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Monday, September 3, 2007

  Monday Morning Mirth  

HEEheeHEEheeHEE haw...

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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

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You might've noticed (although if you're like me, you won't admit you watch it) a show called Beauty & the Geek on primetime television.

I like to think the Universe is large enough to allow for this premise to be applied, well, universally elsewhere.


Sock Yarn.

A money pit of sorts for some of us who Just Can't Say NO.

There are wonderful displays of same all over the Internet and I never tire of looking at their


I've even gone so far as to fall off a cliff of sorts one weekend long ago and make a slideshow album of thumbnails to amuse and instruct My Wallet, which sometimes gets confunded. I programmed a Droplet in Photoshop to do all sorts of quantifying adjustments to same and then let it RIP on a folder of pictures.

(Perhaps this makes me a


Maybe not) but when I finished a huge project this weekend, what better way to reward myself than with another huge project.

I have been lusting after the ever popular Chevron Scarf (from Last Minute Knitted Gifts) that's been gracing everyone's neck but mine for, hmm, years now! I saw KarenB's awhile back and the ENVY went sky high.

The only parameter I imposed on my ambition and lust was that I had to find the two colors of yarn needed in my stash. Roni used some Colinette for hers and I knew I could too, easily, because like many of you, my proverbial *** was caught in the one skein wringer that is Jitterbug.

I'll save that story for another day.

Well, sorting through the Sock Yarn Stash is always a happy browse but to my incredible surprise, once I started auditioning the stuff together, Mr. (Weird)Science sucked all the air out of the room. Even though the MSRG (manufacturer's suggested ridikulus gauge) was given as fingering weight, the discrepancies between them was rather startling.

No problem.

I am a Geek. Hear me Roar.

Here's my list of label stats of candidates, with extrapolated maths to get the goods, but hey, I'm on a mission. No sacrifice is too small...

Koigu KPPM

175 yds 50 g

350 yds per 100 g

Claudia Hand Paints

180 yds 50 g

360 yds per 100 g

Socks That Rock Lightweight

360 yds per 4.5 oz

280 yds per 100 g

Socks That Rock Mediumweight

380 yds per 5.5 oz

242 yds per 100 g


267 m per 100g

292 yds per 100 g

++++++++++++++++++++++++++ be continued...

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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Foofaraw excites Toscana

What kind of person would *experiment* over and over with a simple pattern to obtain a reproducible results? Hint: (knitting) geek.

I love that phrase.

Reproducible results.

As a designer, I'm supposed to be all over that concept and it was incredible to think so-called similar yarns were NOT going to play nice together.

Experiment #1, 2, 3: I started out mixing Koigu with Colinette. Both the tone and yarn size combo flopped, nix nix rip.

The little stats table from yesterday was created and studied. What stood out for me was the similarity in yardage between the STR Lightweight & Jitterbug. I wasn't too sure about the color combo but knew from past experience a little shell pink might be a very good thing in small quantities.

Into ye olde test tube went a skein of STR "Foofaraw" and the Jitterbug "Toscana".

It took about two inches to blow up into a very funkified pool so frustrating I had not the will to photograph it. This loss of will has never happened to me before (perhaps because of the Can Do/I WILL Make it Work clause in the Declaration of Geekitude, who knows).

But I tried again, this time draping the color I liked the most in the STR halfway across the midpoint of the scarf, after the border was worked and guesstimated the length needed to center the run by going backwards towards the beginning of the row to start the working yarn from there. This was better for awhile but it also puddled and rebeled. WTF?!!?

Nothing was left to do at this point but to play on the computer (wanted to find out what was wrong with Heath Ledger's teeth in "the Lords of Dogtown"). Ate a great junk food lunch of pizza and chips because it was Sunday it was sunny and dropping crumbs into one's keyboard is very lucky. (Ask Bill Gates.)

Sustained by cheese, I went back to the Chevron. This time I pulled out lengths of each yarn and really looked at them.

In common:
yarn diameter
yarn content and finish (scary–looked exactly the same to me)

length of color runs of the paint jobs

Then I looked at the stitch pattern, a lovely take on an old Shetland favorite. At one point in the rendering, there's a lot of decreasing going on.

The color runs of the STR were much longer than the color runs in the JB.

Maybe I could vanquish the pooling by using the longer run yarn in the most decreased row. Maybe the color would move back and forth instead of clumping and humping like lonely sticky little raisins.


click on picture for larger picture

You know.

Supersymmetry relates the particles that transmit forces to the particles that make up matter.

String Theory.

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Friday, September 7, 2007

605839562_09a7b37115_m.jpgTGIF! A big thank you to Tracy L. [over at FuzzyBritches] for tagging me as a Rockin' Girl Blogger! I'd like to wish Miss T a Happy Bloggoversary and wish her well on her new path in life—go wish her too :) !!!!!

I hereby send a big rockin' shout out to ALL the fiber folk who give me glee and mirth and warmth and hugs and hereby tag some in particular

Gaile  whose incredible knitting and photography never ceases to amaze me with its gorgeousness. And anybody who could love Itchycoo Park as much as me is my bud FOREVER! Click that link, listen and read...

Amisha  who writes and pictures the Heavenly Days of life (and knitting and more) that celebrates the ordinary uncommonly, kindly.

Heidi  and all I have to say to you, missy, is COME BACK to Chicago! We miss you! Until then, we love reading your adventures in life love and cooking—your Blood Orange Jam ROCKS ;p

KimG  whose blog header reads: GibKnits: Because it’s cheaper than therapy. Amen, sister! Right now, Kim has been busy Shrinky-dinking and making some very cool beads...

Sahara  over at Sistahcraft or should I say IN LONDON!!! which really trips my envy switch because I'm usually only green green green over all her adventures in the city of my Dreams: New York, New York. Let's not even start about the silk ribbon embroidery...

Rosemary  whose leading line on her blog today is "I reek of coffee" and I must add: "I resemble that remark, Dude!" You KNOW when someone is just having the same days as you that everything, maybe even the world, is going to be OK.

It's all too beautiful, mates!

ROCK ON and have a great weekend................ ;p

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Monday, September 10, 2007

  Monday Morning Mirth  

HOT or Not...

I was trippin' around reading all the reports on Fashion Week in NYC when I stumbled on this...

my favorite?

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Friday, Septmeber 14, 2007


I love to re-cycle!

I love finding new uses for bygone goods; rescuing things from the alley (my deck has some really nice flower pots! That IKEA desk I dragged home, bit-by-bit); reading old books from the second-hand place that cost a nickel; lots of my pots and pans; little thrills that double the pleasure because they've done double-duty.

Especially exciting was the day I ripped out my first completely knit sweater and rescued the YARN! Call me crazy, but it was a big leap to stop being in denial about poor fit or the fact I wasn't wearing something and suddenly it became a *harvesting* opportunity. I was eyeballing lots of stuff in the closet and realizing that yarn has no expiration date that it was just ripe for the pickin'. It's painful to make something that didn't turn out right but more than painful to let it stare you down and taunt you forever. And when you've amassed a snarkin' peanut gallery of sorts, its time...

Once, a sweater I made that didn't fit me went the rounds to most of my female relatives and friends. First, I gave it to my sister. No go. No fit. She gave it to my mother then on and on and on...

It finally ended up back in Chicago after circuiting The Entire Region, and it was then it dawned on me I should just rippit. Duh. I made this, which although now pretty well worn and a little shabby, is also well-loved.

A little elbow grease, some re-skeining and hot soapy water and that yarn was good to go. Tough Love, baby.

Lately, a piece needed an intervention in a different way. A piece I was knitting went from broad to narrow and after the jump, I totally lost control of the needles I was using—Addi Turbos, the nickel ones.

But as I had fewer and fewer stitches to go, it was chaos. Especially annoying was the way the needle kept falling out of the row entirely. Phishhhhhhhhhh...

I keep by my machine knitting area, gathering dust just like the Silver Reed itself since I haven't used it much lately, a bunch of funky plastic needles. They function as stitch holders for parts that come off the bed—usually there's a little finishing work to be done on machine made stuff, and it goes into a holding pattern. I've collected a few common sizes from eBay and it dawned on me I could maybe make the perfect tool for my slippery mess.

All I had to do was sacrifice part of the needle. I clipped off the rigid cable portion of some 60's era plastic circulars size 8 leaving me with some sticky little Mini-s, perfect for that small stitchwork. They're really pointy too—love that :)

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The Weekend is Fine & Dandy

It's September and it's not quite Sweater Weather...

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It's absolutely Vest Weather! The lovely Stephanie debuts her recently finished NICOLE...

Brava! read about her knitting and the tall girl mods she made for a custom fit at her blog Klosekraft.

Stephanie's vest is knit using Classic Elite Premiere (50% Cotton; 50% Tencel) in a seriously adult lavender...

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This vest is also great over a blouse: this navy version is made in a wool/silk combo (from Elann) and has the sheen characteristic of silk merged with the bounce of wool. Mary looks gorgeous in a black voile blouse, vest and blue jeans but this style looks equally great over a dress or with a skirt!

hand knitting patterns

Here's a great list of over 30 yarns that would work well in this pattern. If you have any suggestions send them to me HERE. I am especially finding time to make one with Lavold "Silky Wool" or "Silky Tweed". Because of the structure of the piece, it works well with yarns that have fibers that don't have much elasticity. If you have some ALPACA or SILK in your stash waiting for the right project, it has found a home...

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Ooh la la, Ms. Louise, but this is a very flirty look! Really pretty! This vest is fashioned out of Debbie Bliss Cotton Cashmere and the stitch definition is outstanding! I love it! Louise modified the cable slightly to her taste and I think she made a great choice, non? Beautiful lady; beautiful vest...

Read pattern stats about Nicole HERE...

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Monday, September 17, 2007

  Monday Morning Mirth  

Men in Tuxedos have been doing this for years—I laughed an laughed when I read about this plucky business practicing the the Art of Fractional Ownership

Hmm, now I have to think about item I'd go for...

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

support your local Traveling Rhinos...

Probably the last thing I expected to see in my very own neighborhood was a virtual sea of crafting! Now, in years before, when I lived on Schiller St. next to Wicker Park, it was always a very pleasant afternoon to saunter over to the green by the fountain and visit the Fair. There I met Shannon and Jenny and Vera and Corinne, all with their beautiful and expert handwork.

This year the Renegade Craft Fair has mushroomed into a Spectacle~! [And this I say with all positive appreciation!] Just like in days of yore when there was a seasonal Market Day and all the tradesman, shepards, alesman, jesters, buttermakers, and weavers came to town, here was a festival, a party, a concert, a feast!

As far as the eye could see, from Hermitage (almost at Ashland Ave.) to Damen, were set out booths, stages, food stalls, and craft corals, one-half mile's worth of Craftiness! I was abashed that I only had less than an hour to roam, my time being wrangled elsewhere. But in that hour, I strolled and found this.


A good sized crowd was outside this booth—I am always magnetized to that! I just had to see what was going on!


Meet the Traveling Rhinos from Boston! Here I found a fabulous assortment of craft: jewelry, accesories and more.


But of course, it was the MORE, the cherry on the sundae for me, YARN! On top: bulky weight for a hat; on the bottom, the most scrumptious sock yarn, handpainted by Eling...

Pleased to meetcha! Can't wait to make a new hat with that mouth-watering yarn!

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Friday, September 21, 2007

the first point of Libra FRIDAY!


now available as a PDF download...

As the world turns, we move into the new quarter and it's neither too hot nor too cold here in the Big Windy. I like to think that the time of the equinox is when the hemispheres are quite alike. It's a time of transitions; changing temps, changing light, changing direction.

I love this time of year! Don't mind seeking a little shelter from the weather's nip or two at all. I've been living in the sweater on the right—wearing it as a shirt, over a Tee or a sleeved shirt. It is made from a cotton blend (Short-Sleeved Hoodie: ggh BALI, color #94-Khaki) that is perfect for this fallish clime.

Sweater #2, in the middle, has been seeing lots of trips to the office. I've been wearing it with a black skirt, hose, and heels, with or without blouse underneath, and its fitted profile and color splits are sophisticated, understated, fem (yo, Carolyn). (Scoop-Neck Pulli: Selridge Farms SOFT TOUCH, colors Silver & Black).

Global Equinox

That brings us to the sweater on the left: the Long Sleeved Funnel Neck Ribby Pulli in two different handpainted tones; a celebration of sorts of our very own feminine celestial equator! (Yarn designed by Chic Knits and painted by Scout's Swag: Top/color b-Marie; Bottom/color Double Door)

Here's a Ribby stitched by the incredible Véronique, using two shades of Malabrigo:


Absolutely GORGEOUS! I like to think this one is for those of you in the Southern Hemisphere going into the SPRING!
The fresh green tickles to the toes!

Finished Measurements:
Chest: 33 (35, 37, 39, 41, 43)"
Length: 22 (22.5, 23, 23, 23.5, 24)"

Worsted Wt Yarn:
Long Sleeve Mock Turtleneck
& Hooded Short Sleeve Versions
1000 (1120, 1200, 1320, 1420, 1520) yards
Contrasting Yoke: one third of total yardage)

Scoop Neck Short Sleeve Version
850 (900, 950, 1025, 1100, 1200) yards

Gauge: 20 sts / 28 rows over 4" St st Needles: #5 (3.75mm) & #6 (4mm) DPNs
#5 (3.75mm) & 2 - #6 (4mm) - 29" Circulars

now available as a PDF download...$5.95

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Ah, the serenity of knitting lace! [And the perturbations of photographing it ;p]

The Miss Dashwood shrug is moving right along—at a slower speed than anticipated but we've had a warming spell here and it is hard to get motivated to knit wool.

YES! The AC is on!

And I don't know about you, but I always feel like I'm cheating somehow knitting in its wind...

[And then there's the little clammy feeling you get even though the room is cool. The knitting still builds up a micro-clime and eventually I have to set it down because I feel like my hands are two twigs rubbing and building a fire.]

The same reason I adore knitting with wool in January is the same reason I almost dread knitting it in warm weather.

But I want to wear this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OK. Cool weather is coming to the rescue...

Besides my little accessory jaunts (Chevron Scarf! Socks!) I am projectless. For the first time in MONTHS I am not enflamed with a deadline, passionate about a project . Even though there are some lurkers in the Marination Chamber, none are enticing me to jump in...

Several are enticing me to Fix Them.

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Thursday, September 27, 2007


Oh no you didn't!

Yes! I have simultaneous projects once again...

Nr. 1—blue circle on the right: a Ribby Pulli fished out of the Marination Chamber started last year (hee, I will ALWAYS be part of the UFO Resurrection KAL; I will Never Run Out of stuff to fish and finish). This is Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in Rue CW375, a very nice soft teal. It is destined to be the short-sleeved hoodie version.

Nr. 2—purple circle on the left: an Eyelet Cardi for myself, using Rowan Wool/Cotton. I love this color, subtle and a little retro: color 54 Grand.

Both these fibers pass the Touch Test: not making my hands moist in this early autumn weather ;p

They are both wool & cotton blends and I especially like the Rowan—just a wonderful feeling to knit it. BTW: NAYY :)

They both satisfy the Simplicity Factor of being very easy knits and counter-balance the Miss Dashwood lace project. Somebody's got to ride the Bus! Make mine easy...

BUT another thing going on over here has been much more naughty.

Tuesday, as I was transferring the picture from the last post to MType, something went flooey on the bus, the computer buss, that is. We're talkin' the Info Pipeline that exists as the sum of all your Ports coming into your box: the USB, the Serial, ATAPI, Firewire, Bluetooth, DSL, etc, etc, etc...

I use a Mac Intel Mini for most of my work, souped up with 1 GB of 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM. I have an ATA buss drive and an external 150 GB USB drive for photos/video, card readers (CF & SD) and a DVD drive.

These days I think you'd call this the Usual.

Not too pretty, not too expensive, not too fancy, but it works!

Most of the time.

I'll NEVER figure out exactly what went down the other morning except the USB Hard Drive completely disappeared. Was it when I pulled out the CF card without ejecting it first (OH no you didn't)? Was it when I blindly installed the Tiger OS upgrade to 10.4.10 without reading the Read Me File (OH no you didn't)? Was it when I FORGOT TO BACK UP MOST OF MY FILES on this extra drive (OH no you REALLY didn't)!

Even though I've witnessed all over blogland the most tragic of crashes; even though I get daily emails from people telling me their horror stories; even though I profess to be a Geek Princess, I didn't pay attention.

I guess I thought that this external drive must be immune to the same Read/Write errors every drive eventually suffers from as they age. This drive is from 2003? 2004?


What this means is hours nay days were spent trying to rescue the damn thing and figure out the collateral damage via file loss = much tearing out of hair and loss of sleep and yes, even tears.

I cried for my computer.

So pathetic! So common! So CRAPTASTIC.

And all day yesterday, I couldn't stop thinking about it while I was toiling on the DayJob. Now this drive has both USB & Firewire ports. While I was cruising along online doing recovery research, I found lots of stuff that dealt with permissions, boot block sectors, hosed directories, and more. I even created a Phantom User to force the computer to re-install all components to a new profile. No Dice. Nothing would recognize the drive or make it mount; it was invisible.

In a fit of desperation, I went into the Michigan Ave APPLE Store after work and under the huge Apple Window, bought a Firewire cable.

I went home and attached it to the Mini, and powered up the computer (no power to the drive). Then I powered up the firewired drive.


On the desktop! Recovered! Redeemed! Oh. HALLELUJAH!

I Dance now...

CELEBRATE the Resurrection of my Hard Drive:
guess who this guy singing is in the comments and win a copy of this:

winner announced next Wednesday...

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