Saturday, September 29, 2007

It's not just about politics, but also my booze!

The pink mouse I made for the kittens last month finally met its maker. After spending the night in the cats' water bowl, I decided that it was in their best interest to just throw the soggy, tailless, unraveling, partially-felted guy away.

His replacement was made out of some leftover Malabrigo. I'm sad to report that this new kitten toy isn't holding up so well; after just one day of terror from Orangecat and Blackcat, his i-cord tail is already unraveled and gone! Oh well, it's obvious that these guys still love him, so I'm not too heartbroken just yet.

The Flame Wave socks from Favorite Socks finished! Fishnets no more, I rather like their second chance at life as comfy socks. I wish I could use these for the Southern Summer of Socks, but that action doesn't start until Monday. Don't worry, there is plenty of sock yarn just waiting for my sole goal of being knitted up!

Speaking of Monday, I should probably go to Meijer and get more liquor. Why, you ask? Well, my government is shutting down. It boggles the mind that the fact that Michigan is going into government-induced anarchy isn't making national news. Most of the residents of this fine state were blissfully unaware of the fact that this was a possibility. What do we get? We get limited police force, limited funding to colleges, and no distribution of liquor, among a lot of other random, annoying things until the legislature comes to some agreement over their budget. The most tragic part of this isn't really the liquor, it's the bazillions of people who suddenly are laid off. Virtually every government worker is out of work starting Monday. They are only keeping people in prisons and hospitals and such to keep this from being complete state-induced anarchy.

There are a lot of fingers being pointed at our governor, but I don't think it's entirely fair to place the blame on her. Rather, what I see is a bipartisan host of morons in the legislature so stubborn and so motivated by sheer politics rather than goodwill that they've caused a shitstorm. At least Governor Granholm has been proposing a budget since January...

No wonder West Virginia's economy is better than ours. Fuck you, Michigan. I'm going to go buy another huge bottle of Stoli while I still can.

Monday, September 24, 2007

1967 was a good year

Once in a while, my mother comes to visit me and we go antiquing together. She has an ubiquitous collection of glass, while I look around for random kitschy knick-knacks and LPs. I've always secretly hoped for old knitting and sewing patterns... Of course, most of the sewing patterns are for a 30" bust (!), and the knitting patterns were usually just never there...

I scored last weekend. Really.

It's from 1967, and published by a now-nonexistent yarn company. I LOVE some of the styles in this book, in particular the sweater being modeled by the blonde girl with the flip hairstyle. The only dilemma? This book is so clever that it has many of the same patterns available as cardigans OR pullovers! Choices! And thankfully, it's not SO old that the patterns are written in Greek. I can't wait to get started.

In other can't-wait news, I've joined up with the Southern Summer of Socks. I'm not an Aussie (right now), but I need an excuse to use up all my sock yarn. And, really, I think that's my main goal for the "summer" challenge.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

FO: Branching Out

One of my absolute oldest friends, Jackie, is moving to England for graduate school. It's up in the air whether this will be for the duration of her program or perhaps the rest of her life. When you've known someone since kindergarten (age 5), it's tough to think about them being an ocean away...

She leaves on Saturday, so I wanted to knit something up to send to her when she arrives. You know, maybe along with some Hershey's chocolate (scarce in England, I believe) to cheer her up in what may be a rough time. I consulted with another old mutual friend, and we decided that Knitty's Branching Out and some autumn-colored silky wool would be a nice match for her personality and wardrobe.

Well, I wasn't banking on having it done BEFORE she leaves. Now I'm unsure whether to save it for a bit and mail it to her, or drive miles and miles to see her off on Friday, the day before she leaves. I must ponder this.

In the meantime, there are 27 pattern repeats there just as the pattern suggested. This was an incredibly easy and satisfying knit which I almost didn't want to end! I wet blocked it after soaking it in some Eucalan, and it opened up the lace even more! At least there's more lonely balls of silky wool in my stash... I may need to make another to keep!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Socks, redux

Once upon a time, I thought that knitted fishnet stockings were a good idea. I thought that these were SUCH a good idea, in fact, that I have enough Elann Esprit to last me a loooong time. I started out with the ruby color, as I had every intent to wear them as a transvestite to a Rocky Horror Picture Show midnight thing. Long story short, I finished one. It looked like crap, was too short for my garter belt, and I ended up with storebought red Victoria's Secret fishnets instead. The rest of my outfit? I was pretty much half-naked in October. This was not the greatest idea. There is still photographic evidence of my bad, bad idea.

That lone fishnet stayed in my stash for far too long... But when I got a copy of Favorite Socks, I knew the destiny of that Esprit!

Yes, Flame Wave socks. One is done, the other is on the needles and on its way. Part of me still wants ruby red hand-knitted fishnets... but then, I remember the miles and miles of windowpane stitch and smack myself for even thinking it.

Janet's still a slut, as far as I'm concerned.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Here she is...

Mariah is done! She has been in the making since March, with some long breaks. I found the cabling on the sleeves to be sort of annoying. But once I got past all that, making her pretty much flew by! She took six skeins of wool-ease (sue me, I want a washable sweater) and all was well. I urge anyone who plans to make this to contact Jodi, the designer, for a set of errata; these are fixes that are not posted on Knitty, and I found them invaluable in getting a good fit.

The rest of the zipper went off without any further issue, save for spending ten minutes digging through moving boxes (yes, there are still some boxes) for my sewing accessories. I needed my zipper foot, damn it! This zipper tutorial was really helpful.

Ignore the weird hair. I've been bed-ridden because I'm getting damn sick. :-(

Sunday, September 09, 2007


When did it become September? Oh, nine days ago? Sheesh. Law school has definitely kept me busy, but I've made it a point to allow myself plenty of knitting and video game time every day. It's for the sake of my sanity, you know! Not having to worry about a job actually frees up more time than I used to have, so truly I've been enjoying it. For once in my life, the reading for school doesn't mostly bore me! Cases are kind of exciting, even when the decisions piss me off.

That said, I hit a wall with Mariah. It's a small wall, but annoying nonetheless. Here she is:

Inside-out, basted shut, and sadly waiting a zipper. You see, I seem to be completely unable to measure properly for a zipper. Initially, I figured I'd get one ahead of time, and I measured her front at 16". Did it occur to me that it seemed short? Hell no! I realized how short it would be when I tried on the sweater, and saw that it was far longer than that... I measured while it was on my body at 24" in the second time around. I ran out to Joann right before it closed for a new zipper.

Did you figure out what I did wrong? Yeah, I measured it on my body, a bit stretched out. The true length I need is actually 20", smack in the middle of my two follies. I even went to Meijer late last night to see if they had zippers in their meager sewing section. (They did not.) I was so hellbent on getting Mariah DONE!

Oh well. Today. I'm not sure I can show my face at Joann AGAIN for ANOTHER zipper. I consoled myself by casting on for my next sweater:

It's the Tweed Cardigan from the Winter 04/05 Vogue Knitting. There's not one on Ravelry, nor can I seem to find one on the internet. I mentioned buying the yarn for it a while ago, but here's what it looks like for a refresher:

The colorwork is basically a slip stitch pattern in garter stitch. I could have started this ages ago, had I realized how simple it actually was! Although, I might not have substituted yarn well, as the original is made from a discontinued Lion Brand yarn. Instead, I'm using Lamb's Pride Superwash Bulky (From Alpaca Fleece, who are WONDERFUL!) which pretty much feels like butter.

So, how have you all been?