Thursday, May 31, 2007

A dollar short.

I have photos for you people (notice that I boldly assume the plural) and projects to share, but I can't find my camera cord. In the meantime, I encourage you to imagine a finished RCC Eclipse sock and a finished Child's French sock, as well as a pair of mittens about 3/4 of the way done.

Monday, May 28, 2007

the fruits of my leisure

I (finally!) have some new listings to share. A pair of them, in fact. They're nothing too different as I'm just getting warmed up again, but it felt nice to get out the supplies again after leaving them so long neglected (especially the ones that accumulated during the paper-writing blitz). I've got a huge stash of briolettes waiting, so I fear there is much wire-wrapping ahead....

Aside from the jewelry making, I have also been knitting quite
intensely this week, knitting with a goal in mind, for once. I had decided awhile back I wanted to make a tank top and for a long time I vacillated between the Honeymoon Camisole from Knitty and the Summertime Tunic, one of the free patterns offered by Interweave Knits, but a week ago I came across this pattern for a lace camisole and knew it was perfect. I took this picture of my progress a couple days ago, but now, three discs of TV on DVD later, I'm only about 3" from the top (it's knit in the round from the bottom up). And so my goal is to finish it and wear it before it gets so hot here that I can't bear to put on any clothes at all.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

We Take Manhattan

In all the excitement over the new kitten (her name is Hazel and so far we have learned that she might like yarn, which is good because we have a lot of yarn), our LYS visits in NYC (are you down with the lingo?) have gone undocumented. Yesterday we hit four knitting stores in Manhattan:
  1. School Products, where we each got some amazing Koigu sock yarn. I remain puzzled about the name, as they really do sell only yarn. They seem to have good deals on higher-end fibers. I have really only shopped extensively for sock yarn and worsted weight wool & alpaca, so I can't tell you how good the deals are. They did have gray worsted-weight superwash wool for $12/lb. It's also available on their web site. Koigu is more or less the only sock yarn they have, but if you're just going to carry one, that's a good choice. I haven't shopped very much for Koigu, but it is really delightful: soft, squishy, and spun really well. We were the only people in the store, which was actually pretty spacious for a Manhattan shop.
  2. Yarn Connection, which was okay--they had some reasonably priced cotton that Lilyriver briefly considered for a tank top, though she ultimately decided against it. Very limited sock yarn selection--looked like maybe they were a little low on stock? Business seemed pretty slow.
  3. Knitty City, which was our favorite. They had a lot of sock yarn: Claudia Handpainted, a little Koigu, a few colors of Lorna's, Louet Gems, a limited selection of Regia & Trekking--all for the typical retail prices. I didn't buy anything, though I was very much tempted by the Claudia Handpainted in "Stormy Day." The shop looks like it has a lot of customers and a lively group of employees teaching classes.
  4. Yarn Company, which did not appear to have sock yarn. We didn't have time to ask them if this was really true or if we just missed something, but in the words of the immortal Keanu Reeves...Whoa. Okay, I totally should have known; they don't have any on their web site. There weren't too many people in the shop except a clique-ish group of women knitting around a table, and they ignored us--if it's important to you to get a "Hello" when you walk in the door, this might not be the place for you.
We also hit a really excellent used bookstore. Lilyriver found five volumes of Va. Woolf's diaries and I got a couple of novels I'd been wanting to read (Grendel and The Thin Place). So, in short, we came back with some sock yarn (and a little lace weight) and books, neither of which we have room for. After this whirlwind shopping tour, we had an excellent dinner with Susan, who kindly agreed to meet up with us after a long day at work.

We missed Seaport Yarns and PURL Soho, both of which were farther south in Manhattan than we wanted to go. PURL, especially, is supposed to be great, and their web site promises a fine selection of Lorna's Laces.

I do not need, nor should I buy, anymore yarn for a long time, but if I did...I probably wouldn't make a point of getting it from a LYS. It's sacrilege, I know, and I do understand the value of supporting local businesses and microcommunities, etc., etc., but you really can't beat the selection you can find online--and I really enjoy bargain hunting.

Tiny kittens: good for decoupage?

Don't tell Joe, but I think this kitten might get a sweater.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


  1. I learned to knit my first year in college in a class with Lilyriver and Rachel. I was the last person in the class to figure out how to do it and I'm pretty sure the woman had despaired that I ever would. But I did, eventually, and that winter I knit approximately 430284038204 hats.
  2. I read Jurassic Park 11 times in fifth grade. I rewrote (or, rather, began a rewrite of) Jurassic Park to incorporate a new character named Liz (then my favorite name), who was a thirteen-year-old math genius (I wanted to be Malcolm). I wrote about fifty pages in double spaced, 12 pt., dark blue New Courier bold.
  3. Until I hit seventh grade, I did all my computer writing in 12 pt. dark blue New Courier bold. ETA: My mother expressed some concern for my font choice, but I reassured her that I now actually kind of hate Courier. I do, however, like faux-antique typewriter fonts.
  4. I also began a story about two identical twins, one good and one evil. Their names were Dana and Delaney. (My mom loves China Beach.)
  5. When I was very young, I had nightmares about an episode of It's Garry Shandling's Show, in which Garry is trapped in a deep manhole in front of his house with a broken leg. I'm afraid to look it up and find out I was actually, like, 12.
  6. I like to read signs backwards. I have decided that if I ever have a soap opera, I am going to set it in a town called Timil Deeps.
  7. I don't really think the cat needs a sweater, but I definitely want Lilyriver to knit him one.


Since Rainsend tagged our blog (I feel so included! I guess blog rings really work after all!), I've decided that replying should be my first official act of summer. Technically, summer started yesterday after we turned in our papers, and I guess the Goodwill excursion, TV marathon, and ice cream binges were pretty summery acts...but this is the first day entirely free of academic writing, so here is some entirely non-academic writing. Here we go.

7 Things About Jellenifer:

7. (This one has a special limited audience.) I am not now, nor have I ever been, knitting the kitten a sweater.

6. I'm a terrible, hesistant, erratic driver. It's a miracle I've never been in a real accident. I think the problem began early: at 9, I ran my bike into a stop sign. (No, they don't have moving stop signs in Ohio.)

5. If I listen to music while walking, I have to walk in rhythm (with my left foot on the down beat). This strangely does not apply when I'm jogging.

4. I twist my hair, sometimes even in public, sometimes even in class. I worry it's an obnoxious habit, but I can't stop. I'm doing it right now.

3. In high school I ate an orange every day as part of my lunch. I was really proud that I could peel them all in one piece, and I liked the smell of the peels so much I would save little bits of them in my locker and coat pockets.

2. If I sit in one position too long and especially if I squat down to look at a bottom bookshelf or something else low to the ground, I black out when I stand up and it takes a good ten or twenty seconds for my vision to return. The official internet self-diagnosis is orthostatic hypotension, but I think mostly I just need to drink more water.

1. A confession: I know so few other bloggers that the second half of this process (the tagging of other bloggers) will have to be deferred until I can find some people to tag...

Saturday, May 19, 2007

I think this just means I'm bored with my paper.

You appear to be a Knitting Adventurer. You are through those knitting growing pains and feeling more adventurous. You can follow a standard pattern if it's not too complicated and know where to go to get help. Maybe you've started to experiment with different fibers and you might be eyeing a book with a cool technique you've never tried. Perhaps you prefer to stick to other people's patterns but you are trying to challenge yourself more. Regardless of your preference, you are continually trying to grow as a knitter, and as well you should since your non-knitting friends are probably dropping some serious hints, these days.
Take this quiz!

An elitist in every genre.

What Kind of Knitter Are You?
You appear to be a Knitting Purist. You are an accomplished knitter producing beautiful pieces with a classic feel. You sometimes lament losing half of your local yarn shop to garish novelty yarns. Perhaps you consider fun fur scarves the bane of knitting society and prefer to steer new knitters towards the wool and cotton blends. Some might call you a bit of an elitist but you know that you've been doing this craft long enough to respect the history behind it and honor it with beautiful piece that can last a lifetime.
Take this quiz!

Summer preview edition!

Pretty soon, faithful Reader, there will be more posts of joy for you. For example, I have finished one of my stripey socks and am about to turn the heel on the other, and I'm about halfway done with the foot of my Knitting Vintage sock, and--and!--Lilyriver has successfully done a short-row heel on her Knitting Vintage sock. We have plenty of projects in store which, no doubt, will be copiously, and perhaps needlessly, blogged for you, including a tank top, felted clogs, and jewelry from Lilyriver, some mittens and a lace scarf from me*, socks socks SOCKS, perhaps a Clapotis or two...and maybe even more yarn dyeing, if you're lucky.

In the meantime, I will offer you a little Googletainment in the form of a keyword that someone used to get to our blog:

*And, god help me, I have the pattern and the yarn picked out for my first sweater. But we'll see if I get there any time soon. This will not come as a surprise to anyone who knows me, but I really enjoy endlessly planning projects, possibly more than actually doing them. For an example of a more responsible crafter, we might look to Lilyriver, who wisely looks no more than a project or two into the future.

Monday, May 14, 2007


Phew. I've finished my third final paper and I'm feeling just absolutely unable to start the last one right now, so in the meantime, I bring you this photo of all the crafty progress I've made in probably the last....oh, god who knows how long. This the "Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern" from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks, which is such a wonderful book I just want to crawl inside it and knit my way out again, which I will do in T minus 6 days...

The yarn I'm using is some weird superwash wool that according to its label is from Germany but looks as though its been on the shelf at the LYS long enough to actually qualify these socks as vintage. I chose it because I liked the reddish brown color and because, as the Bolter puts it, "it was the only viable sock yarn" in the whole store.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Dialectic dichotomy word salad.

Good news: I kitchenered the toe for my first sock out of the Regia Canadian Classic Eclipse...Christ almighty, I need to learn a shorthand way of writing that out, because I also have RCFC Winnipeg and RCC Brasil and it's hard enough to keep track of my 43280483209 potential projects. Anyway! Good news: I kitchenered the toe for my first sock out of blahblahblah.

Bad news: Um, I somehow dropped a stitch while doing it. I may not be an adventurous or particularly skilled knitter, but I have kitchenered a lot of toes and haven't dropped a stitch doing it before. I will admit that I was up until 5:30 last night grading exams (stupidly, so stupidly; totally my fault I was up that late) and today I'm wandering around in a bit of a fog. I was walking to the kitchen to refill my coffee mug and took a drink of what was left in the cup and actually somehow forgot how to swallow properly. I definitely dribbled coffee down the front of my shirt. I do that on a good night's sleep, though, as Lilyriver will undoubtedly attest.

Good news, the sequel: Dropped stitch aside, the sock looked really cute with one of my many, many clogs.

Bad news, the sequel: But I totally had to rip it back. I frogged about two inches of the damn thing. I probably could have rigged something up, but I figured I may as well do it right. We'll see how long this kind of ethical crafting lasts.

Good news, Part III, and unless it's Prisoner of Azkaban, you know that's not really a good thing: This will allow me to correct a couple of other errors. First of all, one of my feet is slightly longer than the other (like, by a quarter of an inch or so), and I always forget which it is, and apparently, while sizing this sock, I picked the wrong one. So the sock worked on one foot, but it was a stretch, so to speak, on the other, unless I wanted to risk its untimely death. Secondly, and this is why I ripped it back so far, there were a couple of loose stitches that I had hoped would even out when I washed the socks, for a penny, in for a pound.

I hope these socks appreciate what I've done for them. I am so tired of this yarn, you guys.

Friday, May 4, 2007

The latest from Lilyriver Labs.

Invisible sock yarn!

Some assembly required.
Specs and ordering info to follow.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Knitting that's always already being (having been?) done.

Sock WIP #1
Plain stockinette pattern, Regia Canadian Fashion Colors Eclipse.
Note also the wimping out on the short row heel.

Sock WIP #2
Hetero life partner to the above.

Sock WIP #3
Trust me on this one, Reader; it's the Child's French Sock. The yarn is Chinese; it came from a destasher on Etsy. It's way prettier than my knitting, alas.