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Excited to be at Alamo Drafthouse for A Christmas Story feast — Chinese food and fuuuuudge. This is the first time my parents have been in town when a feast’s going on, and they love this movie, so now they’ll get to see why the Alamo is so awesome. (We aren’t big drinkers, or drinkers at all in my Mom’s case, so “they bring you beer while you watch a movie” isn’t a selling point as it is for most folks.

I’ve resolved to catch up on blogging this year’s knitting, if not by the actual end of this year, then in January. In the meantime, have a picture of the menu.

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Even as a beginning knitter, I never made a plain garter scarf, or even a stockinette scarf. BORING. My first project was a pair of fingerless gloves that had a cast off, cast on slit for the thumb. Despite my love of the franchise, I have never knit a Doctor Who scarf and probably never will.

The trendy new thing in yarn this year, at least going by my local yarn stores, is novelty yarn designed to make us re-evaluate the simple scarf with impulse-buy price points and nearly instant gratification projects. Which is to say, I’m kind of addicted to frilly scarves. Even though the pattern for them is basically, “cast on between 4 and 12 stitches, and knit every row until you run out of yarn”.

flounce

This one is Flounce yarn, by Knitting Fever. It’s a ribbon yarn that unfolds into a fishnet mesh, which you crochet or knit by poking the needle about 1/4 of the way down from the top of the ribbon, so it has enough strands to not break. (I find this easier to accomplish with a crochet hook than by knitting.) As with all of these yarns, you don’t ever pull the entire strand of ribbon through a stitch, which leaves the rest of the strand to puff out and create the texture. Flounce looks like feather boa without the feathers, and tends to inspire people to hum burlesque riffs. I’ve made two of these now, both for five year old girls. They appreciate the pink and purple and frilly, and don’t yet know anything about stripper music.

cha-cha

This is Trendsetter’s Cha-Cha yarn. The store sample dragged me in because the ruffles stacked on each other so densely that it looked like brain coral. Brains! Around my neck! I’m not sure why mine doesn’t really give the same effect, but I’m still knitting this one so maybe it needs a good blocking/petting. This yarn is nice because it clearly delineates for you where you’re supposed to be knitting, and what part of the yarn you’re supposed to just leave alone to do its own thing. I find it’s just as easy to knit this as to crochet it. You have to manually place each ‘box’ on the needle, but since I’m a thrower I do that anyway. Unlike the other yarns, which are all acrylic, this one also has some wool content (and is priced accordingly).

The real show-stopper is Filatura di Crosa’s Moda tape yarn:
terri1

The netting is bigger and sturdier than the fine strands of Flounce, and reminds me more of a chain link fence than fishnets. You knit into just the topmost link, like for the Cha-Cha. Some colorways have gold or silver sparkles on one edge. Everyone at The Happy Ewe said, “That’s a ridiculous looking scarf”, followed immediately by, “I have to have it!” The Wednesday night spinning group cleaned them out of the sparkle-added yarns when we saw them.

I’m not keeping this scarf for myself, though. I’ve entered it in the Magick4Terri auction over on Livejournal. I grew up reading fantasy and urban fantasy (which back in the day meant Faerie creatures in an urban environment, not the sparkly vampires and paranormal romance that seem to be stealing that label these days). Terri Windling’s name on an anthology always meant there would be Good Stuff inside, so even though I’m not a famous author or artist I wanted to contribute something to the auction. I figure the “ooh, sparkly” appeal, along with being able to get it to a US buyer before Christmas, should help draw at least a couple bids.

I know anyone reading this (Bueller? Bueller?) is probably a knitter who can make her own scarf, but maybe you have non-knitting friends that you don’t like well enough to spend time knitting for them. Link them here! The auction also has some handspun yarns, and projects spun and knitted, or woven, by authors like Emma Bull and Susan Palwick. And, y’know, original art from Brian Froud, Alan Lee and others, plus tons of signed limited edition or out of print books by all sorts of fantasy writers. Bidding doesn’t end until December 15th, so there’s plenty of time to check it out or offer something of your own.

PS- Apologies for the poor quality of pictures today. It’s been drizzling for two days, which, since we need over 17 FEET in the lakes to make it out of this drought, I can’t bring myself to be upset over.

Someday I’ll get back to real blogging about knitting, but for now here’s a picture of Anne Hanson’s Longjohn socks pattern, made in the fabulous Ellyn Cooper’s Yarn Sonnets (brand name), Zohar’s Socks (yarn name), in Old Orchid (colorway). Whew, that’s a mouthful. Loving the lack of pooling in a colorful, hand dyed yarn… When I finish I’ll see if a vinegar bath will mitigate the bleeding that other Ravelers have complained about.

The Alamo Drafthouse creates their own pre-show reels, and we just got to see Elton John’s performance of Crocodile Rock on The Muppet Show. My very favorite! I’m just barely old enough to remember Kermit rushing onstage afterwards, flailing his hands at the muppet crocodiles, yelling “Don’t eat the guest star at the beginning of the show!”. Good times. And I have bacon and cheddar scones coming, so I’d better post this to get a few rows of knitting done before the show.

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I’ve been crazy-busy with knitting and spinning the last two months, and haven’t blogged any of it yet, but now that I’ve fixed WordPress so it will upload photos again, have a pic of my July Sock Knitter’s Anonymous sock. I’ve had to learn proper stranded knitting for it (I used to use the Philosopher’s woven, no-floats method) and I’m really pleased with how it looks. Not as hard as I thought it would be!

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Proof that I am crazy: the beaded edging of my Lalique lace sweater goes to see Kung Fu Panda 2 in 2D.

lalique at the movies

I’m really trying to get this edging done so I can block and get on to knitting the arms, but a rare 2D showing was too good to miss. Fortunately this theater has good light levels pre-show.

Here at the Alamo Drafthouse to see HESHER for the second time. This is a really amazing movie, and if its teeny tiny release includes a theater in your area, I encourage you to go. But don’t take your kids until you’ve had a chance to vet it first.

prismatic scarf

I think age is going to be my new excuse for failing to maintain an ongoing narrative on this blog. Even though I’m a technophile, I’m just that much older than the kids these days who’ve imprinted on daily updates. As a kid, I was playing 8-bit games on an Atari 800 and reading books (on paper!), so I don’t usually think to blog until a project is done and I can tell its whole story.

I’ve been working on another sweater with a self-imposed deadline, this time Lalique, from the Sanguine Gryphon’s spring Art Nouveau line. I’m making it out of this gorgeous purple Wollmeise lace that I got from The Loopy Ewe last summer:
yarn wollmeise lace with crapemyrtle

To celebrate the occasion of turning 39 for the first time, I have an appointment to have my hair dyed purple and blue at the end of this month. I figure having crazy hair is the prerogative of those who don’t have to adhere to office dress standards, and I can’t think why I haven’t gotten it done before now. I then realized that my new hair will match my new sweater marvelously, IF I can get the sweater done in time. Usually this wouldn’t be much of a problem, but I’m knitting at a glacial pace right now. I got that broken tooth removed last week, and while my mouth has healed up nicely, the, er, sinus involvement, has not. (Trying not to gross anyone out here.) So I’m taking 3 hr naps and still sleeping 9 hrs at night, and I’m smart enough to not knit lace when tired, and to absolutely not knit at all under the influence of Vicodin, however little good it seemed to do as a painkiller.

Of course, no sweater-shaped-object can ever be easy. The designer, Laura Patterson (FiberDreams) has us make a large swatch, three body repeats and one edging, for a total of 12 x 7.5″ to gauge. My swatch… was not that. Of course, it turns out when the pattern clearly says that WS rows aren’t charted because you just purl, and then I look at a knitted RS row and think, “Oh, that’s just the WS, I’ll ignore that”, the pattern ends up half as high as it was meant to be, and the wrong shape entirely. D’oh! And I made this mistake BEFORE the dental surgery, so I really have no excuse. On the plus side, I have two more swatches to add to my collection instead of one.
Lalique swatch size 4

I like the fabric I got in that second swatch, and I kind of think any bigger a needle size would create too much holeyness in the bellflower edging, and make it harder to tell that they’re bellflowers and not just abstract lace. You may note that this swatch which I like is NOT 12″. Thus, math.

I did enough math to figure out how many body repeats I’ll need… and let me tell you, I’m still shocked by the size I need to knit handmade sweaters to, as compared to the size I wear in off-the-rack, or my bra band. A 40G ends up being a 51″ sweater, with about 2″ of ease. I don’t feel like I’m 51″… yay body image, I guess? Anyhoo, I did just enough math that I could start in on the body of the sweater up to the armholes, which I finished yesterday.
lalique body

It’s a gorgeous day for knitting today… overcast and with the promise of a couple sprinkles of rain if we’re lucky. My family room, which is usually nastily sun-drenched in the daytime, is dark enough that I might be able to watch NCIS or Criminal Minds without glare (on a normal day I can’t watch anything too dark, which usually leaves me with just Hawaii 5-0 as an option). Except that before I can knit, I have to do math. Figure out the armhole castoffs, the neckline castoffs, etc. I’m sure it will go fine, but I will procrastinate this as long as I can… which may be why blogging seemed like a good idea this morning. And I have to copy out a few recipes I’ve promised people, and maybe go scrub toilets or something.

To jump ahead in the narrative a bit, I’ve already chosen my next sweater project. Marly Bird is hosting a KAL/Class for her Barton Cardigan starting June 1. The Barton is in the same Knitting Plus book that’s been a lifesaver for recalculating sleeve caps, as I did on the Leaving sweater and will be doing on Lalique. I’ve never steeked before, and after all this lace, it will be nice to work on a fabric that can support the needles all by itself. I’m supposed to be on a yarn diet, so yesterday my mom and I picked out Knitpicks Wool of the Andes Sport in a pretty sapphire blue, which will be my birthday present from her. Gee, I could go browse the Internets for frog clasps for the Barton… or I could just sit down and do ALL THE MATH.

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