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?