knitter next door

How I became a girl who can't say no to knitting (and other musings on obsession) esimnitt (at) yahoo (dot) com

Monday, May 29, 2006


Here's proof that I really do still knit and blog to tell about it. I finally, finally, finally finished these cable and rib socks from Knits. I love, love, love them (even if one is slightly shorter than the other, which is really how all of my socks seem to turn out, no matter how closely I follow the pattern, no matter how many times I try both sides on while I'm knitting).

The yarn is Mountain Colors Bearfoot. I can't remember the color, but I'm calling it auburn. It's Memorial Day and chilly, about 20 degrees cooler this Monday than a couple of weeks ago, so I've been relishing having just-knit socks to help keep me toasty while the hubby and I engage in a little movie-fest (just finished Skeleton Key; Batman, the one with Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson, is up next).

Stay tuned for another FO, possibly tomorrow!
 Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Da Vinci Code? Check!

So I fell pray to the marketing machine and went to "The Da Vinci Code" on opening day. How was it? I'll say it was as good as the book, which, for me, says it was mildly entertaining without being great, melodramatic without being controversial. Since I'm not Catholic, I guess, I have a hard time understanding how a work of FICTION can cause a crisis of faith. Faith is faith, and it seems like it would take a lot more than a mediocre author, no matter how well researched, to shake that bedrock.

I also checked out "Capote" from the library. Now that I've seen all best picture nominees, I'm going to label this my favorite. I read "In Cold Blood" in high school, and the story has always sort of haunted me. Watching how it was researched unfold on the screen had that same affect. I think being a journalist for seven years informed by reading of the film, too. Reporting -- and the resulting stories -- are always personal.

And one more review: I just finished Isabel Allende's "Zorro" and I'm going have to say I was sometimes a little bored. Definitely not my favorite book. I've been reading the three parts of Banana Yoshimoto's "Asleep" in between, which is surreal and depressing and affecting while "Zorro" was all about adventure with a narrator who wouldn't ever let you forget she was the narrator. Next on the nightstand: "Dragonfly in Amber" by Diana Gabaldon. And, of course, the second half of "Bleak House" which I haven't managed to crack open since I spilled green tea all over it in Kyoto.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Smell this!

I guess I'm going to have to revise my response to the "what scent do you like in soaps and lotions" question in light of my recent obsession with the free samples of shedonism butter cream at the Origins counter in Macy's and the (too) many trips I've been taking to slather on crap at Bath and Body Works (just a few steps outside of the Origins counter at Macys).

Maybe the chemicals in my nose have changed, but I can't get enough lavender, rosemary, mint, jasmine, fig, etc. If I were to say I'm favoring one spot of skin over another (there are five separate smell patches, something you can only accomplish when shopping in the summer in a near-sleeveless shirt), I'd have to vote for the lavender and acacia. But the lemon smells pretty darn good, too.

I guess, really, it's all about the scandalously good coupons B&BW has been passing out. And the evil, evil influence of my shopping buddy Susanna.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Aside from knitting my favorite hobby is most definitely shopping. Since the weather has been so lovely this week, I hopped on my bike to hit the Treasure Garden, a thrifty, anitquey store with the most fabulous treasures. I bought these two bundles of fabric. The blue will likely line a purse I'll either knit or sew. The blue and purple flower fabric might turn into a skirt (if I ever get organized enough to learn how to sew). Secret Pal, even though you don't know who you are, I can guarantee you'll be getting some booty from this, my current favorite store. (A vintage postcard will be on its way come Monday). Posted by Picasa

This is for my daily dose of green tea. Can you think of a cheerier way to take it? (Also from the Treasure Garden). Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 07, 2006

SP8 Nitty Gritty

So here are my answers for you, secret pal:

1.What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

I pretty much like all natural fibers. Cotton is a little tougher for me, but I've knit quite a bit out of the organic cotton and have come around to its beauty.

I'm not a huge fan of acrylic, and while I've knit lots with novelty yarns, they are not my favorite. If you go by my stash, you would deduct that I LOVE mohair. Or maybe I just love buying mohair.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

I wouldn't say I have a method for this. I've been meaning to get around to making a needle case or two. My straight needles are stuffed into a drawer (mostly). My circulars hang from a hook in the closet in the yarn room.

3. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

My come to knitting story: Like many now-knitters, someone tried to teach me when I was 12. It didn't take. On Nov. 9, 2003, when my hubby was out of town, I sat down with Debbie Stoller's "Stitch 'n Bitch" and retaught myself. I've been a knitting maniac every since.

I hope that I've moved beyond beginner to intermediate. I'm pretty good at deciphering lace patterns, but my fair isle ventures are very few at this point.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

Hmmmm. I think I started a wish list once. I'm making a goal right now to do that (maybe even today).

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)

I'm not big into smelly stuff. I don't like anything that's perfumey or floral. I'm totally sick of vanilla. I have some mint lotion I sort of like and some gingery stuff that I dig. Oh, yeah, and nothing that smells like food.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

YES! And an obsession with candy to match. I'm fascinated by regionally produced candy (like the Idaho Spud made here in my Boise). When I travel, I always stock up. I brought back two bagfuls of candy from my recent trip to Japan. I like anything that's quirky, and I'm willing to try anything once.

And I really, really like nuts with my chocolate (but I can do sour candy, licorice, etc.) When it comes to candy, I'm easy.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

I don't spin and I'm not interested at this point in adding that to the rep. I crochet some. I really, really want to sew more, but all that I've managed to accomplish on that front is borrowing the mil's sewing machine and buying a pattern for a funky bag.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

I have a Tori Amos CD in my car that I slip in every time the news on NPR gets boring. I like Beck and the alterna crowd (Green Day, etc.). But I also like jazz and classical and I've really been meaning to buy some opera, probably starting with Mozart's "The Magic Flute."

I'm totally not snobby in my music tastes and pretty much like anything with a good tune and a little rhythm.

9. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?

Those socks I got from my sock pal? I love those colors! I love color and unusual pairings of color. My favorite sweater right now is spring green. My current favorite shirt has grays, greens and oranges. I've sort of been on an orange kick (which I think is a spring/summer seasonal thing). I have pretty purple shoes.

I'm pretty open when it comes to color. (I have a lot of blue, too). I tend to be less entranced with pastels and greys.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

Me, a husband (of 10 years on July 20!) and Scully, the cat who like no one but us.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

Love scarves. LOVE scarves. And hats and mittens, too. I knit a poncho for myself once and I really can't stand to wear it. I feel funny. In theory I like them. I like them on other people. I just don't like them on myself.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

Hmmmmm. All these favorite questions. My problem, I guess, is I have too many favorites.

I knit a lot of scarves, because I sell them at the holidays. But I won't say they are my favorite.

I really dig knitting socks. I prefer lace patterns to color work (but I'm working on that). Basically, I choose patterns that interest me, whether it's a sweater, bag, socks, hat, gloves, etc.

13. What are you knitting right now?

I'm finishing up two pairs of socks that got put on the backburner while I finished the sock pal socks. I want to start the Prairie Tunic from the Spring Knits issue in this orange cotton I've had sitting around for a long time.

I've also been working on a tube top from last fall's Knit Scene (which I definitely heart).

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?


15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

Depends on the project. I've really only used bamboo and metal. I like both.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?


17. How did you learn to knit?

Let me recap and expand: I taught myself the basics from "Stitch 'n Bitch." I knit a couple of scarves, then headed to my LYS for further help with more complicated projects. I continue to teach myself by taking on projects that I think look too hard.

18. How old is your oldest UFO?

About a year. (It's Lucky from "Stitch 'n Bitch Nation." All I have left is sewing the 1x1 rib around the neck. It's been this way for quite some time).

19. What is your favorite holiday?

Christmas. Hands down. (But I like Thanksgiving, too).

20. Is there anything that you collect?

Clothes? (That's what my husband would say). Yarn? Notheirng specific.

21. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

I've been wanting to buy "One Skein," but I have to wait until we pay off the credit card with our Japan trip charges on it this month.

I don't have any knitting magazine subscriptions, but I almost always buy the current issue of Knits and often Vogue.

22. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

Fair isle! Color knitting!

23. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

Yep. I wear size 9 shoe (my foot length is mostly in my big toe).

24. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)

Sept. 20.

Whew! That's a lot about me!

Friday, May 05, 2006

I got socks!

Here's me wearing my brand new socks that rock (in my Docs that rock) from Katherine, my Benbrook, TX, sock pal. This picture was taken literally minutes after I tore open the package. Love, love, LOVE them! Love the colors. Love the cable pattern on the leg. Love how they fit my feet better than any socks I've ever made myself! Posted by Picasa

Here's the whole, expertly packaged shebang, complete with extra yarn, stitch marker adornment, double-pointed needles and a cute Texas postcard Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

In the mail!

I did it! I sent my sock pal socks by the May 2 deadline!

Here's how it went down: I frantically decreased gusset stitches during "24" last night, then knit the foot during lunch today (yes, at a table, at a restaurant, in between bites of pizza). After work, I decreased for the toe while watching Oprah.

At 5 p.m. straight up, I wove in the last end and packaged it all up. Then I hopped on my bike, rode to the post office, got it stamped (after waiting in line behind a woman in a lengthy discussion with the postal janitor about her parcel) and put it in the bin five minutes before pick up. I know, I know. I really shouldn't be so proud of myself for nearly failing to get it mailed. But the deadline at the post office across town is much later (in my defense) and those of us procrastinators know there's nothing like just squeaking in through the slamming door of a deadline.

Sock details: Lorna's Laces in a color I like to call "summer beach" (the Lorna's Lace's people apparently prefer "Aslan"). I used the Waving Lace Socks pattern from Spring 2004 Knits, with really no variations, except for the odd (barely noticeable) mistake or two. Posted by Picasa

A close up of the wavy lace pattern. Posted by Picasa

Quick update

In my 24 watching I noticed that even though Chloe has managed to escape the office, she's still shackled by that sweater. Maybe she should use that taser to knock out someone wearing a decent sweater and swap.