So if I told you I’d been kidnapped by pirates and forced to walk the plank and swim home and that’s why I haven’t posted to my blog in four months, would you believe me?

No?

You sure?

OK fine.

For all my radio silence, there has not been much to report. I knit a lot of stuff for giftmas presents, most of which I did not photograph, and have decided to selfishly stick to knitting stuff for my own self.

In 2012 I have decided to shamelessly steal Will Knit For Food‘s idea of knitting a pair of socks and a sweater every month. (She sews stuff, too. I’m not quite that ambitious… yet.)

I didn’t take a picture of January’s socks yet, but they are just plain toe-up socks, knitted two at a time on one circ according to Melissa Morgan-Oakes’ instructions. I used Knit Picks Felici in Moonlit.

January’s sweater is the Iced cardi done in Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Bulky. I love this sweater and I freaking loved knitting with this yarn. It’s not overly soft, but it’s so SQUISHY. It’s permanent home is the back of my office chair for me to wrap up in when it’s cold.

 

I’m plugging along on my February projects – a Paulie cardigan out of Knit Picks Palette in Fog and the stripes in Chroma Fingering in Prism. No pictures of it yet since I was terrified I was going to have to rip the whole sucker out. But I took it off the needle last night and it fits beautifully, so all my worry was for naught. And picture soon.

Here’s my february socks: Jaywalker in Knit Picks Felici Goth.

 

Just for the record, I swear I use yarn from other companies than Knit Picks. In fact, March’s sweater will be from yarn I ordered from iceyarns.com. Can’t wait.

 

 

A quick look at a project I did recently.

When I was a kid, I thought my gram’s house was Very Fancy. (And I mean, when you have five kids, like my parents did, it’s really impossible to have a Very Fancy house. So I was impressed.)

One of my gram’s Very Fancy decorations was a grouping of frames on the front room wall.

My gram passed away a few years ago and my aunts live in her house. They decided to dismantle the wall. I took a couple of the pictures, both because I liked them and also I liked the idea of incorporating them into my own decor. Gram’s Very Fancy living on, so to speak. Above is what I ganked.

But that brown/metally finish doesn’t really go with my decor, so I decided to paint it all white. I removed the back of all the frames, popped out the picture and glass (or mirror, in the case of the mirror) and took some spray paint to that puppy.

Here’s the mirror, finished, on my wall. LOVE.IT. (Please to ignore my light switch that is missing its plate, kthnxbye.) I like the ornateness that’s muted a bit by the white, but is still an interesting pop on the wall. I didn’t take a picture of the full wall, either, but the proportions work quite nicely. It’s about 2′ wide, next to my door.

And now I can check my hair before I leave the house. Which trust me, should count as a corporal work of mercy for all you Chicagoans.

The smaller frames are done, but I’m waiting to unveil them as part of a larger project. Which maybe I should get cracking on, seeing as it is Columbus day and I’m at home drinking coffee, reading the internets, and baking Ragebrownies.

Also, just to brighten your day, here is a pumpkin hat. This flew off my needles yesterday, in time for me to make a huge dent in the Baby Blanket of Doooooom while catching up on Weeds, the Big C, and Pan Am.

Catch ya later, I’m off to sit on my couch and eat brownies. This is quite enough productivity for one day. People might start thinking I am domestic or something.

hi folks. I am back. Here’s what I’m working on.

 

The baby blanket of dooooooooom. It is quite large, and hard to tell from this photo how large it is, but I’d venture to say it is at least 4′ in diameter in this point. My initial thought was just to keep knitting it until I ran out of yarn (it’s red heart pound of love, I have about 35% of the skein left I’d say) but I do wonder at what point it stops being a baby blanket and becomes an Extremely Thick Tablecloth.

I just cast on another quick project for a sweet baby who caught me off guard by arriving seven weeks early.

This is to be a pumpkin hat (my own design, inspired by the myriad in existence). The orange is Telemark by Knit Picks (discontinued, bought at warehouse sale) and the green is the tiny bit of leftover my mom had from knitting a shawl which I have appropriated. The leftovers AND the shawl.

I’m not a great cook. In fact, I pretend that I can’t cook. My husband is a fabulous cook. He puts me to shame. He usually makes dinner in our household.

But yesterday it was chilly and fall-like and on the way home I got the idea in my head to make potato and corn chowder. And then I got the idea to make these scones that I’d seen the other day on Eat Live Run. Because I love scones.

They were the perfect pairing. Pre-heat the oven. Chop the onions and potatoes. Cook the onions while mixing the dough for the scones. Add the stock and potatoes. Pat the dough into a circle and cut into eighths and pop in the oven while the potatoes are cooking. The soup and the scones will finish at about the same time.

I am absurdly pleased with myself over my scones. I made a few substitutions (used the same regular sharp shredded cheddar I used for the soup, used skim milk instead of cream, etc) but they came out so delicious. Scones have always seemed very fancy to me and beyond the realm of home cookery, and I was surprised to find out that they are really very easy to make.

So last week I read Sweater Quest: My Year of Knitting Dangerously. I read my mom’s library actual copy, which should tell you something, since I’ve gotten so lazy that I no longer want to read actual books (too many trips to the library + too much to carry around with me and what if I finish it and then have nothing to read with me and I get bored?). And it was totally delightful. It centers on the author’s quest to knit an Alice Starmore-design sweater. Alice Starmore is a revered knitwear designer who, among other things, designs intricate fair isle style sweaters.

I really have no desire to ever knit an Alice Starmore fair isle sweater. (Although some of the cable patterns I’m into.) But I think everyone relates in some fashion to THE endeavor of a hobby or pursuit. For runners, it might be a marathon. For dancers, the 32 fouettes in Odile’s variation  from Swan Lake. For knitters, some of us feel like this is our Mt. Kilimanjaro. From that point of view, this book was a fun romp in seeing what it takes to achieve what seems impossible when you first set out.

I’m not sure how non-knitters would enjoy this book, but I really enjoyed it and I recommend it to all.

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I started knitting a sock, like, a month ago. With some Knit Picks Felici I picked up at their Ohio warehouse sale. The other day I decided that I wanted to learn to knit two at a time and lo and behold, my mom had a book out from the library which described the very technique. I dragged my sister up to JoAnn’s where I bought a 48″ size 2 needle and cast right on.

And I LOVE it.

But after a few rows, it got a bit muddly with keeping the yarn separated. If you knit from the inside and outside of a center pull skein it’s probably easier, but given that I was working with self striping yarn and wanted the stripes to match as best as possible.

So I went back to Joann’s and got two 29″ circs and tried again. The problem now is that I can’t remember which needle I am supposed to knit with. Using one needle is easier because you always know which sock half you are going to next.

I think I’m going back to the single 48″ circ. The 2 29″-ers shall not go to waste, however. I have an eye on them for knitting three hexipuffs at a time. Oh yes. I have caught the hexipuff mania.

muscle memory is an amazing thing.

I’ve thought about it a lot this past week. (Too busy thinking about it to blog about it. Oops.)

I have a pair of socks I am knitting which I am using as my “force myself to learn to knit continental” project.* The first 3 inches were laborious, and I purposely ignored them for a while.

However, my sister and I went to a night of the Chicago Dancing Festival this week. Our free tickets were general admission, with the doors to open an hour before curtain. Alice and I ended up there an hour before the doors opened, and with two hours to kill before the performance, out came the socks and I found it was really going much faster with fewer problems in tension. If I stopped thinking too much about it, my fingers remembered and just did it.

Kind of like how my feet wanted to move around as if I was marking the Giselle pas de deux that was performed right before intermission. (The feet are willing, but the legs and core are weak.)

And on Friday night at Zumba I caught myself marking when I couldn’t keep up instead of doing the more exercise class-appropriate thing of modifying the exercise.

I can’t quite recall the name of the leap that gave me so much trouble when I was first taught it, but my feet do. Funny the things the fingers and feet remember that the rest of you doesn’t.

Last night I decided that I would get up, take the early train, work out before work, work, take bus downtown to meet up with sister, go to ballet performance, go home on train with sister.

Instead, this is what happened.

At 5:30, my alarm went off, but it was dark. And I didn’t really need to get up at 5:30. So I hit snooze. I hit snooze a couple more times until it was 6:30. Then I missed the early train, so I figured I’d get up, take the later train, work out in between work and ballet performance. 

Did embarrassing switcheroo wherein I take my work clothes out of my gym bag, put them on, and put gym clothes in gym bag. Get on train, only to realize that I am wearing ballet flats and have no sneakers.

New plan: figure out there is a lunchtime yoga class at other gym. Figure out way to get there. Do my morning cases, go to yoga class, come back to work.

It’s fortunate today worked out, because if there hadn’t been a yoga class at the right time, or if my court call had been heavier, or something else, it would’ve been no workout again. Like yesterday. (On the plus side, I did manage to work out Monday and Tuesday.)

But focusing on positivity: I had  a really great yoga class, no major crises at work (knock on wood) and am going to the ballet tonight. WINNING.

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