Monday, December 26, 2005

Quick post from a borrowed DSL

While waiting to go out for a pizza, I am borrowing the DSL connection of my best friend, just to post that I am alive, knitting, and eating - a lot!

My parents have a modem, HWME is working on convincing them to get the DSL, and I gave up on the internet at their place.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Naked Stix 2006 update

Naked Stix

How am I doing on my list?

Three Garter Stitch Scarves done, one more scarf coming along (mistaken rib, I got tired of garter stitch), the Striped Pullover and the Escher bag are done, Ruffles was moved to the "not-going-to-be-done" in 2005 list with NBaT and Hopeful, the First Cables Sweater needs only the collar and the making, 10 inches done of the Pink Poncho, toe done of the second Little Cables Sock, and the wrong pattern is having a well deserved time out.

I'd love to write more, but I have knitting to do.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

This time the good guys won

It took a trial in front of a federal judge to state the obvious: Intelligent Design is a religious theory, not a scientific one.

Read more here.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

The two hours scarf

Here it is, as promised:

DB cashmerino superbulky scarf

Pattern here
Yarn: about 160 yds of superbulky yarn
60x4 inches excluding fringe

Now I have only 3 more of these to go, sister, dad, and brother-in-law.
Yes, I canned Ruffles as xmas gift, I worked on it last night, after I finished the back of the First Cables Sweater, and, gosh, that thing is slow. Canned, this is not the time for slow knits.

Everything else is going according to the plan, I finished the Escher Bag, and I am off to finishing the making of the Striped Pullover.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

One week to Christmas

Today: working on the Escher Bag (one side done) and First Cables Sweater (finish the back tonight).

Tomorrow: I am going to finish the Escher Bag, will do the other side tomorrow, and then I'll beg Hollis to please put it together. Do sleeves of First Cables Sweater. Finish the making of the Striped Pullover.

Monday: Finish Ruffles.

Tuesday: Make a Garter Stitch Scarf for dad.

Wednesday: Make a Garter Stitch Scarf for brother-in-law.

Thursday: flying to Italy, make second Branching Out Wristwarmers, finish the Pink Poncho and the second Little Cables Sock, make Wristwarmer with Shinano. No sleeping during the flight.

In the category "I can cheat because I won't see you until after x-mas" are the mittens to go with the cashmerino superbulky garter scarf (photos tomorrow, I promise).

Then the projects I am bringing with me:
- the wrong pattern;
- Jo Sharp DK Wool Heather to make Silana;
- Knitting Pure Simple Children's Poncho with Handpainted Merino Wool;
- some Karabella Aurora 8;
- Lambwool for another First Cable sweater;
- some sock yarn;
- Purple Stole.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Moving on

Yep, the right way to go is what Cookie suggested, forget about the wrong pattern for a while. And I have a even better twist to the plan: I am bringing the stupid trying to Italy with me, where I am hoping I can get my mom to finish it. My mom, the one who can tell an English pattern is wrong even if she does not read English.

So I am moving on for now. The only reason I was working on the wrong pattern instead of on my xmas knitting was that I wanted to wear the cardi tonight - not going to happen. So I consoled myself with cashmere and last night I started a scarf with Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Superchunky, that I bought in Boston.

Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Superchunky

Is it weird to remember where and when I bought every ball in my stash?

Anyway, here is my recipe for a two hours scarf:

Bulky yarn, about 160 yards, in two colors
Needles US #11, circular, 80 cm long

Cast 150 stitches - I suggest to put stitch markers every 30 stitches, so you do not had to count back from the beginning when you lose track

Knit two rows in color A
Knit two rows in color B

Repeat these 4 rows 5 times - 20 rows total.

Cast off, add fringe if desired.

And, no, the above pattern is not covered by copyright - I am not nuts. Fell free to copy it, distribute, put on your blog, whatever.

I'll have a photo of my scarf tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

It's wrong

The darn pattern is wrong, the collar part is completely wrong, and I should have known. But it was in such a hurry to finish the darn jacket that I did not think, I just follow instructions. Never follow instructions. So I need to frog the fronts down to the armholes and re-knit them. Did I mention that I sewed the shoulders to convince me that it is wrong? Just kitchener stitch, so not biggie, but, darn, it is wrong.

Or, since last week I ordered this pattern book from Evelyn at Knitty Noddy - I could just drop the stupid wrong pattern and start on one of these:

Linea Rossa 28

Linea Rossa 16

Linea Rossa 09

Linea Rossa 08

I could make any of the solid color with this, or make the stripes one - I am such a Karabella hoarder.

But that would mean let the wrong pattern win, wouldn't it?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Tuesday is knit-along day

But the only knit-along that really matters right now is

Naked Stix

because being today Santa Lucia, xmas is really close.

Having a long flight ahead of me, I devise this new strategy: knits for the airplane ride vs. knit now, aka knits on circulars vs. knits on straights.

So, here we go, let's get my list - wait a minute, there is a new project on the list? Wasn't I supposed to finish all the current projects before starting a new one? Yes, so what? Have I ever given anybody any indication that I may actually follow a plan?

So the purple stole is the new project, straight needles, it's for me so no hurry, it will go in the suitcase.
Next is the pink poncho for my niece, airplane project.
The First Cables Sweater is for my cousin's new baby, straights needles, to be done before I leave.
Little Cables Socks - airplane.
Ruffles - straight needles, a unassigned xmas present, to be done before I leave.
Striped Pullover - I do not know what I am waiting for, I need to sew on the sleeves and I am done.
Debbie Bliss Simple Jacket with Collar: this is on straight, it is for me, and it is what I am knitting this week. I want it finished by Friday so I can wear at this dinner I have to go. I do not want to go, but I have too.

I will be back to Hopeful and NBat in January, while the second Branching Out Wristwarmer is a perfect airplane project. And so another pair of wristwarmers to go with Sciarpetta.

So one pocho, one sock, and three wristwarmers to keep me occupied from here to Rome?
I'll pack for a couple of hats, just in case we are stuck someplace.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Circuit breakers

HWME has a PhD in mechanical engineering from a very good Italian university. I don’t say that to brag, PhD’s come a dime a dozen in my family, when my little sister announced that she was not going to go to graduated school, my father said, “Finally someone who wants to work!” But his PhD, and the fact that all his friends have a similar background, is important to the story I am going to tell you. My father came to visit. He has no mechanical skills whatsoever, he is a MD, but he is fascinated by mechanicals “toys”, like all boys. HWME has acquired a fairly large collection of toys tools during the short period he claimed he wanted to take care of the backyard himself. He has come to his senses already, and we have a gardener now, but not before buying all kind of toys tools.

So, my father really liked this electric bush trimmer. HWME told him not to use it, please, and pointed him toward the big scissor – I do think they have better technical name, but they look like big scissor to me. So, as soon as we were out of the house, my father grabbed the big electric trimmer and proceeds to trim the bushes, and while using, he managed to cut the cord. No, he did not electrocute himself, we have good “whatever they are called that shut the circuit off while your father tried to kill himself". Circuit breakers, I guess. In Italy they are called “life savers”, and my father is the reason for the name I think. And my grandmother, who used to cut wire with a scissor and tie them together, and then wonder why it was not working. But, on her defense, she grew up in a very poor village in south of Italy with no electricity and running water; I don’t know my father’s excuse.
So, after the circuit breaker went off, the lights in the back yard were not working anymore, same circuit. So HWME took a look at the panel and said that we needed to call an electrician, because a fuse was blown or something, need technical assistance.

A friend of his stopped by, PhD in mechanical engineering from Stanford, looked at the panel, and said, yep, call an electrician.

Another friend, MIT graduated, PhD from Princeton, same diagnosis.

Then on Friday I called Jimmy, the guy who fixes things around our house, and cleans the roof and the gutters. I called him for the gutters, but I told HWME to have Jimmy take a look at the circuit breakers panel. So Jimmy, who I do not think ever went to college, look at the panel, looked at HWME, and then said, “First you have to bring the switch all the way to the right to reset it, and then to the left”. And he proceeded to do it. Clicks, click, done, the lights are working again. He did not charge us for it.

Education is so over rated.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

More gifts

The past week I received several gifts, and since I am lazy I am going to acknowledge all at once:


My Knitty Holiday SP sent me some tea and dpn's for my birthday - I never have enough of both, so it was really appreciated!

Then my Knitty SP5 sent me some candies as thank you for a pattern I sent her - you can see the lemon ones in the photos, the sour cherry are already gone!

And then Rebecca sent me those fabulous stitch markers for winning a contest.

Well, it was my birthday week, after all!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Yet another secret pal program

Felted SP2

There a new secret pal program on the block, actually not so new because it is already the second round, but less known. It is the Felted Secret Pal, for people who likes to knit and felt. I participated to round #1, spoiling Dani, and I had so much fun that I have decided to host the second round.

Want to join the fun?

Click on the button, join the yahoo group, and have fun!

The program will run from February to April 2006, and matches will be distributed before the end of January.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

I am cold

It's cold; 11° C (51° F the Celsius impaired) is cold. Ok, if you live in Denver where it is -18° C now, you can laugh at me, but what can I say? Living in California does make you soft. And I do not have the clothes for it; I own two (2) wool garments (one of which is the Ribbi Cardi I make). And the building I work in is old, has micro climates, and my cube is located in the artic section, maybe I am exaggerating a little, but today I was wearing a scarf, half gloves, and a shawl.

And I was cold. And when I am cold, only thing I can think about is merino, and alpaca, and knitting. I start daydreaming about knitting, I drift of to the Internet to plan projects, and I get in trouble.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Naked Stix 2006?

Thing is, I never follow a plan. See my list here? That is my plan, so of course I am knitting stuff that never was on the list. And this Naked Stix 2006 - as soon as I joined I jumped to the opportunity to knit something else. Hollis of Full Thread Ahead asked Amy and me if we would do a last second knitted gifts workshop these next two Sundays. That meant, forget my list, I need to knit samples, so of course I said yes. If you are around, stop by to see what we are up to.

But I have been good and I finished my first wristwarmer for the Peaceful Hands Knit-along:

Branching Out Wristwarmer

It is clear from the photo that I need a remedial photography class, or maybe longer arms. I swear that in real life it looks much better, and I even blocked it so I don't know where all the bagginess comes from. Me arching my hand? I told you, need longer arms.

Now I should knit the second one, should I?

Monday, December 05, 2005

New Knitty

The new Knitty is out, and it is a big issue, more than 20 patterns, and I don't know you, I am always disappointed in big issue. It looks to me, the bigger the issue, the slim the change I like something. Maybe because with large issue there are few good patterns and a lot of filler?

Anyway, Cookie's sock is what makes the issue. I remember her knitting it, and admiring the lace pattern.

Knecklace is brilliant, but only looking at it makes me want to scratch my neck - the joy of having a ubbersensitive skin! Well, needing only 30 yds of yarn, I could go to the deep end and use cashmere or silk. Or maybe cotton, I have some Blue Sky Alpaca coming.

What else do I like? Few things, Tempting II tempts me, while Tempting I did not, but I have nothing for it in my stash and approaching 600 balls I am not going to buy anything just yet. Thuja is the perfect solution for when I'll be late too for a gift to my dad, Danica is a good lesson in entrelac, and no, I am not going around with a sock on my head any time soon.

EDITED TO ADD: I have the yarn for Tempting II in my stash, this, but it was meant to be something for Principessa, and I doubt she'll give it up.

Sunday, December 04, 2005


This weekend was my birthday and the celebration started on Friday, when I received a wonderful package from my Knitty Holiday SP:

The bag was full with goodies and gifts for the kids (and chocolate that was claimed by HWME) - move your mouse on the picture to see them diving in the box. After inspecting the box, they said this was for me:

Mountain Colors Twizzle

Isn't the most gorgeous red?


Then yesterday, we went to Full Thread Ahead, so I could pick up yarn as a present from HWME, and this is my loot:

Cherry Tree Hill Supersock

Nature's Palette

As you see, it was a purple day!

Principessa bought this to make me a scarf:

SWTC Pagoda

The scarf is going to be my next year birthday present, she says that buying the yarn was this year present, making the scarf is for next year.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Naked Stix 2006

Looking at my list of projects on the needles, I realized I needed to join

Naked Stix

So, here is my list:

- First Cables Sweater
I just started this for a cousin of mine's baby - I am going to meet the baby at x-mas.

- Paperino's set with Cascade 220 Superwash
this started as a pair of mittens I was making from leftovers, then he wanted a hat:

Mittens and hat

and now he is asking for socks too (striped, red and white). Well, this is going to be easy, worsted weight socks for a 5 years old? One evening, maybe two.

- Little Cables Socks with Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport
I am at the ankle of the first sock. This is a x-mas present for my best friend in Italy, so I must.finish.this.

- Ruffles with Noro Lily
This was an impulse cast-on, no idea why I am knitting this. I do not wear pink, not pink-pink. Principessa? So that she can lose it? Don't know. Let's call it a yet-to-be-assigned x-mas present.

- Striped Pullover
Present for my nephew, so close on this one!

- Debbie Bliss Simple Jacket with Collar
Among the 84, given or taken, 2005 projects, guess how many were for me? 6
I need to finish this, and wear it at x-mas.

- Hopeful with SWTC Beyond in turquoise
Principessa is asking every day if I am done with it, and she was supposed to knit it. Only sleeves missing.

- Nothing But a T-shirt
Yes, I frogged and re-started it a long time ago. Well, I am not planning to finish this one before next year.

- Branching Out Wristwarmers
Found them and actually worked on them on Monday, I am at the thumb hole of the first one. The modified lace pattern works, I need to do one more repeat, or maybe two, I am so happy. Together with Branching Out The Scarf, they are going to be another x-mas present.

- Escher Blankets
I am actually working on a Escher bag.

So, what else do I need to make before 2006?
Another pair of wristwarmers to go with Sciarpetta (one more x-mas gift), two ponchos for my nieces (they are 10 months and 2 years old, I am talking about big ponchos here), something for my sister (maybe this lace capelet).

Unrealistic? Think almost 18 hours flight.