Friday, May 25, 2007


We had a visit last week from an old friend who had never seen the Pacific Northwest, so of course we showed him the sights, which is an excellent excuse to see them again, ourselves.

We witnessed the beauty of our lovely state:

Photo credit on this one goes to The Lady.

We witnessed the pooches trying to save their favorite person from what they believed was certain death:

We witnessed a grown man being pushed around a Seattle city block in a pink Powerwheels Jeep, by another man (also full grown) singing Prince's "Kiss". He's learning the lyrics in this shot:

Which I hope you will take as sufficient evidence that no one involved was remotely sober, including the photographer. Said photographer, however, managed to fall into bed afterwards and knit a full repeat on the Baudelaires, which should itself be taken as sufficient evidence that this pattern is way easier than it looks. Possibly the highest beauty-to-difficulty ratio yet, narrowly beating out the Child's First Socks.

Back in Portland, however, I have evidence only of the fact that I am a terrific flake:

Endpaper, missing only a thumb, Baudelaire, waiting patiently to be bound off, aaaand... Rusted Root, cast on yesterday. I wonder if the ladies of the liberation front will allow me into their ranks with only 99% of a sock?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

I been taggeded.

It's Friday! And I'm sick, but not with mono! And I may have to pay for part of the sewer repair on the new house out of pocket! This calls for a meme.

Specs tagged me for the 7 or 8 random things:

1. Although you can't really tell from the outside, one of my nostrils is several times larger than the other. It's from a freak gymnastics accident when I was 14 in which I walloped myself in the face with my own knee.

2. I pronounce the word 'only' as 'onling'. I got it from my mom; blame her.

3. I have a deep affection for semicolons.

4. I knit continental and combined. I once converted a woman (a relatively new knitter) to this side of the force during a conversation on the bus.

5. I have a bachelor's degree in computer science and cognitive studies, and graduated assuming I'd eventually go on to grad school in the same, but in the meantime (working as a research assistant in an Alzheimer's center) I've done a bit of an academic about face, and I'm now taking prereqs for nursing school. I still have dreams about the life of a CS professor, and wake up feeling sad and conflicted, but overall I'm thrilled with my change of plans. Working directly with people who need my help RIGHT THEN, having a flexible schedule, not sitting at a desk all day, never having to write a research grant again? I'll take it.

6. I once made a brief attempt at keeping a political blog, and that's actually where this blog's title originally came from -- something about a feeling that the time for change is well past due. Which is how I feel about the ways handcrafting has changed my life, too, as well as my career switch.

7. I have a few memories of being a baby (learning to walk, learning to rhyme sounds), and many, many very clear memories of age 2-4. Apparently this is unusual. When I ask people roughly what age their earliest memory is from, the average answer is around 5. I know a woman who literally remembers nothing before middle school.

8. I can hum and whistle at the same time.

Hokay... tagging Macoco, Courtney, Gail, and Gray La Gran.

Purple socks: past, present, and future


I tried, I really did. I cast on for Eunny's Bayerische socks, and I plugged away with real diligence and optimism. I wish I'd taken a picture, but I was just too discouraged. They weren't too hard, exactly, they just moved so damn slow. The result was beautiful but if I'm not enjoying it, what's the point?


The second I ripped out the German Slog I cast on for these in the same yarn (the Lorna's Laces Blackberry that I jettisoned from the Endpaper project awhile back). I remembered immediately why it's so important to enjoy the process as well as the product: this first one is flying off the needles.

Seriously, in the time it's taken to knit this much, I had gotten maybe three inches of the Bayerische.

This pair is for my sockapalooza pal, who quite fortuitously has the same foot length and circumference as I do, though a lower instep.


I won something. Me! And in no time flat, this arrived in the mail from the lovely Julie Frick.

It's Artyarns Supermerino 4. I've never knit with this stuff before and I'm so glad it's landed in my lap. JF, you can keep destashing in my direction all you like. I'll even pay you next time!

It's super soft, and less shiny than most sock yarns I've seen. I think it will become a pair of Jaywalkers for my female companion. I don't think either of us can ever have too much purple.

Monday, May 14, 2007

A Calorimetric Mother's Day

Ms. Frick's adorable calorimetry provided the last little push I needed to whip up one of these for my sister last week while we were lazing about at the coast. Apparently when my mom saw it her exact words were "I need three." Since I got this news on the day before Mother's Day, I couldn't help fulfilling one third of her request.

Warm ears and rhodies.

Mom actually isn't a lush, whatever this photo might imply.

I got both headwarmers out of one skein of Cascade Jewel, with a bit to spare. I cast on 100 stitches for Anna's (she has a big head like me), and 90 for Mom's (shoulda done 88 or 92, for a multiple of four, but it turned out fine), and did 10 repeats of row 5 for each. I used US 7s despite using a bulkier yarn than called for, and I like the denser gauge a lot. I'm going to need to make more of these.

And now, what will likely become a weekly "progress shot", until these ladies are full grown:

Starbuck is getting to be distinctly chicken-shaped.

Monday, May 07, 2007


I've been holding out on saying anything, because I didn't want to jinx it like last time, but... I think we bought a house! I'm not counting my chickens until the keys are in my hand, but we're done with negotiations, inspections, more negotiations, and now all we're waiting for is the appraisal, and we should be moving in less than a month.

We finally found something we loved and could afford by expanding our search to include larger houses where we could have two housemates, and thus more rental income. This one is an adorable 1924 bungalow with five (five!) bedrooms, meaning that The Lady and I will each have a small office/studio to ourselves. I have been waiting my entire adult life to say those words.

Despite being of exceedingly cute design and well laid out, it's dirty and full of incredibly tacky shit. Fake wood paneling, ugly linoleum, fir floors under two layers of vinyl, which is itself under shag carpet.... you name it, we've got it. The next few months of my life will include much ripping, scraping, sanding and painting, so the knitting will slow down a bit, but I'll be regaling you with crafts of the homeowner variety.

To wit: I wasn't being entirely truthful about not counting my chickens. Meet the newest members of the fold. (1, 2, 3.)

From left to right, Starbuck, Lambchop, and Isabella.

These ladies came home with us yesterday from Boring, and I am in love with them already. (Especially Lambchop, but don't tell.) I've been wanting chickens for years, and I can't wait to watch them grow into big, sweet, clucking egg machines.

Starbuck is a Buff Orpington, Lambchop a Silver Laced Wyandotte, and Isabella an Ameraucana (blue eggs!). We picked the breeds for friendliness, laying ability, and looks, and I certainly can't say I'm disappointed as to the latter so far. They're so cute I can hardly stay at work, knowing they're chittering away at home.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Something new.

The new and improved endpaper mitt marches on. I'm still loving it but it hasn't changed much and doesn't make great blog fodder (and the only other knitting going on right now is swatching for Rusted Root, which is even less so), so instead I thought I'd give you a peek at what else I've been up to.

The Earth Day fair where The Lady and I had a booth with a friend of ours wasn't a great success -- even native Cascadians can think of better things to do in the rain the stroll around looking at artisan goods.

But it did prompt me to make up a bunch of linocut cards, and I discovered that I really, really like it. I love the reproducibility and the flexibility, the way the work of minutes to hours can be endlessly reprinted, recombined, and recolored. Lazy perfectionist, remember?

I also love how it's clearly homemade, anyone can do it, and yet it looks crisp and... i don't know... real somehow, in a way that drawings and paintings don't. At least not when I do them.

These thank you cards are my favorites. (The filigree pattern is shamelessly lifted from carvings on the walls of the Alhambra.) I may try to make more, along with some larger prints, and see if I can get a booth at the Sunday Art Mart this year. Even if I don't sell much, getting out and meeting other portland crafters will be fun. And the peoplewatching! How I love to peoplewatch.

In the meantime, I'll probably put these up on Etsy, so keep an eye out if they strike your fancy.