Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I love travel. I love local travel, US travel, international travel. I like volunteering abroad, being a tourist, and being a local. I love exploring new places. I am always mentally planning more trips than I am knitting projects, and for a knitter, that is sayin something!

When I read blogs, I like to feel like a traveler. A glimpse into some one's knitting basket, their town, their music, their food, their way of life. I think that is why I love reading blogs not on a daily basis, but in chunks. I prefer to read a month or more in one go, versus a little bit each day. When I read the bigger chunks, I feel like I am traveling, in a way. The same sort of exploration, and exposure to some one's culture takes place. I love that!

This past weekend, I was talking to Kristina about the Yarn Harlot, and she said once school was over, she was going to do some major catching up. That got me thinking about what I like about blogs, since my response to Kristina was that I preferred reading a few months worth of entries at a time. Its that sense of exploration, and cultural exposure. Every knitter posts different pictures, discusses knitting in a different way, and shares random tid bits about travel, food, life, family, shoes, etc. I just finished reading the knit and tonic archives from the first entry to the most recent, and now I have moved on to through the loops. To me, its like reading a great novel.

Hoping to finish my clapotis tonight. Until then, please indulge my obsession with the following things: digital macro mode, flowers, and sharing pictures!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

When Nature Calls

Not terribly much knitting to report. I cast on and off for Wendy Bernard's Last Minute Purl Beret. The pattern knit up in a jiffy and is just waiting for me to block it. Its intended recipient is N's grandmother, probably for Christmas. I know I just said "Christmas" in May, but I have always been one to over prepare. I had the urge to knit the beret, a grandma who said she liked
blue berets, and a gorgeous skein of Malabrigo Worsted Merino. My rationale is that it is better to impulse knit it now, when fancy strikes, and save it until a gift giving time rolls around rather than on the eve of said gift giving occasion, buy a pashmina because I did not have time to knit something on time. The logic works for me. I am not a deadline knitter. Deadline knitting makes me want to do everything but knit the deadline project.

I am a flighty, lax knitter. A flighty, lax knitter with a sweet new Namaste bag :) Last week Kristina alerted me to a Memorial Day Sale at Hip Mountain Mama's shop. The lovely, practical, and stylish Newport Bag by Namaste was going for $40 bucks. A heavy discount indeed. I ordered it from Kristina's apartment (in olive green) on Friday morning, and returned to San Francisco to find it on my stoop Tuesday. YAY! We are now super cool bag twins.

Some pictures from the gorgeous Muir Woods, California:

Monday, May 11, 2009

Knitting the Socks, Vintage style

I have cast on my very first Nancy Bush project. Its very exciting, except I chose a very unexciting pattern. The socks are for N, who is not much into the YOs and whatnot that make socks fun and pretty. The pattern is from Knitting Vintage Socks, which I picked up at Imagiknit.

Here we have the Lichen Ribbed Socks in Lorna's Laces Shepard Sock Solids, color Douglas Fir. The pattern is basically a 3x1 rib. The pattern is written for the ladies, so to accommodate a man foot, I went up a needle size and cast on for 8 extra stitches. I think I should have cast on 12 extra. Socks stretch though....right?
The Lorna's Laces is lovely to knit with. No halo, no splitting, just springy goodness.
The pattern is a bit more evident looking at the inside:
The outside looks a bit like lumpy stockinette, when its not stretched out a bit:

A random Gothic style church, near Pacific Heights:

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Butter Cream Cap

A wee FO to show you today. I finished a baby cap for the girl in my program who is preggers, and due this summer. The baby's sex is a surprise, so the cap is a quasi-gender neutral yellow. I saw quasi because I think the whole thing came out rather feminine looking. But so cute!

FO: Butter cream Cap
Pattern: Quick and Easy Baby Hat by Emma Waller
Yarn: about 3/4 skein Berroco Cotton Twist
Needles: US 7/ 4.5 mm bamboo dpns

Mods: As written, the pattern is knit flat and seamed. I modified the pattern to be knit in the round. I am undecided about adding the ribbon featured in the pattern. I might try out a couple different colors to see if I like it, but right now, it is staying ribbon-free. A verrrry fast knit, and a very cute result.

This yarn has a nice sheen, though the shiny strand woven in was occasionally splitty, especially on the k2togs. Great for a quick baby project or a wash cloth, but I don't think I would use this yarn for much else. I think it retails for like $4.00 a skein, and my mom got a bunch for 40% off at the LYS.

After a doctor's appointment yesterday, I did a bit of exploring, and walked to a French bakery. My test of any French bakery are the Madelines, and these were pretty awesome. I had one lemon and one raspberry. I would definitely go back, but I think there are a few more French bakeries in this area I should sample first :) The bakery is on the edge of Pacific Heights, and I walked by a bunch of lovely San Francisco Victorian homes to get there. I love these houses!

You know you have too many projects on the needles when an attempt to clean up the couch-side project bag results in the likes of this:

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Local Color

MMMM NEW YARN! And I can't blame Kristina for enabling me this time. The good new is I have been using yarn, and I donated a bunch of acrylic stuff, so the yarn in-yarn out balance is not out of whack.

I might have mentioned the need, the burning need, for socks? Yes. I treated myself to some new sock yarn after a rather rough bout of food poisoning last weekend. As a loyal Grumperina reader, I can't help but be curious about Lorna's Laces, as she eternally sings praise for the Shepard Sock Yarn. I even purchased my goods from Grumperina's fave Lorna's Laces Dealer.

I have made one pair of socks from self-striping yarn. At the time, I loved knitting with it, and watching the colors change, but did not love the final results. I swore that self striping yarn was not for me. Yet, what managed to find its way into my online shopping cart, alongside Lorna?

Yes. Self striping yarn. Its so yummy looking. Like a mango and strawberry gelato skein of luscious color! And I can't wait to cast on!

One of my classmates is preggy, so I cast on this hat for her soon to be baby in Berroco Cotton Twist. They don't know the sex, so I thought I would go with a gender neutral yellow, but its looking kind of feminine to me. Ah well, still cute! So teeny!

Last week I was lucky enough to play tour guide to some friends from Finland, along with a friend from the South Bay. Here are some shots of the glorious Golden Gate, which I find eternally photogenic.

Monday, May 4, 2009


In lieu of a longer and more interesting post, here is my WIP line up, which is actually not bad at the moment. There was a time when I was a monogamous knitter. One project at a time. Then one day I woke up, sullied by love affairs with different yarns, with 5 projects on the needles. These days I try to keep it a bit more under control.

Most knitters have some criteria for what types of projects they like to have on the needles at a particular time. I myself like to have at least one easy project, and one harder project on the needles at a time. Something interesting I can sink my teeth into, and something boring I can zone out to. Then I like to throw in quickie projects, like hats or fingerless gloves that quench the thirst for an FO while longer term items are on the needles.

The Clapotis:

The Pomatomous:

No picture, but I am on the foot of the first sock.


No picture, not much to report. I WILL get cracking on this at some point. Kristina and I started this as our own KAL, and hers is done and blocked. I am still on the inner lace portion. Oy. I had to frog a couple times, but I think I can do it this next time around.

Mental Queue:

3 Pairs fingerless gloves. One for me, one for a friend moving to London, and another to a friend in Boston.

SOCKS SOCKS SOCKS. I want to gift some socks this Christmas. Better get started now! I just ordered some Lorna's Laces from Birds N Yarn to move toward this end. Additionally, I have a ton in the stash. Perhaps about 8 pairs worth. I want fun patterned sock, plain vanilla socks, ribbed socks, boring socks, fun socks, the works. Right now, I just gotta have socks.

Shetland Triangle: I have the yarn, I have the book. Now I just need to summon my courage and conquer some lace.

A lovely gift from the mother, pictured below. A fun scarf book with some gorgeous patterns, all inspired by the ocean, and a couple skeins of super chunky Malabrigo. Perhaps a Cowl or shorty scarf should be added to the queue!

Friday, May 1, 2009


Knitting Discoveries:

Needle jackpot! A while back, I went to cast on a hat, and both my US 7 and US 5 DPN sets were missing a needle. A very annoying occurrence, since those are prime worsted knitting sized needles, and my intended yarn was worsted. I wound the yarn up, and never knit the hat, due largely to the needle shortage, and partly to the distractions of other projects.

Today I was knitting along on my sock, and put the needle down for just one mere second. Instantly the couch devoured the needle. I pulled up the cushion and reached to grab it, but somehow created a new crack for it to slip through back down into the innards of the couch. I cursed, pulled out all the cushions, and rolled up my sleeves. I tried to stick my hand in, but the springs from the couch were exerting too much pressure for me to get more than a finger tip in.

By applying all my weight to the springs a void opened up, and I was discovered the land of lost needles. Out came a size 5 DPN. Some more digging yielded the size 7 DPN. Some more digging, and I found my favorite crochet hook, which I did not know was missing.

Finally, a few minutes and two bruised hands later I found a remote control, circa 1999. A rare JVC specimen, it appeared I had found a remote from the nearly extinct VCR!

Then I found my sock DPN. A good haul, all things considered.

Non Knitting Discoveries:

I love exploring San Francisco's numerous and diverse neighborhoods. This week I started volunteering at a preschool in the outer sunset, where there are rows and rows of brightly painted stucco homes. And very grey skies, the outer sunset is right by the ocean.

I expected the neighborhood to be primarily residential, but there was a strip of lively shops.
I absolutely loved this awesome mural on what looks like a fun pizza place.