Thursday, December 20, 2007

Merry Christmas

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
Thank you, all of you, for sharing our happiness at having a boy (we would be equally happy having a girl).

Here is a nice photo of Fred - he made himself comfortable on a Christmas tablecloth-cum-chair cover.

Merry Christmas to all - and if you don't celebrate it, have a happy holiday or whatever you do. I'll be signing out now until 2008. But shortly thereafter will be my first blogiversary, so there will be contests and winning and more celebrating, so stick around!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Just One Little Bit

It's a Boy!

(I'm wondering how many of my readers are geeky enough to get the title.)

Monday, December 17, 2007

WIP: Cable Rib Baby Socks

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
This is the Cable Rib pattern in the "Better Than Booties" (pdf) baby socks pattern (You can download it here). I'm knitting them on size 2 needles (Takumi/Clover bamboo) and the first one came out really cute.

The pattern has a 1x1 cable in it. I'm cabling without a needle, and I didn't like having to move the stitches back and forth from the left to the right and back to the left. Instead, I'm picking up the left stitch knitwise, dropping and picking up the right (first) stitch, and then putting the left needle into the crossed stitch in the front and knitting it off directly. I find this is much faster than moving the stitch back to the left needle and then inserting the right needle the other direction.

I'm sure I'm not the only person who thought of this, but I thought I'd share.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Promises, promises

Wow, it's so nice to hear the group's enthusiasm behind my return to knitting! Unfortunately, I forgot to snap a photo this morning before I went to work, so I'm afraid I'll have to keep you in suspense for just a little bit longer.

If you could manage it, though, could you keep the good vibes coming for finishing that pesky second sock?

Happy Friday!

Thursday, December 13, 2007


I'm so excited I had to share - I knit last night! I've been dutifully ignoring the baby sock I started last week, haphazardly wondering from time to time if it too would be unsuitable (too big?). I worked on the cuff a little at lunch on Monday with the knitting ladies, who reassured me that it would be fine. But last night, The Sweetie was inspired to make an ornate dish (homemade tortellini and pesto - I wrapped the tortellini) and while he buzzed about the kitchen, I sat nearby and knit on the sock. I finished the foot before the wrapping of the tortellini, did the toe after it while The Sweetie worked on a sauce, and cast off during clean-up (I loaded the dishwasher, The Sweetie did the handwashing). And not a bit of wrist pain! Sigh....

Details and photos tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Random Tuesday?

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
It's a pretty cold day to be swimming in the Pacific. I have photos, but I haven't downloaded them. Bad blogger!

Yesterday, I was able to meet up with a knitting group that was meeting for lunch near where I work instead of their usual location that's farther afield for me. They are a lovely group and were all working on beautiful projects. Alas, I thought I'd see Kadiddly there, but had to leave before she showed up. Someday we'll prove that we both exist! I also missed seeing Inky because she had to work.

But, it was a beautiful day to sit outside in the sunshine and get some work on this toddler sock, which the ladies agreed was a fine size. So no ripping this time. Cursed yarn has been exorcised! Now I just have to find the time to finish it. And a second sock!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Friday already?

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
Well, the whole week's gone by with no knitting. I think I'm gonna try the Better Than Booties baby socks from Interweave Knits Summer 2005, and I bought needles (size 2 and 3 dpns), but have not yet found the time to sit down and cast on. Hopefully, this weekend I'll get a chance and they'll go quickly. Then a hat, and we'll have a full set!

And for a laugh, we have sock puppets talking trash about the argyles:
Rose is Rose, Dec. 6, 2007

Monday, December 3, 2007

Random Monday

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
More elephant seals to accompany the randomness. These are adolescents, playing at fighting and resting, between sessions of teaching themselves to swim.

I've started an Oz Vest from Natural Knits for Babies and Moms as a replacement for the Trellis that just didn't work out, and I've already frogged it. The largest size was way too wide - almost fit around me! So I've decided I need to start small. Make a pair of booties or socks, a hat, maybe a pair of baby mittens. Call it a gift. Or call any one of them a gift.

The Bears lost the Big Game this past weekend. Pfft. And yet, they are still going to a Bowl game - the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth. I might not even watch it. It's time to call it a season, and look forward to a new team next year. But still, go bears.

In pregnancy news, I'm feeling good again, and not always eating like a monster. Just snacking lightly between meals. This second trimester thing, it's good.

Last night we watched an old episode of The Simpsons - the one where Marge gets into a Thelma & Louise sort of situation. Once again, there was a knitter portrayed with ends-up needles.

Happy December!

Might be enough randomness for today.

Friday, November 30, 2007

ECF: Mission Santa Barbara

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
I took my dad to Mission Santa Barbara when he was visiting. He'd never been in a California mission before, and they have a pretty good museum there.

I snapped this photo because we have a painting of the mission that looks just about like this. Just pretend the cars aren't there. ;)

Have a great weekend! (And Go Bears!)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Which way do your needles point?

I have an open question. I often see knitting portrayed in comics, and this one reminded me: does anyone knit like that, with the needle ends (the capped ends, the ones that don't have the points) pointing upward? Or is it just that lots of artists know knitting involves two needles and an area of fabric, but are ignorant as to how the needles are involved?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
Don't these guys look like they've finished their pie and are watching football?

Have a good Thanksgiving, y'all who are in the U.S. To the rest of you, have a great rest of the week - see you after the break!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
Alert the media! I knit!

I've been meaning for months to make this humble afghan square for the Mafia. Finally, my energy has returned, and knitting no longer makes me feel queasy, and I finished (and blocked!) it.

Pattern: Uh....garter ridge afghan square. CO 3 stitches, Kfb at the beginning of every row until it measures 8", then k2tog at the beginning of every row until there are 3 stitches left, bind off.
Yarn: Leftover from my 3rd ever finished project, Eric's Sampler Scarf, vintage Brunswick Germantown.
Needles: Size 9, Knitpicks Options (steel).

Yay! This might signal the return of the knitting mojo!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Reaper is good again

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
A while back, I mentioned that the pilot episode of the new show Reaper was really good, but the following episodes weren't.

We continued to watch it out of continuity, hoping that it would get bad enough we could dump it. Tim Goodman, TV critic at the San Francisco Chronicle, wrote about how it could be a good show, if only it fixed several big problems.

The latest two episodes, "Love, Bullets, and Blacktop" and "The Cop" were really refreshingly good. We watched them both last night.

The difference? Kevin Smith is credited as a "consultant." The dialogue is tighter and funnier, there is more action, less formula. The characters are allowed to be people (even The Devil).

This show is back on my list of shows to look forward to (when the WGA strike ends....)

Friday, November 9, 2007

Go Bears!

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
I'm off again for the all-important USC game tomorrow!* Thanks for the well wishes and congratulations that continue to pour in. I'm happy to "meet" some of you new readers, too! And hopefully I'll have some good photos after this weekend. I've even been knitting!

Go Bears!

* Well, almost all-important. There is a fan in our section who always leads a pre-game cheer, reminding us that every game is merely practice for the One Game That Counts, "Beat Stanford!"

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Random updates

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
Thank you, thank you all, for the wonderful well-wishes! The Sweetie reads all of the comments too, and we feel so well-loved by you all bloggers and blog readers!

My dad came to visit this week, and I took him to Santa Barbara yesterday. We saw a rat on top of a cat on top of a dog. Sorry, no photo - I was too cheap to give a tip to the guy who had them. But it was a pretty impressive sight.

We also went to Mission Santa Barbara and I didn't take a picture (bad blogger!) of a wool carder they had that looked like it was made of spiky pods of some plant. That would be a lot of work!

The Bears won on Saturday! Go Bears! Much as we do not prefer their banana-yellow jerseys, they seem to be undefeated while wearing them.

That's all the news for now!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Go Bears!

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
Well, 2 losses in a row means our team is unranked. But tomorrow night's game should be a bit roomy! There's always a bright side.

Thanks to all of you who sent us good wishes at our news. We're still excited and terrified. And I'm tired. (I had heard about morning sickness and was prepared for that, but no one mentioned being so tired!). On the bright side, I'm enjoying the freedom to eat cheese (calcium!) and also pretty much whatever I want, which seems mostly to be fruit, salads, and green vegetables. Yum!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Secret WIP revealed!

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
My knitting progress on the blog has been very spotty (okay, non-existent) lately. But that's because I've been working on a secret project!

Now I'm at 13 weeks and I can tell all of you - The Sweetie and I are having a baby in May!

How was this related to my non-knitting? Well, while I haven't actually been sick like Cara, but for a good part of the first trimester, looking at or even thinking about knitting made me feel queasy, so I've been sorrowfully without knitting. That's beginning to fade a bit, and I'm able to do a few stitches here and there. I'm taking it slow, because I've read that during pregnancy you could be more prone to carpal tunnel syndrome than usual.

I'm trying not to go overboard with tons of baby knitting plans - what I get done, I'll get done. (Although truth be told, I'd rather do newborn size stuff than bigger kids stuff - newborn size is so much smaller and faster!) I also fantasized about making a Mommy Snug but I'm not sure my sweater knitting speed is up to it!

Our official due date is May 9, we don't know yet if it's a boy or a girl. I'll keep y'all posted, although this blog will still be primarily about knitting. We're both excited and terrified!

Friday, October 26, 2007

ECF: sunset over SF

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
Took this 2 weeks ago, as the Bears were in their last throes of the Oregon game.

I forgot where I originally saw the cat sweater pattern, but it made it to Cute Overload (and that model is Fred's stunt double!).

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Time waster for a cause

Via Away With Words: FreeRice donates to the UN World Food Program, for each word you get right. Warning: this is very addictive.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Friday, October 19, 2007

Bonus laugh

Today's Rose is Rose comic.

Although I think the punchline should be "I'm a knitter!"

ECF: empty pier

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
Summer's clearly over.

(In all honesty, I took this photo in March. But this is an honest rendition of what this pier looks like today - an off-season day.)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Update on Fred

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
I managed to find this old photo of Fred. He still looks like this, though.

While his personality has returned to normal, the pooper still isn't...well...producing. I got some hairball gel and some chicken flavored fiber pellets. We've been supplementing his food with these morning and evening, and I just can't believe it. Fred is so excited to get chicken flavored PILLS! They're big horse pills, with chicken flavor, and it says to break them in pieces to "release the flavor". I can understand him lapping up gravy (heck, I'd do that!) but broken up bits of pills? He can't get enough of it. Then he finishes up with the fish-flavored gel, although it's clearly second-best.

We're hoping after a few days of this, things will start moving through and we won't have to worry so much.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Monday update: the no new photos edition

Cal lost on Saturday. But boy, was it an exciting game! (Just wish it had a different outcome.)

One of the items my mom gave me when I visited last week were two Christmas lists - letters to Santa. I wrote them on 3x5 index cards. Either I lost one or I used the same color pen (red) and paper two years in a row. Both letters requested the board game, The Game of Life, so I must have really wanted that game. One of the letters, curiously, requested more storage space. At the ripe young age of around 8, I already knew I needed more space! (Santa didn't bring any. And I still need more space.)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Go Bears!

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
And to everyone, have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

love thursday

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
Things I am loving:

  • Lemon Zinger tea.

  • Arriving at work and seeing the sun on the ocean.

  • Going to bed early (and the good feeling it creates)

  • The pilot episode of Reaper. (It was directed by Kevin Smith.) The following episodes? Not so much.

  • Blogging Without Obligation.

About that last one - given that this is a knitting blog, and I seem to be in a knitting slump, I might not post every weekday starting ...well, whenever. I might blog about non-knitting, as I have been, I might not. When I first started, the blogs I liked the best were the ones that were updated every day, and I wanted to be one of those bloggers. But I find that I am not disappointed by bloggers who post a couple times a week instead, when they have content in each entry. So, dear readers, I hope you'll forgive me and still stop by.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Revisiting old photos

Indian Paintbrush
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
because that's what the resourceful blogger does when she has nothing new to write about!

This Indian Paintbrush was just one of many I saw this last summer in the Sierras. Summer was really nice. Fall is nice too, but it just doesn't have the splendor here in CA that it has in the Northeast. Here where I am, we woke to some light rain followed by clearing to sunny - can't complain too much. But the hills aren't covered with deciduous trees - or trees of any sort (not enough water) and so we go from bare brown hills to bare green hills. Beautiful, but in a different way. This time of year, I pine for the Northeast hillsides of red and orange and yellow.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

We're #2!

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
Well, Cal's football team is ranked #2 in the nation this week. A bunch of highly ranked teams (cough-USC-cough) lost this week, while Cal had a bye, so we moved up from #3 to #2, behind LSU.

About the photo: when the Cal band plays that Cal song and forms the script Cal on the field, the Sousaphone section looks like it's wandering off to do its own thing. They go as a section, high-stepping (really leaping and kicking their legs in the air in front of them) around the field, and end up at the end of the swoosh that underlines the Cal. I managed to grab this action shot of the band with their legs up high.

Still haven't touched my knitting in ages, but I got lots of rest last night and work let out early (ran out of things to do) so yesterday I felt really good. Still basking in the glow of well-restedness this morning. Have a great day, wherever you are!

Edited to add:
From The Sweetie:
"that cal song" is "Fight for California" :)

Our sturdy Golden Bear,
Is watching from the skies,
Looks down upon our colors fair,
And guards us from his lair.
Our banner Gold and Blue,
The symbol on it too,
Means FIGHT! for California.
For California through and through!

Stalwarts girded for the fray,
Will strive for victory,
Their all at Mater's feet will lay,
That brain and brawn will win the day.
Our mighty sons and true
Will strive for us anew,
And PIVOT! for California,
For California through and through!

Monday, October 8, 2007

I'm back!

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
Did you miss me?

Here are some updates:

My blogcation/vacation was really nice. I visited my mother in Florida and got lots of shopping, lunches, and naps in.

Unfortunately, Golden Knitting Gallery seemed to be mysteriously closed. They had a "July hours" sign and a "50% off everything" sign in the window, and looked like they suddenly closed. There was yarn in bins, there were notions on the table, but the phone was disconnected and no one was there. Too bad; my mother actually expressed interest in maybe learning to knit.

Our kitty, Fred, seems to be much better now. He has successfully used the box and seems a much friendlier, vigorous cat than he had been of late. Some new easy-to-digest food seems to have perked him right up and we're really happy to have our old kitty back.

Knitting? Um....I knit one 40-row repeat on the lace stole while I was traveling. I'll try and take a photo this week, but really - it looks largely the same as before. I'm starting to worry about running out of yarn...but I suppose I can just knit fewer repeats and see how it turns out.

Thanks so much, everyone, for your well-wishes! I really appreciated coming home to all of your comments!

Friday, September 28, 2007

A prize!

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
A while back, Chris at Stumbling over Chaos had a contest, and I was one of the winners!

I had sort of forgotten about it, so it was a surprise yesterday to come home to a box. A box? But from the black cat on the return address label, I knew it was from Chaos and Mayhem. Um, perhaps aided by Chris.

Inside was yarn, but also all sorts of goodies! A pair of Halloweenish socks with black cats, a cute note (signed by Chaos? or Mayhem?) with a cat swimming in a bath of tuna, a hilarious and groovin' CD of songs concerning cats, a cute tape measure (I always wanted a cute tape measure!), and of course, the most beautiful handdyed One Tree Hill sock yarn, from Yarnzilla. I do love me some small-dyer yarn. And it's so soft! I lurv it. I just want to pet it all day. But, to keep my pet in the vet's good hands, I had to go to work. (I should've slipped the skein into my purse for surreptitious petting.)

Fred (that's our cat) is feeling better, although not yet 100%. He's gone from not really enjoying the drops of antibiotic we put in his mouth, to actively fighting it, so I figure he must be improving. But while we might enjoy not having to clean his litter box, we're pretty sure it would be better for him if he actually used it. You know. What goes in, must come out. Right. TMI.

Anyway, here's a progress picture of my Mountain Stream Scarf. One repeat down, 13 or so more to go. It's really hard to photograph!


And after all that yarny and knitting news, I'm announcing another blogcation. I'll be away all of next week- no work, no Internet, just getting away for a bit. There might be a yarn shop, though. See you later!

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Mule's ear
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
I did in fact take a photo of knitting this morning, but my kitty is sick and that meant that DH and I had to corner him (not difficult) and feed him drops of antibiotic, and then give him happy soft sick kitty food. So I didn't get a chance to do the upload.

Instead, have a happy photo I took last summer. It's mule ear with lupine in the background.

Love Thursday: what I am loving:

  • toast with melty peanut butter on it

  • The Sweetie's cooking

  • HP7 - we're almost done!

  • rememberances of this past summer, like the above photo

  • warm Indian summer winds

What are you loving?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

All together now

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
So, Kim, did you knit yesterday?

Um...I got a few stitches done on my dishcloth while at the doctor's office. But they took me early (probably because I had something to do, eh?) so not much was accomplished.

The end.

PS- I did sleep Monday and felt well enough to go to my dance/exercise class last night. But last night I didn't sleep too well. I wouldn't hold my breath for knitting content, dear readers. Sorry.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

No new knitting

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
I was so tired last night I came home and napped, didn't go to choir, and had soup and TV until 9pm, then went to bed. So no new knitting and no new photos.

This was at the end of Saturday's game (the Bears won!), sunset over the Golden Gate Bridge, as seen from the top of Memorial Stadium in Berkeley.

Monday, September 24, 2007

When in doubt, knit a dishrag

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
Ennui continues at the Silent K household. So I did what any knitter would do. (Well, any knitter who still has plans to figure out the Perfect Sock, and therefore socks are not the automatic go-to knitting projects.) I cast on a Garterlac dishcloth. (Do you really need the link? Okay, here it is.)

I feel about this dishcloth pattern like some people feel about a certain sock pattern. It's simple. It's interesting enough to keep my interest. It doesn't demand concentration. In variegated yarn like this, it's really pretty. It's finished pretty quickly and then you have a useful and pretty thing.

This one is for my household! Garterlac dishcloth #1 was donated to the Tahoe cabin. Garterlac dishcloth #2 was sent on in Dishrag Tag. This one is staying with me.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Cal Band

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
Last week was Cal Alumni Band day, which means the alumni who were in the marching band also marched and played. At half time, tradition dictates that the Band and the Alumni band form not just a script Cal, but the entire word "California". You can see the alumni band wearing jeans and t-shirts while the band proper are in their navy and gold uniforms.

I was all set to show you a photo of the 1st repeat of my Mountain Stream Scarf, but I discovered an error last night and I'm tinking back almost to the beginning of the repeat, where I know the stitch count was right. Probably only for the first two rows. Humph.

Have a great weekend, and Go Bears!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Soaring upside-down

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
This is kind of how I'm feeling this week. The first week of school for The Sweetie is always a little rough - figuring out a new schedule - but with the fact that it has been a year since he was at school, it's a bit rougher than usual. And the week is bookended by Cal games, so we haven't had much time to rest and get the house organized, so there has been much figuring out car logistics, meals, exercise, and the TV/sleep balance.

All that to say, I haven't knit anything for a while, although I'm hoping to sneak some in at lunchtime today.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Tree sitter

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
This is one of the more interesting photos I took last weekend (aside from the paratroopers, which I covered in yesterday's post). The tree-sitter was assembling a sign, which turned out to read "Bears (heart) Trees Too".

Anyway, it's pretty surreal to realize this tree is really tall (adjacent to the top of the stands in the stadium). The campanile is visible behind the tree. That tent sure does have a nice view of the bay!

In knitting, I haven't knit much. I've been trying for a fitness push - to get in better general health and actually have a "one day a week rest from exercise", rather than "one day a week exercise." This has put a cramp in my already tight knitting time. But I did read through Knitting Without Tears the last few nights as bedtime reading. How empowering Elizabeth Zimmerman is, encouraging everyone to do sweaters the way they want to, and reading all knitting books with a grain of salt!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

They jumped out of an airplane!

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
We saw the plane flying low and slow over the stadium, but we'd seen it pass over just before the announcer announced the paratroopers, and we thought it would circle around again. Turns out, they were being clever - the wind was blowing west to east, so they jumped out pretty far west of the stadium. As our seats are near the top row of the stadium on the west side, we got a great view of them.

There were eight or nine in all, landing sequentially on the field; two were women. They were a great sight to see.

See more here.

Here's a photo of one coming down into the south end of the stadium (the stadium is ringed with trees and some houses can look down into it):


Thanks for all your comments - you guys are the best! Knit on!

Monday, September 17, 2007


Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
I took this photo several weeks ago, but it looked about the same this weekend. This shows a treetop tent that is inhabited by protesters on the UC Berkeley campus. Current plans for renovating the football stadium include cutting down these trees (not old, not historic, each tree to be replaced with 3 trees - 2 seedlings and one large tree).

If you click for the bigger photo, you will see ropes going between the trees. I saw one person cross from one tree to another harnessed onto one of these lines. It kind of looked like fun!

I've been suffering from knitting ennui. In spite of all of my dutiful swatching, I came to the realization this week that while I liked the idea of having a finished sweater for myself, the thought of deciding on yarn, size, and worrying about how it will fit is giving me heartburn at the moment. I have decided that I Don't Have To Knit Myself A Sweater. This is just for now, not quite as finally as Grumperina stated. I just don't feel up to the task. Meanwhile, the yarn that I bought for swatching will either go into stash or be sent off to New Hampshire for someone else to knit into something warm.

My ennui seems to have moved on, as I dragged myself to knitting group today and worked on my Mountain Stream Scarf and found that I felt a lot better - physically and emotionally. I wasn't really all that social today (sorry, girls!) but I was welcomed to the table and was able to sit quietly, listen to conversation, and get 10 rows done on the first repeat of the scarf. Now that felt good!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Parade of swatches

Parade of swatches
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
I got some Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride yesterday on my way home from work, in red this time. I started swatching it, but it was kind of rough feeling and really twisty tangly. What happened to Lamb's Pride? This is the yarn that I chose when my teacher said to go all over the yarn shop and pick what you like. This is the yarn that I did my first ever swatches with, and I loved the feel. Have I gotten spoiled with better yarns, or has it gotten a bit crunchy lately?

In any case, I didn't like the yarn so much I cut my swatch off short. Maybe I'll make a red scarf. (You know, for people who wrap it over their coat....or is it mean to make a scarf out of stuff that I found too scratchy to knit with?) On second thought, I could probably make a nice Danica out of these yarns....

So I have to agree with Brenda: the Berroco Peruvia is the best!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Swatch of the day

Cascade Pastaza
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
This is the Cascade Pastaza, 50/50 wool/llama. It's just like the Berroco Peruvia, but a little hairier and a little softer, due to the llama. My gauge is a bit off - only 14 sts/inch instead of the desired 17. I'll try again today with US8s. And I'll try and pick up some Lamb's Pride on the way home too.

Sadly, this is about as much knitting I'm getting in per day these days.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Swatching away

Berroco Peruvia
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
I have the Cal scarf, 3 lace WIPs, and I want to start a sweater for myself. I just can't seem to make up my mind. So I'm swatching.

Currently, I'm thinking of making the Tilted Duster from the current issue of Interweave Knits. I even found the recommended yarn at a LYS (pictured; US9 seems closer to gauge than US10 - only bigger by 1/4 inch per 4 inches). But I also am going to try Cascade Pastaza - a very similar yarn, very similar price, but 50/50 llama and wool - maybe a bit softer. Then there's always Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride - my first yarn, and for a coatlike sweater it's plenty soft. I think.

And so, there might be a parade of swatches coming up.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Book stash enhancement

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
Sunday, The Sweetie and I went to Solvang to see Urinetown (the musical). It was a pretty funny show, with lots of references to other shows (Fiddler on the Roof, West SideStory). Consequently the song styles varied a lot.

We got to Solvang a little bit early, and I managed to wrangle a visit to Village Spinning and Weaving. This is one of my favorite LYSs (well, sort of local) - they have so much yarn! This time, my impression was that they had a little less yarn and more books. But their stock probably waxes and wanes - they go to festivals and such.

On the door, they have posted a photo of this - the cutest little beginner spinning wheel ever! I don't even spindle-spin (yet), and I am so taken with the simple beauty of this little machine.

And the shopkeeper tempted me by showing me some of this - such beautiful subtle colors, rich and oh so tasty! But, I tucked it into the back of my head for a scarf or something. (It's a little too pricey for a sweater....maybe a vest.)

So I ended up with this book, the XRX book, Babies & Toddlers: A Knitter's Dozen. I really want to make a tesselated fish blanket (like this one but looking through it I saw a number of really cute baby/toddler things. With the way my friends are making babies, this book will be pretty useful!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Another prize!

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
A little while ago, Brenda over at Molecular Knitting had a pre-blogiversary contest - to give her the idea for her blogiversary contest! She picked my idea, and so I won!

Here are the spoils: a yummmmmmy skein of Seacoast Handpainted merino/tencel (50/50 blend), in colorway "silver and gold", plus some almonds and raspberry hard candies! Mmm....what to make? Into the stash for marination.

In other news, I'm in talks with Nancy Finn, the dyer behind the Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks, about re-creating that yarn I love so much in a worsted-weight wool. We've picked a yarn (Gems Merino superwash worsted) and she's put it on order. Yay! So other than a delay before making the sweater (I was going to make the 18-month size anyway...) it looks like I'll get exactly what I want.

Yes, I could probably do some knitty math, but....I'm a wuss. I don't want to do it for this. I'm looking forward to doing knitty math for making a sweater fit me, but I don't want to do it for a baby sweater which shouldn't need such fussing. I admit it. I'm lazy.

What to knit in the mean time? Oh, yeah, my WIP list has 3 lacy objects in it. I'd like to eliminate one by the end of this year...

Friday, September 7, 2007

Niddy noddy

Niddy noddy
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
The sweetie took it upon himself to make me a niddy noddy. This is in his best interest, because I plan to frog his many-years-ago-begun sweater, and start it anew, and I will need to wash and reskein and rewind the yarn.

He cleverly designed it so that the side dowels are held in place with pegs that fit into the end of the backbone (a piece of broom handle). Thank you, my sweetie! Thank you for making me something this summer! (For the sweetie, school starts on Monday. He's on the giving away knowledge side of it.)

Do you know how hard it is to photograph a niddy noddy?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Saturday Sky on Thursday

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
Sorry about the late blogging; I'm just having kind of a busy day at work. So I leave you with this: Saturday sky on Thursday.

I took this picture before the Cal vs. Tennessee game last Saturday, from the top row of Memorial Stadium. You can barely make out the Golden Gate bridge in the distance.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

FO: Dishcloth for Dish Rag tag

My package arrived yesterday, and did it have some nice stuff! A wonderful blue and green dishcloth - the bias garter stitch is the speediest pattern there is, and then Tracey (OR) added a lovely crocheted edging. In addition to the requisite dishcloth cotton, she included some Classic Elite cotton (Provence?), some bath gel, and two bottles of nail polish. Brilliant - I can throw out my decades old nail polish and start afresh. Not pictured is the other ball of dishcloth cotton.

This is what it looks like now (garterlac dishcloth by Criminy Jickets), as it wings its way to our fearless organizer, Emily.

Dish Rag Tag dishcloth

No new photos

Flickr seems to have having some problems right now, or I'd show you the garterlac dishcloth I made last night for Dish Rag Tag. I'm the last person in our little relay, and I thought it would be nice to send Emily something besides dishcloth cotton (she's gonna end up with lots of it!). Sigh....tomorrow will have photos, I hope!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Trellis stalled

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
I worked a bit on a sleeve for Trellis - thank goodness! I think I shall have to remember this. Even if you've swatched, a sleeve is a bigger swatch, especially when you haven't swatched the pattern yet.

I am loving the pattern- have just reached the point of memorizing it. And I had a false start after several rows because I was doing the mock cables (knit second stitch tbl, knit 2 tog tbl) from the front instead of from the back, which resulted in a horizontal bar of yarn obscuring the left twist. So here I am at 2.5 repeats, and it was starting to look...really tall. And it was scheduled for 5 repeats (with increases), then knit for 12 inches. This was already 8 inches long at 3 repeats!

So I pulled out ruler and calculator, and while I expected the stitch gauge to be more stitches per inch, the row gauge was way off- not even proportional to the difference in stitch gauge.

So I'm conflicted. I love this yarn, and I love how it's knitting up. If I could find another Aran styled baby sweater to make, that's what I'd do (off to search Ravelry, eh?).

I also swatched with what was left of the Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted, left over from Dashing. The problem is, it just doesn't have the crisp stitch definition this does. It does, however, get pretty close to row and stitch gauge.

Any suggestions?


Friday, August 31, 2007

Warming up my needles

Because I've been tagged for Dishrag Tag! I sure hope it gets here tomorrow; otherwise, I won't get it until (gulp) Tuesday!

ECF: More Garden room

Garden room
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
I've got no new knitting to show today. I have knitted the 1" of cuff on the sleeve, and done 2.5 rows of pattern. Whoopie! So instead I'll share some non-knitting things I'm enjoying.

  • Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: This newish book by Barbara Kingsolver about her family's efforts to eat locally for a year - including farming for their own food and buying from local farmers. It's not heavy-handed; it is inspirational.

  • The Sweetie's meals. He's home for now, until school starts, and he's been cooking locally. Last night, we had roasted vegetables, cucumber and tomato salad, and pasta with beans. Mmm!

  • The Flexitarian Table. After reading about it from someone's blog, I got it from the library. It is full of inspiration of how to cook fresh from the farmer's market foods in a vegetable-emphasized setting.

I guess what this means is other than knitting, I really like food. =)

Have a great weekend, especially those of you in the U.S., who have a long weekend!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Beginning of Trellis

Beginning of Trellis
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
I cast on for a sleeve last night. 'Cuz, you know, a sleeve is a swatch. This pattern (Trellis, from Knitty)has gauge for "in pattern" - which is cabled. Now, I recall in Knitter's Almanac while EZ is talking about gauge, she goes on a bit about gauge "in pattern" being a bit contrived - the person probably knit the thing and then measured how many stitches in the pattern there were, but it wasn't really a practical way to figure out the gauge.

So I swatched (gasp!) with seed stitch, which is the border stitch, and I got pleasing fabric with size 5 needles. The only sort-of hitch is that it's sportweight instead of worsted. I'll make the largest size, which I think will either fit this year (or hopefully will still fit next year). My knits, especially for babies, are usually on the big side.

After all that about the gauge "in pattern" or not in pattern, I'm just doing my own thing after all!

The yarn is so beautiful. I was running around Knit This, Purl That looking for a worsted-ish yarn that was washable. I was running out of options, until I found this: Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks yarn, in such wonderful tweedy colored blues. The color is a bit darker than the photo shows. I imagine it with little woven-leather buttons - so manly and cozy!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Last of the Knit Picks book sale

Knit Picks order
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
I can't believe I shopped this sale 3 times! But I had heard good things on Claudia's blog that convinced me that Annie Modisett's new book, Romantic Hand Knits, would not just be a coffeetable book, but would have designs that I might make or that might inspire me to take little details and add them. (Says the girl who hasn't designed anything....) Flipping through casually, I really do think I'll love this book. So many nice things, really clear instructions, with schematics and good photos. I also took a dive into Elizabeth Zimmerman and got Knitting Without Tears.

Probably what started the whole thing was KnitPicks' announcement that they're making 16" circular needles in sizes larger than US3. I've been making hats on old Susan Bates Silvalumes, and their cables have been driving me crazy - twisty and tangly. So I got some needles and to put me above $45 (that discount on the books made me buy yarn, right?) I added 2 more colors of Swish Superwash DK. Now I can make me some booties and hats. Right.

Next up is actually a baby sweater for a far-away friend who had a boy baby. I've decided on Trellis, and I did a swatch last night. More on that later....

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

FO: Dashing for The Sweetie

Last week, The Sweetie was up at Tahoe with his parents for the last gasp of summer before school starts. Sunday was The Sweetie's birthday (same as Theresa's, so I drove up to pick him up from the Bay Area and we had a little party for him.

I made a truly local dinner - local figs and honey, grapes, raspberries (golden and red) and blackberries, cheese, and crackers, olives (which might have been local; they were from a local distributor), local wine from Wente, "local" pasta (Monterey pasta company in Salinas) with fresh pesto (local garlic, basil, walnuts, olive oil; nonlocal parmesan cheese - but at least it was from Parma, not fake parmesan!), tomato and cucumber salad with basil, roasted vegetables, corn on the cob, bread from a local bakery, and strawberry shortcake (flour, oil, sugar, and baking powder were not local, but we made the cake from scratch). Otherwise, everything we ate was local except for salt and pepper. I got most of it at the farmer's market that morning. It was a great, hearty feast! If there's any time it's easy to eat locally, it's during August in California.

I had intended for nearly a year to knit fingerless gloves for The Sweetie (and some for myself, too), and I decided that it was just doable during the week he was gone.

I knitted at lunchtime while taking a walk (I was the crazy lady at the beach walking around knitting instead of looking at the water, or at where she was going....). I knitted in the evenings watching TV. And these gloves really didn't take very long - they're mostly 4x1 rib with some cables thrown in for interest. It sports a peasant thumb, which was my first - very cool, except that I did have holes which I sewed up when I wove in the end. (There was some blog entry I read a while back that said peasant was where you used waste yarn, but afterthought was when you cut the yarn to make the hole - this one uses waste yarn!)

They fit, although the cables cause tightness around the forearm. It is my suspician that they are intended to fall right at the wrist, but then the hand is much too long. On further thought, it is probably a difference in row gauge - I used heavier yarn than called for, in a smaller needle, but I bet the row gauge threw me off. The photos don't seem to be nearly as long. In any case, the tightness will stretch out and it's not uncomfortable.

Pattern: Dashing, the smaller size.
Needles: Size 5 DPNs, Lantern Moon. It's a medium-brown, maple-ish colored hardwood.
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted, color 14ns, Denim, purchased last winter from The Knitting Zone for just this purpose!
Mods: None! Probably next time, if I use a heavier yarn like this, I should shorten the number of rounds between the cables and the thumb to compensate for the row gauge. Duh!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Old FO: First socks

First socks
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
It was 2000, my parents were taking me on a whirlwind tour of Italy, I had just begun the Professoring sweater (too big for travel) and I thought and thought, and decided (what many knitters already knew) that socks were the perfect travel knitting project.

I took myself to the local knitting shop (which I think was Auntie Jean's Handiworks in Clinton, NJ - no web site) and picked out some nice Brown Sheep Wildfoote - 2 skeins each in blue with white, green with pink, and black with pinkish mauve. I had grand plans to make socks for all of The Sweetie's family for Christmas. Oh, and I got a pattern pamplet (Peter Gregory?) with lots of sock patterns, and Brittany birch needles in size 0, 1, and 1.5.

I started a basic sock pattern - ribbed cuff, stockinette leg. But approximately 2 inches past the ribbing, I got bored with the basic stockinette, and I decided to continue on to the interesting bits. I made the socks short to fit my short feet and must have figured out Kitchener stitch from the instructions also. The socks were initially actually a little too short and the cast-on slightly too tight.

I decided to wear them around the house inside my slippers on cold nights. They have stretched just enough that the foot just barely fits and the cuff is no longer noticably tight. They wash and dry beautifully in the machine, with only slight felting on the bottoms. I really adore these socks, mostly because they were my first.

I made one more sock from the pattern pamplet, a lacy sock with a hemmed picot cuff. This one turned out way too tight (why did I not try it on before finishing it?) and I never made its mate. I still have it, though, and I plan to reclaim the yarn and make some socks I will like!

P.S.: Suzanne has summarized the popcorn experiment.

Friday, August 24, 2007

ECF: Garden Room at the Palace

Garden Room ceiling
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
Thanks, y'all, for the great comments on my Chevron Scarf! I'm blushing....

Last weekend, we celebrated The Sweetie's parents' 40th wedding anniversary. We went to church where they were married, followed by brunch at the Palace Hotel in the Garden Room.

It is a beautiful room, with glass ceilings, presumably lit by natural light, crystal chandeliers, and overall ornate decor. They had a live jazz band and several stations with breakfast, lunch, cheese, salads, omelettes made to order, sushi made to order, and dim sum. It was a beautiful place to have a wonderful meal.

More photos here.

Have a great weekend!