have you seen this?

son of a stitch and bitch

Well, I don't think I need to inform you guys of my level of excitement here. I can not wait to get my grubby man hands on this thing.
I haven't been super impressed with the pattern books for men that have come out in the last little while. Either the patterns are a stretch that no man, gay or straight, is really going to leave the house in, or the entire premise of the book is entirely degrading to women. I am frightened by a woman who follows "The Rules" and knits hideous sweater vests for dorky looking guys in order to trap them into some kind of temporary "I guess I can't do any better" legally binding union.
Granted, I've only knit two patterns from my SnB books, but this one will change everything! I may knit all forty-five! Okay, most likely not. I'll probably find two or three patterns (at best) that I will completely change to my liking. It's the principle of the matter.
I was knitting (sort of) before I read SnB, but I never knit anything well or that anybody would want to use. No more acrylic afghan squares! Debbie Stoller rocked my face off and there was no turning back. This led to Melanie Falick, Teva Durham and Elizabeth Zimmerman when I realized that my taste ran more to the classic than the punk rock. While sometimes more difficult to wear than to knit, Kaffe Fasset's designs always inspire me to try something more interesting.
I digress. I'm really hoping that this book is good. You should probably get it. Knit for yourself, your boyfriend/husband/houseboy/gimp or whatever you've got. I'm sure he'll like it.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Insert Bad "Dye" Pun Here.

I really like dyeing yarn but I don't get around to it as much as I would like to. This is probably because I am constantly lining up new projects that don't require my beloved hand dyed yarn. Oh well, at least I have pictures.

This is a hank of merino lace weight I dyed for my cousin Amy. Does she knit lace? Couldn't tell you. It's pretty, though.


Here's a close up:

pearl 2

I also dyed a skein of self striping sock yarn last fall that lingered in my stash for months.


Close up:

choc cherries

This is it in ball form:

sock yarn

And in sock form:

sock stripe

These will serve me well in the winter months. Carry on.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


In the Bible, Leviticus prohibits the mixing of textiles under the penalty of death. "..neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee." -Leviticus 19:19. While shellfish and pork are prohibited most likely to avoid nasty bouts of trichinosis, I wonder what the purpose of this mandate is. Perhaps it was some form of consumer protection? You pay your last shekel for a halug, you want it to be 100% linen or wool, depending on your needs. Whatever the case may be, the death penalty is a little extreme, don't you think?

Well start gathering the mob and pass out some stones.

pro natura

75% wool, 25% bamboo, 100% worth being bludgeoned to death.

If that doesn't condemn me, I also loaded up on Rowan Soft Tweed as it was on mad sale.

soft tweed

56% wool, 20% viscose, 14% polyamide, 10% silk. Yeah, that should do me in for sure.


Why does sin feel so soft?

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Andrew went up to Chicago this week to find us an apartment and took the computer with him. My job was to pack the kitchen. Andrew: mission accomplished. James: heh. I got absolutely no packing done since the last post, but I did bang out a serious pile of finished objects. Chicago gets cold.

First off we have the gloves:


I freaking love them. I've been planning this project for two years and I'm so excited that they're finished. I loved knitting them so much that I was genuinely sad when I cast off the last stitch. There is a hand modeling shot coming up, I couldn't wear 'em yet because they're still wet.

Next we have the cowl thing:


This came out a little weird due to the shorter (one skein) length that I preferred to the slouched Edwardian look of the original pattern. The cowl fits over my head, but is too loose to adequately warm the neck. I think I'm in love with the diagonal feather and fan action, though.

Finally there is the Manly Angora Scarf:


I'll weave in the ends and wash it this afternoon, but I declare it done. It measures a good seven and a half feet, plenty long enough to wrap twice. I really like the random striping, especially since the colors are so subtle I wasn't able to tell the difference in incandescent light.

scarf 2

Fluffy, fluffy angora.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Only Today

*Note: while this entry may not have pictures and may seem to run off on tangents, I swear to God that it's so worth it. Continue*
So, I normally carry a camera with me to capture exciting moments, only to never find anything exciting. This was not the case today, in both regards. I left my camera battery charging while I was at work and figured I'd come home and try to work on the manual focus function. As I was finishing up work, my friend Michelle called me and asked me if I wanted to go with her to feed a bull. I said "Of course!" (duh). So, we traveled out to the UGA pastures to pet the boy cow. Unfortunatly, he felt like hanging out in the other side of his pen. That's ok, 'cause the pen next to him had sheep! I'd never seen sheep in real life and I was super excited. That is why I didn't expect my particular first sheep reaction. Frankly I was terrified.
First of all, the male sheep was the size of Michelle and I put together. Second he had those crazy coin slot pupils. Third he had balls the size of two Nerf footballs! All this covered in wool. Michelle started to pet him and he began grunting, licking and urinating. I was intrigued. I had to try this for myself (petting the sheep). He was super friendly and wanted more attention. I decide that I should knit him a testicle cozy. I was thinking something in a coral and aqua self-striping sock yarn. The pasture fun ended when Michelle jumped the fence into the bull pen and offered the boy cow a carrot. The Bull took this as a threat, or at least an annoyance, and decided to kick up dirt and half heartedly charge at her. It was time to go.
We then went to Goodwill where I found a hand knit Dale of Norway. Unfortunatly, it was handknit in the eighties, and while remarkably well preserved, it was fugly. I'm talking navy, fuschia, purple and white. It had ribbing instead of hems at the sleeves and body. It was really itchy and I looked like street hustler who raided Heathcliff Huxtable's closet (again, no camera to be found). I could have looked past most of this if it weren't for the really ugly purl stitch pattern on the body and sleeves. I debated for a while because normally I would have bought it ($4.29!) but I couldn't justify moving a 4lb sweater that I would never wear to Chicago with me. Alas. We decide to leave and stuff our sweet faces with Chinese food.
On the way to dinner, we totally saw a car chase! Some fool driving down a two lane country road at breakneck speed evading the six police cars behind him. While I still didn't have my camera, it was not unlike this. What a day to be without documentation! Maybe it was the Fates' way of showing me to pay more attention to my truly bizarre surroundings.
I must give warning that I will be without a computer for the next few days as Andrew is off to Chicago to find us an apartment. I will miss you all dearly, but I will spend the week packing, knitting, weaving in ends, blocking etc. so there will be something to look at on Thursday. Y'all be good and I'll see you next week!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Knitting Dorks Unite!

So, I'm super excited to have received my invitation to be a beta tester for ravelry.
While I know that the site is open to everyone (it really is! Just put your name on the waiting list!), I still feel like I got asked to sit at the cool-kids' table in the high school cafeteria of online knitting. I'm using the stash documentation process as a motivation to pack. Take a picture of yarn, it goes in the box. Take picture of book, put your junk in dat box.
Seriously, how dorky (seriously cool!) is it to catalog every ball of yarn you ever bought so that you can look for the dyelot? Even better, you can look at other people's dyelots! Before I started reading blogs I never knew that I could spend days looking at partially knit sweaters and socks on the internet. Just give me a week and I'll be cross checking dyelots of the same yarns world wide! Yipee-ki-yay y'all! Please! Get on the waiting list so I can look at your stash! If you're already a raveler, I'm James on the site, drop bye and say hi!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Alchemical Process

I know, lofty, convoluted title, but bear with me. I had a ball of Noro Silk Garden left over from a scarf project that was just sitting around with no apparent purpose, so I cast on to see what I could make.

feather and fan

The colors are amazing, no? They remind me of alchemical process changing lead into copper and gold. I was knitting at Main Street
yesterday and everyone asked me what I was knitting, to which I could only shrug and say "I dunno". Anita said, "Sometimes projects let you know what they want to be in time." To which the other James responded, "More so for James'(me) projects than anyone else, though."
That is a jab at my ability to accidentally screw myself over by altering patterns for size and loftier technical difficulty. They have seen more than one "Hey I have an idea!" turn out badly. I would have loved to remind them that I haven't made anymore major knitting disasters than they have, however, upon blocking my new one-ball masterpiece, I discovered that I have created my very own lace pattern.
The feather and fan pattern I had intended on using turned into a diagonal feather and fan due to some fiddling I did with my stitch markers to make the pattern easier to memorize. It didn't help that I forgot that I made said adjustments a third of the way through and didn't remember until I was two-thirds done. Oh well. It got me again. I've got to hand it to myself, though. Apparently I'm becoming increasingly adept at divining the intended existential destiny of fiber. I'm sure that this is exactly what this particular ball of yarn wanted to be. Join me tomorrow so we can figure out what the hell this object wants to be.

fan and feather