Wednesday, August 29, 2007


And not the washcloth kind.

I was going to blog next about the money I just spent on this project (short version: worth it, but frightening for one so very out of work), or on the wonderful experience I had at Unraveled.

But three (Three! Full-sized! With cable! I always skimp on swatching!)swatches later, and I am no closer to starting my there's-no-way-I'm-going-to-finish-this-sweater-in-three-weeks three-week Tangled Yoke Cardigan.

I tried Rowan Felted Tweed, the yarn called for in this project. It worked up lovely, right on gauge, but the tweediness wasn't working for me with this project. I wanted the cable to shine a bit more. (But I love tweed otherwise, I swear!)

So at Unraveled I pondered and compared and measured and thought and even asked for help (it's difficult for me. I almost neurotically like to appear like I know what I'm doing). The Unraveled person (I didn't get her name) was wonderful, helpful, gave me lots of options and then backed off to let me ponder and compare some more. I ended up with Jo Sharp Alpaca Kid Lustre in a deep purple color.

I knew it was going to be a problem when I chose the dark color. I knew it was going to be an issue that the yarn felt a little weightier than the Felted Tweed. But I took it home, and knocked out another cabled swatch. It's just too dark and fuzzy, and it eats up the cable, and the gauge is off.

What's making me the most crazy is the obvious difference in thickness of the two DK yarns. I'm not concerned about conformity of all yarns to one thickness here, but more: how do I pick a yarn? All of the Unraveled recommended yarns, all DK, are even thicker than the Jo Sharp.

So it's back to the yarn store today -- at the very least, for a new color of the Jo Sharp. Possibly a return to Felted Tweed, possibly a new yarn.

Ah well. I guess I shouldn't be complaining about spending another few hours in a yarn store.

Most recent podcast: Sticks and String.
Currently listening to: A friend on the phone.
What I should be doing: Going to the yarn store!

Saturday, August 25, 2007


With Eunny Jang's Tangled Yoke Cardigan from this Fall's Interweave Knits. Absolutely obsessed. I bought the magazine from the store even though I just subscribed (it won't mail until September!); I've stalked it on Ravelry; I dreamed about it last night.

I've been eyeing it for a few weeks, but I think this new found obsession has been brought on by a trip -- to Scotland. In less than a month I'll be flying with TreeHugger boyfriend and friends to Edinburgh for a week. I'm very excited -- it's been so long since I've traveled for vacation, and I do love Scotch, beer, kilts, and Scottish accents. And haggis. Really, I do!

But -- apparently my brain has decided that Tangled Yoke is THE sweater I must have with me on this journey. Urban Aran -- which I had originally planned to finish and bring with -- has been slighted by my mind as being too bulky for travel. So on Tuesday, once I'm back in southern Washington (more on that), I'll head to Unraveled in Vancouver to pick up the necessities and get to work. Then all that's left to do is knit a sweater in three weeks.

Right now TH boyfriend and I are in Seattle, staying with family. We're in town to see Young Frankenstein, in previews before heading to NY. Hilarious -- definitely some work to be done, but hilarious. It makes the bits of me that miss my home and my youth as a Broadway brat feel a little bit better.

For now, I'll leave you with a picture from West Seattle. Blurry, but emotive. It's good to be home.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Duck has landed.

I have landed! Battle Ground, Washington, about 2o miles northeast of Portland, is my home for the time being. TreeHugger boyfriend and I are crashing with some great friends here. The Duck and I were greeted with a welcoming feast of cheese, fresh-picked raspberries, and Scotch. Lovely!

The trip was more enjoyable than it probably should have been, given I was driving 8-10 hours a day, alone, but I can entertain myself endlessly. I saw friends and family, caught up on my podcasts, and got excited at the first sight of mountains, canyons, trees, the Columbia River, Safeway, and windmills. I saw a license plate from every state but Hawaii (I once got all 50, plus the District of Columbia). This is my eighth cross-country drive: back and forth with friends once; four times by myself; twice with TreeHugger boyfriend; five times west, three times east. I have to admit that I'm a little disappointed that I probably won't get to do it again any time soon.

All of that stopping in between the driving allowed for a lot of knitting time. Knitting served particularly well as a way to release some of the energy stored up while sitting in a car for an entire day. I focused mostly on the Baltic Knee Socks, with excellent progress to show for it (excuse the pale legs):
Including my first short-row heel:

Not perfect, but not bad. I won't show you that the other side has a hole an eyelet in the corner. I enjoyed making a different heel, and I'm looking forward to perfecting my technique on the second sock. I'm loving the Fearless Fibers superwash merino in Brick House (the color is more accurate on my screen in the second picture). The yarn just goes on and on and on, and I've never received so many compliments on any other colorway. And besides, I think the yarn is just glad to be home!

More to come. I've got to spread out the blog lovin' (blovin'!), particularly since I'm unemployed and don't have much else to do (and I'm loving it!).

Most recent podcast: NPR's Story of the Day.
Currently listening to: a humming refrigerator.
What I should be doing: Responding to email.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A brief update.

The cross-country-ing (cringe, you grammar fiends!) is going quite well. I am a very strange person who enjoys long, long drives across the country. This is the eighth time I've driven across the country, the fifth time by myself, and it still has not gotten old.

Not a lot of time for updating, but: the socks grow. I missed Stitches (it's all for the best). Gella's in Hays, Kansas is fabulous. I am super excited to be back in the mountains. I'll write in full soon!

My companion on the trip. You can chart our progress here.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Things I did not need to know.

Franklin at The Panopticon just happened to mention the date of Stitches Midwest in his blog. That date happens to be the exact weekend I will be driving from New Jersey via Chicago to Washington State.

That may be a temptation I can't resist.

Yay for moving on the hottest day of the summer!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

To sock club, or not to sock club?

To sock club, of course. But life is crazy right now -- the moving truck arrives on Tuesday, and I'm technically homeless for the foreseeable future (not to worry, of course -- I've gotten many, many offers of places to crash until I find a job and, more importantly, pin down a location).

So, no stable address to send packages, little time to actually knit. I have to say no to a three month, reasonably-priced sock club from a gorgeous dyer, right?

Or maybe I can argue that the socks will keep me sane. It's probably telling that I haven't shared the name of the sock club, although if I were smart, I would, and then all the memberships would be gone.

The Artful Dodger, helpfully illustrating how difficult it is for me to take picture of my knitting on the lawn with this attention whore around.

Most recent podcast: Nature Stories.
Currently listening to: WFUV.
What I should be doing: Cleaning and packing as ever.