Friday, April 28, 2006

Because I never learn from my mistakes...

Hi Karen!

Because you asked, allow me to introduce you to my socks. I tried them on yesterday.

Padded footlets

I like the colours. The gray is nice and simple and the contrasting black band is great. The lace pattern is pretty. I love the heel. The pattern is from the Summer 2005 Interweave Knits. It's a PITA to knit (see this post). But I like the idea.

However, trying them on made me realise something might be amiss. So I tried something.

Problem detected

They're loose. Really loose. I could fit a fist in with my foot loose.

I got gauge! I swear!

So off to the frog pond they went.

And this is what they look like now.

Current state of affairs

The teeny picture size is to reflect how big I feel for knitting the same pattern twice and frogging it twice.

I need something new to knit.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Crisis averted. A cool mind saves the day.

Guess what's finished...

Leaf Lace Pullover

Pattern: Leaf Lace Sweater by Teva Durham, Interweave Knits Summer 2005.
Yarn: A little under 6 hanks Gjestal Naturgarn No. 1. It's blue... Uhhh... Fv: 191, Parti: 286?
Needles: Sz 11 Denise Interchangables

Frankly, I'm surprised that this actually looks okay on me. As mentioned, a bulky knit may not have been the best of ideas for my body type. The speed at which this knit up through was lovely (better than the *&^# Jaywalkers) and it is a wonderful pattern. I even did the unthinkable here! I knit and washed the gauge swatch. And how happy am I that I did that? I discovered that this yarn blooms when washed.

The shoulder looks a bit wonky there, but (say it with me) knitting is forgiving! I looks fine when worn. See?

Leaf Lace Pullover worn

I did make a few modifications though. My row gauge was off so I had to make all the pieces longer. I also altered the lace pattern on the sleeve with the yo, dec pattern on it. I didn't like the symmetry of it. I felt uncomfortable with the symmetry of the sleeve pattern when everything else was asymmetrical. So I did the yo, k2tog but skipped the ssk, yo.

The best thing about this is that this was all stash yarn. Yay for knitting up the stash!

Another FO also slid in under the flash and fanfare of the
first sweater I will not frog. Meet....

Irving Park Jaywalkers!


Jaywalkers by Grumperina.
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepard Sock in the Irving Park colourway, 2 sks with leftovers.
Needles: 1.75 mm Inox DPNs.

They're super cute socks and I love that they stay up so well, but dear lord that second sock took the most determination that a second sock has ever taken for me. I think almost everything that can be said about the Jaywalker pattern has been said.

I did have to make a modification to the pattern though. I ended up knitting the larger size for the leg, decreasing just before the heel and doing the smaller size for the foot. There was no way that the small size was going over my heel and no way it was going over my leg (I have fat legs). But this worked out perfectly.

And I love love love the yarn. It worked up beautifully.

I've started new socks (apparently the difficulty finishing the Jaywalkers didn't teach me anything). They're a pattern that I have abandoned before (apparently the abandonment didn't impact me hard enough either). I'm a sucker for punishment.

Reason 87435 why not to graft in the dark...

It all starts when the SO decides he wants to watch TV. "Lets watch an episode of the X-files."

You're feeling cocky and confident. "I'm really comfortable with kitchener stitch. I can do it while watching a sci-fi drama show. Do I need the light on in the other side of the room? Nah. I'm good."

Then you get to here:

Bad sign

And you think, "Hmmm... That's odd. I've got 14 stitches on the bottom needle and 15 on the top. And I know I had the same number of stitches on each needle when I started." And then it hits you. Crap. You've messed up somewhere.

So you decide to go back and tighten up the stitches (I like to graft loosely, then go back and tighten the stitches, so that I can match the stitches in the rest of the knitting). And then you see this:


It's hard to see what went wrong there, but I'll tell you. Somehow, I've managed to graft 2 stitches on the bottom to 1 stitch on the top. I must have forgotten to drop one of the stitches in the top in the grafting process.

Luckily, the new Harlot arrived in the mail yesterday. I abandoned the grafting. That's something that I'll have to face today.

As a side note, I thought kitchener stitch wouldn't be so bad. And on 16 live stitches at the toe of a sock, it isn't. But with 108 stitches on the bottom needle and the same amount on the top.... *eyes glaze over*

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

An almost FO you didn't even know was in the works!

I feared the worst. Those Jaywalkers? I was so over the pattern (Like, whatever. Gag me with a spoon. Grody.). Sewing the ears on Baby Bobbi Bear appeals as much as getting my fingernails pulled out (Chinese torture methods. We're mean mothers... ;) ). I was worried I was getting into (cover the little ones' ears now....) a knitting slump. I panicked. I looked through all my books. I pulled out all the old magazines I have. I was desperate for inspiration. Something that would satisfy me and use up some stash yarn. Enter the Leaf Lace Pullover (IK Summer 2005).

I don't know why I passed over it before. The bulky gauge scared me. People who are worried about upper arms that are heavier than they used to be and tummies that are more prominent than they'd like know to try and avoid super bulky knits. But the hanks of yarn from the failed
Blackberry (ugh, did that look terrible or what?) called. "I'm such a pretty blue. I'm light. I'm warm."

In 3 days, I've finished everything but the grafting of the two halves. Ends are even woven in.

I tried it on to show E tonight and burst into fits of giggles. "Looklooklooklooklook!"

Eric looked at me, confused.

"It looks like a sweater."

I stared at him.

"I was trying to make a sweater. Why would I make a sweater that didn't look like a sweater?"

Then I get all excited again. (I swear I'm like a fish. Swim swim swim swim... *hits glass* Ouch. *repeat*)

"Hee hee heee..... Take a picture of me!"

Leaf lace pullover

Eric climbed up onto the couch for that one.

So tonight, I'll be finishing off the kitchenering. Instead of working on this:

Baby bobbi bear

Or this:


(I would like to note that Eric's picture is the one that's blurry, not mine. I am proud of this. He's the camera nut after all.....)

I'll have a FO picture soon I hope! :D

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Because I'm slow....

I feel guilty about creating a post without posting pictures too. After all, I'm infinitely more drawn to posts with pictures, so why shouldn't anyone else be? So if you want photos, you should go see Trillian's blog and say hi (she was my Knittyboard downstream SP and I'm so sad that the last package is gone - there's something about buying for someone you know will be stoked about the package). Or you could go compliment C at Rose Read on her pretty pretty shoes (pics of shoes, honeys! Hot shoes too!). Or you could look at pictures of a snake eating a kangaroo. Brad informed us that this type or snake could very well eat a human too - if you were handcuffed and it was hungry, you might want to stay away from it.

But if you're sticking around to read this, WOW. I admire you. Can I hug you? I've got a couple of WIPs going that I hope will be FOs soon. Baby Bobbi Bear just needs ears, a face and a neck. However I hate sewing so that little fact may delay the WIP to FO conversion rate (mmmm... Science talk.... *swoon*).

I'm also finished a Jaywalker in Lorna's Laces and am progressing on the second. However I HAVE A HOLE IN MY HEEL. This is very upsetting as I haven't ever had a hole. This may be because I usually pick up two stitches between the heel and instep. I thought I was being overly paranoid. I had heard about people only picking up one stitch. So I decided to try it. I failed. That's okay. People fail sometimes. I can fail too.... sure....... I'm a big person. I can take defeat. Even from a weenie sock heel.

Amazingly enough, that's all I have on the needles right now. Of course ends still need to be woven in on the mass of yarn that is the Luna Lace Skirt but yeah... (see note about sewing above)

I do have another crazy story. It seems like my life is all crazy stories nowadays. Eric and I were crossing the street just outside home. The little "walk" dude was on and everything. But this guy is really itching to turn left past us. He tried to beat us to the crosswalk but Eric's a fast walker and he just couldn't pull it off. Unfortunately for car dude, I'm a slow walker. But apparently that doesn't matter because he decides to come accelerating at me anyway. He enters the crosswalk about 1 foot away from me, Eric turns around and yells, "What the ****?" while waving the umbrella at him. Car guy FLIPS OUT. He flies out of the car and runs towards us. Yelling, "What's your problem? What do you think you are doing? What's your problem?" Uhhh... you just about hit me? If I wasn't walking faster I'd likely be badly injured or dead?

Eric's obviously not going to have some frantic yelling dude grabbing him so he tries to keep him away with the umbrella. No dice. Guy latches on to umbrella and refuses to let us go. Security guard from the construction site across the street runs over and asks what happened. I tell him car guy almost ran me over and now is wondering why we were upset. He tries to separate them. No dice. Car guy does not want to be separated from Eric. (Eric's that charming, really. ;) ) I go over and try to get them separated. Car guy then proceeds to grab my wrist. Hard. I'm not impressed obviously. I look at him, lower my pitch (I'm bloody high-pitched) and growl, "Let me go." He continues yelling, "What's your problem?" I repeat, "Let me go." I tell him to let me go five times before I have to make him let me go (yay me for remembering how to make someone let me go!!!). I'm not impressed. Neither is security guard.

Security guard finally gets the two of them separated and then car guy unbelievably goes to car to get cell phone so he can call the police. I may have laughed. "You want to call the police? That's great. If you want to talk to them, I'd LOVE to talk to them." Car guy lunges at Eric again. Grabs Eric's jacket and refuses to let him go. Eric is pretty pissed at this point. So he whacks him with the umbrella. This is the vegetarian. Who doesn't eat meat because it's mean. And doesn't like Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels because it's too violent. (It's not real, dear. It's all pretend, darling.) Eric just wants to go at this point. Security guard wants him to let us go so we can leave. I want to stay and chat with the police.

This was a few days ago. It was crazy. But I'm proud of myself. I know how to break a dude's grip on me. Okay, okay. So he was little. And in a fight, I'd probably win. I'm a scrapper. And now thinking about how he wanted to call the cops... I'm grinning.

I seriously should do a crazy story of the week installment or something. What can I say? I'm surrounded by nutsos (and yes, that includes you, Eric dear.)

'Til next time, when I get my act together and take some pictures....

Monday, April 03, 2006

WIPs, fiber and snakes

Eric and I took a trip out to Fibrefest International in Abbotsford on Saturday. Given how often I've gone to car shows with him, he was incredibly impatient. And I think upset that he was one of a very few men there. On the upside, he's promised not to drag me to car shows this season. Except maybe the hot rod meetup in North Van, where I can go hang out in Michaels while he ogles cars.

I did some light purchasing at Fibrefest. I got myself some silk hankies, inspired by Knitty and Zib. I also scored some pretty dyed Corriedale and some wool for my SP, Trillian.

Fiberfest haul

After the little time we spent at Fibrefest, we proceeded over to Eric's friend Brad's house. Brad has snakes. Lots of them. In fact, he supplies snakes, spiders and other creepy crawlies for the movies. He's also into breeding them for different traits. We talked about the genetics behind the different varities of snakes that he had. I learned a lot in that trip. Like did you know, pound for pound, centipedes are the most vicious predators in the world? Neither did I. And did you know that tarantulas can lose a leg no problem? During the next molt, they just come out of their exoskeleton with all eight legs! And I got to hold snakes! For the first time! If you need a snake, let me know. We'll see if we can hook you up. ;) (Excuse the hair, I need a haircut.)

Snakey picture

In knitting news, I'm progressing on my Jaywalkers. In Lorna's Laces Shepard Sock, the Irving Park colourway. I started the larger size this time after reading about people having trouble putting them on. So now I can get them over my foot but I am concerned about the foot. I have a feeling they will be too large. I might decrease down to the smaller size when I get to the foot. Has anyone tried that yet?

LL's Jaywalkers

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Muahahaha! Go go go SP! (And some FOs too.)

Why did that title remind me of the Wizard of Oz? Maybe it was the evil laugh. Maybe the 'And some...' part was similar enough to 'And your little dog too!' to trigger the memory. Maybe it was because I just visited the blog of my lovely downstream SP, who just happens to love the Wizard of Oz. Who knows? But enough with this. I have good things to show you (and more stories from my crazy life).

I was sooo excited to come home yesterday to an SP package! Oh my lordie it was so perfect for me! Thankies thankies thankies, upstream SP! She put in a Moosewood cookbook (yummy yummy yummy - you must be psychic! I just ordered a Moosewood cookbook - thankfully a different one, but one all the same!), some chocolate for real hot chocolate (I haven't had real hot chocolate since Mexico, almost two years ago!) and to go with the general yumminess theme, a hank of Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in Country Garden, such a beautiful colourway (swoon). Lookie lookie lookie!

2006 - Apr 1 004

Thanks again! I will admit it, I was NOSY. So I looked at the return address. And I know your name now (unless you're one of those highly deceptive types... are you?) and I know your general area, but I am STUMPED. I have no idea who you are!

I haven't been totally slacking on the knitting front either. I do have some FOs to show for my time unaccounted for. (Yes yes yes it's been a week since I last posted - see? Commitment issues!) I finished my socks! See?

Pattern: Socks from Ann Budd's The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns
Yarn: Most of a ball of OnLine Supersocke in colour ?
Needles: 2.00 mm Brittany birch DPNs for most of it, 2.25 mm Brittany birch DPNs for the ribbing

As I mentioned before, this is such a soothing knit. It was nothing but miles of knit knit knit. This was my first heel flap too (I've only ever done short-row heels before) and no holes! Yay!

Next up, my finished Flower Basket Shawl! (Click for big)

2006 - Apr 1 013

Note the pile of dirty clothes. I know Eric will be horrified to see this.

Pattern: Flower Basket Shawl from Interweave Knits (can't remember the issue)
Yarn: 2 balls Misti Alpaca Lace
Needles: Good lord I don't remember

This was one of the objects I knit while in Hong Kong. I realise it's been over a month since I was in Hong Kong but it hasn't been posted because I haven't been bothered to block it since a week ago. It's a great pattern, and easy but not so easy it gets boring. I'm highly pleased with the colour and it's not too big (one of these days I'll get a pic of me wearing it). I just need a shawl pin now!

Soundtrack for blocking? Rezillos. I love them. Everyone should listen to them. Poppy British punk band from the 80's. No one does it that good nowadays.

In the WIP pile I've got an almost finished pair of socks (they just need to be bound off and ends woven in, but I cannot for the life of me find my tapestry needles), a Spiderweb Capelet from SNBN missing the pom poms (I hate making pom poms, they make me stressy) and the LL's from my previous post is becoming a pair of Jaywalkers.

And I did promise a crazy story or two, right? My life is nuts - I don't need to make this up folks, it's all real.

A few days ago, Eric got woken up at 3:30 in the morning to lots of shouting, a huge bang, and lights flashing outside. Apparently I sleep like a brick (you will agree once you hear about the source of the bang). Background? The neighbours are a PITA (hee hee... see Eric? I use that expression with more people than just you!). Loud thumping music all night, often enough that I curse their names (or would if I knew them) every night I hear them partying.

The story stars a few hours previous. Neighbours were at a bar drinking and they apparently got into a fight with some other guys. They leave the bar and the fight continues to our apartment building (conveniently downtown). Neighbours go upstairs. People they were fighting with go up to the concierge. They tell him to call the cops. "Those guys have guns!" Cops come and break down the door. Thus the loud bang. Their door was a piece of plywood for a day, before they finally got someone to fix it. Yes folks, you could probably break my door down and I'd sleep through it.

Yesterday, we wake up and hmm, weird. Turn the hot water on and all you get is a cold trickle. Few minutes later, Eric gets up and turns the water on. Nothing's coming on.

Eric: Grrr. I'm grumpy. I'm grumpy man. I don't like not having a shower in the morning. Grr.
Brittany: I love you dear. Call me and tell me why there's no water if there's a note in the elevator.
Exit Eric.
Phone rings.
Brittany: Hello?
Eric: I know why there's no water. There's no note in the elevator. You should get dressed and come down.
Brittany: Mfghpp? Huh? Why?
Eric: I'm standing in about 6 inches of water right now. The lobby's flooded. Water's coming through the ceiling.
Brittany: Oh.


We're going to Fiberfest today! Yay! And then we visit Brad and see his snakes! Update later!

(This was waaaay longer than intended. Sorry!)