Knit Picky: January 2007

"properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit...
 and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit either."
~elizabeth zimmerman

Monday, January 29, 2007
YFC--YAY! (Updated)

Somehow I managed to miss two of the questions for the YFC secret pal exchange. I'm adding them now. Sorry!

If you are not a part of YFC (Yarn Focus Challenge) '07, you might not find this information all that interesting, but bear with me. There are two pictures wayyyyy at the bottom.

To follow is Rebekah's fun and funny questionnaire for my secret pal (and anybody else who's interested) to read and see what we're all about. I got my secret pal today and have already checked out that person's answers. And darnit if we don't have some of the same ones!

A) What type of yarn do you knit with most often?

I love merino wool in its many incarnations: cashmerino (who wouldn't?), sock yarns, etc.

B) Is there any type of yarn that you would love to try but haven't yet, such as bamboo, banana fiber?

I've never tried banana fiber, or recycled silk and yesterday was the first time I ever read about the shellfish yarn (and I saw it on TWO blogs). I'm pretty open to trying just about anything new. In fact, I would love the opportunity!

#1) In your opinion what is a luxury yarn?

Anything that I have to reallllllly think about before buying. Or more likely have never bought but only admired from afar. Some silks, cashmere and quiviut (from what I hear; never seen it in person).

#2) Is there any type of yarn or fiber content you dislike or would prefer not to receive?

I have become something of a yarn snob with experience. In the beginning I bought all kinds of novelty yarns and anything that was a 'bargain'. Now I know that quality and fiber content mean much more to me. Having said all that, the only thing I am really not a fan of is 100% acrylic yarn. It squeaks!

#3) What type of garments do you most often knit?

Up to this point I've knit one adult sweater (Sitcom Chic) and one baby sweater. Mostly I do accessories: scarves, mitts, hats, and my current obsession SOCKS. I am a process knitter and I take forever to knit, so I really, truly have to commit to anything more complex. Although I have yarn earmarked for about three full sweaters...

#4) What types of knitting books do you enjoy?

I'm a book lover from way back, and when I started knitting it sort of transferred over. I love books with personality (The Yarn Harlot), books that have interesting patterns (Teva Durham, Nora Gaughan), books that are fun to read (Mason Dixon Knitting, Knit 2 Together). Pretty much, it's hard to go too far wrong with knitting books. I also love Interweave Knits but haven't ventured too far into other knitting mags except for Vogue Knitting.

#5) What is a color you like but rarely or never buy yourself?

Probably blue or red. I always buy myself earth tones (I'm a Fall, dontchaknow) and I have an inordinate amount of pink sock yarn. I don't seem to have many blues or reds, though, and I think there's nothing like a baby-light or midnight blue or a flame-like or crimson red.

#6) If you were pregnant and had to name your baby a fiber, what would her/his name be?

Do I have a grudge against this kid?? I think I would go with Silk so that she could eventually feature in some kind of Danielle Steel-ish story. :)

#7) Do you spin?

Nope, and oddly (for a knitter) I don't really have a desire to do so. I'm happy with my yarn made for me, perfect and pretty.

#8) What is one fiber you've never spun?


#9) If someone in your family or a best friend had to describe you in one word, what would it be?

Picky -- hence the blog title

#10) Please tell us one odd thing about you.

Where to start?? I have a lot of food 'issues'. For instance, I won't eat lettuce on or in anything, but I looove salads.

#11) What was your favorite cartoon when you were little.

Scooby Doo

#12) Do you have animals? If so, please name them and tell us a little about them.

We have two cats: Max [the boy cat] is mine (a.k.a. Tyrannosaurus Max, Maxers, Maxaroni and Cheese, The White Menace).


Inari [the girl cat] is madly in love with my husband, so she's definitely his. (a.k.a. Little Miss Mini Paws, Missy Mew, The Dark One).

The Boy cuddles3

#13) And last but not least, if you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

England. We were there for our honeymoon last summer for a week+. I loved London, but could see living outside the City in a smaller town (we loved Chester). Oh how I want to go back!!

Whew! That's a lot of ME. I hope that this helps my secret pal understand me a bit. If you have more questions, secret pal, let me know!

posted by Stephanie at 4:47 PM

Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Disneyana, part II

Oh! I can't believe I forgot to mention one of my favorite things from our trip to the magic kingdom. That would be the girl sitting in front of us on the tram on the way back to the parking structure. The girl with the Princess Leia buns earmuffs. Don't know what I'm talking about? Why, that would be the next fashion sensation that I'm seriously considering embracing!

Not a great picture, but the only one I could find in my short search on the Internets

And now for my last Disney thing -- I promise.


I am a big Winnie the Pooh fan. My car has Pooh bear floor mats, steering wheel cover, pins stuck into the ceiling, little hanging doodads all over--the ultimate fan's car* (except for the Winnie the Pooh -- alone -- license plate frame I've yet to find). I've been trying for years to find a Winne the Pooh antenna ball. I look every time we go to Disneyland, or to the Disney store. Someone finally told me that they don't make or sell them.

Then while in Chester, England we went to the Disney store to get a gift for The Boy's faux pa** who is a huge Mickey Mouse fan. And lo! I found a WtP antenna ball. My search was over, my car decor was almost complete (except for the license plate frame).

And then last week, while driving on the freeway, a large piece of cardboard flew up from the roadway and hit my antenna. Taking Pooh with it. !!!!

So now a desperate plea for you international types: if you know of anyplace online that I can find one or if you ever find yourself in a Disney shop and see WtP gracing an antenna ball--will you get me one?!!?!?! I will reward you somehow. But I need my antenna ball back. He is so missed. [sob]

*Once when taking my car to the dealer, I got out and the service guy got in to check the mileage. He laughed and said, "Wow, your kids must love riding in your car!" I looked him directly in the eye and told him, "I don't have any kids." I'm not sure who he was more embarrassed for, me or himself.

**faux pa = The Boy's father's partner; you know, 'faux' as in not really his dad!

posted by Stephanie at 4:40 PM

Monday, January 22, 2007
Disneyland Fun

The Boy and I are very fortunate in that we live really close to Disneyland. So close in fact that every night we know when it's 9:30 because we hear the fireworks. I know!

So this last Saturday we went to 'the happiest place on earth' (we have passes). I must say, if you are into people watching (or, um, people mocking, as the case may be), there really is no better place. Behold, just two of the interesting folks/situations observed.

1) The guy who surveyed us on our way out of the park named Precious. He looked perfectly amiable and nice, but I don't know if I would have gone as far as all that.

2) The little boy in one of the Disney stores decked out entirely in a Disney princess ensemble. Cinderella, I believe. The dress, the wand, possibly the tiara, I'm not sure. I'd like to believe that I would be one of those mothers (presuming I had children) who would be cool with whatever my kid wanted without feeling the societal pressure for gender conformation.

Instead, each time I saw the kid in the store with his nonchalant mom, I cringed a little bit. Not because I'm one of those nuts who thinks that letting a boy wear girl clothes 'will turn him gay' or anything strange like that. My insecurity or discomfort is more from the perspective of not wanting the child to be hurt by the cruelty of other children for failing to look or act as mandated by our culture.


If you live in southern California, or near Disneyworld you are probably bombarded by these commercials for the new 'Rockin' Space Mountain, playing the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I expected this to be very hokey. I mean, how much of a difference can the music make to the roller coaster experience, right? As it turns out, A LOT. The Boy and I tried out Space Mountain after it was updated or refurbished or whatever '05 or '06 and were greatly underwhelmed. It didn't seem different at all. In fact, we haven't ridden it since. On a whim this time, though, we decided to give it a go. And now? Now it is much cooler. The rock music addition really did make the ride more enjoyable. They have images projected on the walls, and the loud pounding music really underscores the experience. I highly recommend it!


I did not, in fact, end up blocking Clapotis this weekend because we did not get home from Disneyland till midnight and then Sunday I had knitting meetup, so maybe next weekend. The Boy works all weekend, so it's probably a good project. The only downside is The Beasties like to examine my handiwork all pinned out on those little foam blocks. Last time I did blocking I pinned it all out, then covered it in a sheet and put some heavy items on top to prevent the kitties from a) eating the pins and thus costing us a lot of money, or b) messing up my knitting and thus costing themselves a lot of pain.

posted by Stephanie at 4:55 PM

Thursday, January 18, 2007

I have been trying to get in off and on all day and everytime I log in my computer just hangs up and gives me an error message. I most sincerely hope that this is being worked on, or we (that would be me, The Boy, The Beasties and The Yarn) will have to find a new place to mosey on over to. And I am incredibly lazy and cheap, so that won't be easy! Grrrr.



So, on the good news front, I finished something. Yay!


I love it, but I need to block it. Badly. Here is a glamour shot for ya.


Isn't The Boy a fabulous model? And you--yeah, you--pay no attention to the mess all around The Boy. You are only supposed to check out the yarny goodies.

Specs: The marvelous Clapotis by Kate Gilbert -- the girl is a genius. I used 2-3/4 balls Lorna's Laces worsted weight in colorway Vera. I started out on awful Bryspun plastic needles (because I was flying to my honeymoon) and then got to switch over to my wonderful, wonderful KnitPicks Options needles. Love 'em!

Like everyone else, I loved the adventure of purposely dropping stitches. But I had a problem, and I'm wondering if I'm the only one. While plugging along on the last little bit of the Clapotis, I had one of those experiences of knitting dementia or knitting delusion that the Yarn Harlot likes to reference--a moment in which I knew that 'this is just not right' but I kept going. Rather than being a lovely parallelogram, as I imagine she is meant to be, one corner (the end of the knit) shoots off a bit alarmingly to the right.

I think it looks pretty wretched, but I am going to see how the magic of blocking works for me before taking any drastic measures. You can kind of see an example of the horror draped over The Boy's hand in the picture--looks innocent enough, but why does the other end not look like that?? It doesn't help, of course, that The Boy started referring to that corner as the bat wing portion of the wrap. Hm.

I'll block the darn thing this weekend, and we'll see how she fares. I've been working on her forever, so I really don't want to start over. There is definitely a downside to being THE SLOWEST KNITTER IN THE WORLD. EVER. FOR REALS.

I cast on wayyyy back in June, when my honeymoon began, and quickly discovered that knitting on the tour bus was not going to happen if I didn't want to be sick the whole trip. So I got a wee little corner accomplished and that was it for June. I picked her back up in July and knit the increase section and began the decrease sections pretty steadily. Then she languished while I completed other stuff. And more things. And a few others. I finally picked her back up about two weeks ago and cast off on Monday night. So technically knitting Clapotis took me 7 months, but not really.

And now I'm working on Koigu socks for The Boy. On bamboo DPNs. I got the magic loop book and figured out how to do it, but I know DPNs. I've actually built a good relationship with them. Maybe I'll try magic loop for my next socks...

posted by Stephanie at 6:00 PM

Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Well, What Do You Know? -- A Fly By

I have been trying to get into blogger for two weeks and it has frozen up my computer. Gah! So....yeah.

I survived the holidays; in fact, I rather enjoyed them. I took some time off work that was desperately needed for mental resuscitation and I did almost nothing except read and eat. Bad for Weight Watchers, good for my mental health.

So I will need to come back here and post more soon. I really didn't think it would let me in, so this is really sort of an accidental post.

Suffice to say, things are good. I realized that today I've been married for 7 months already. How did that happen? I'm swamped at work, naturally, and exhausted when I get home. I need to get back to the gym (see above paragraph about holiday and post-holiday eating frenzy). I'm in the home stretch on Le Clapotis. I've been excessively good on the not buying yarn front since December 1 (um, the outrageous bag sale--see below).

I joined Rebekah's Yarn Focus Challenge '07 and am feeling confident that I can do this. I might not like it much (I <3 sock yarn!), but I think I can do it. That's about the extent of the excitement in my life lately. Ooh, and my friend took me to a swap meet--my first ever (yeah, I'm sheltered) and I scored 3 cool necklaces for the grand total of $6. Woohoo! I'm wearing one right now and I lurrrrve it.

That's about it. I know, earth-shattering excitement. I hope you are all doing well. I'm still trying to catch up on blogs (didn't read those during my holiday break either; in fact, didn't use the computer at all--lovely). I really will try to post more soon. There are all kinds of knits that I would like to tackle in '07 and obviously I'll be working on stash with the YFC in full effect come Monday.

Oh, and I'm most definitely NOT watching the president speak tonight. I'd like to have a good evening. Me and Bones will curl up with Clapotis, a cat and some tea.

Mmmmm. Sloth--my favorite deadly sin.

posted by Stephanie at 1:23 PM