Monday, January 26, 2009

Elucidate! Reiterate! Interrogate! Procrastinate!

My children took my education in hand after my shameful admission last year that I didn't know what a Dalek was. In fact, they gave me Series 4 for Christmas, so I am now All Caught Up. And a fan, of course. I always knew I would be, in a resistance-is-useless kind of way. I just kept postponing the inevitable.

Pattern: Extermiknit
Materials: the same as for last year's faucet-cover Dalek-outfit
Modifications: copper beads instead of bobbles, and a bit of copper wire (leftover from the kitchen remodeling, with the ends bent over, so no sharp edges) inserted into his arm for stability

This particular project gave rise to one of those wonderful, entertaining, family games that just happen - you can never seem to make them work when you set out to do it on purpose. It involved finding all the possible 4-syllable verbal commands ending in -ate that English provides - without recourse to the Internet. We were coming up with them for days!

Son, if you've got a better picture, I'll post it. This one is not one of my better efforts.

Monday, January 12, 2009

a little hitch

in the knitting content, as my computer and camera have decided to stop speaking to each other.

I'll distract you:

When my kids were teenagers but still at home, I would perch on the first step of our staircase, which ends by the front door, to say goodbye. Despite a lifetime of trying, I've never quite reached 5'5", so the step was a good height from which to hug my nearly-grown children as they headed out the door.

As my husband and I headed out the door to a holiday party this weekend, my son (who is pushing 6' if not already there) stood on that step and solemnly intoned, "Remember to be home by curfew. Remember Who You Are. Remember that you can always call me if you need a ride home from anywhere."

I'm still laughing.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Blogging on a regular basis is hard. And feels a bit like shouting down a well. But because I believe that it will get easier with time, and because I've just discovered that my sister-in-law's bloglist labels me a knitting goddess (who knew?), I've decided to keep at it for another year. My goal will be to publish a post every weekend. I think I can do that. Unless we go away for the weekend...

Speaking of which, we went away for the weekend just before Christmas. The family get-together was severely interrupted by the weather, and I learned a valuable lesson about the place to which we are planning to retire, to wit,


results in this:

Or put another way, being holed up in a motel room watching a blizzard, while not conducive to visiting relatives, does result in the completion of ones first pair of argyles. At least in my case.

I vowed to learn how to knit argyle socks over the summer, but didn't actually get around to it until this fall. Since my brother-in-law volunteered to be a guinea pig, he got the first pair for Christmas.

Yarn: Knit Picks Essential fingering weight, in Navy, Ash (looking tan instead of grey in the photo for some reason), Dusk, and Burgundy

Knit Picks was the only place I could find solid colors of sock yarn. The yarn was lovely to knit with, and knit up very smooth, warm, and soft. I am used to sock yarns with a lot of twist, so my brother-in-law is on notice to let me know if they don't wear well.

It took me entirely too long to realize that the Rule of Pull Skeins does not apply to this yarn. Instead of finding the outside loose end tucked in and pulling the yarn from the center of the other side, for this yarn you pull from the same end the outside yarn was tucked into. As a result of my failure to recognize a trend, I managed to eviscerate nearly every skein used in the completion of these socks.

Pattern: Leisure Arts' Argyle Socks


  • used the same color for both cross lines, instead of two different colors (I had enough trouble coming up with these colors; it's not my strong point);
  • changed all the k1, sl 1, PSSO 's to SSK's;
  • refused to wind bobbins, preferring to have my minions unwind the skeinish tangles a la Franklin Habit's wonderful cartoon in It Itches.
I did measure and cut the burgundy lines, I'm not crazy. But they're knit in, not duplicate stitch added later. I considered that option, since the pattern offers it, but my mom (my consultant since she made more than a few pairs back in the day) was appalled by the prospect.

It was so much fun I've cut the pattern down to my size and am knitting myself a pair in grey with blue and red diamonds and navy lines. I'm especially charmed by finally managing to continue mattress stitch from stockinette into ribbing while maintaining its lovely invisibility. I just wish I knew how I finally did it. It just clicked. I hope it stays clicked.