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Yes I am a tailor, why do you ask?

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

I haven’t been doing anything terribly interesting lately, which ought to explain the lack of postage. Unless you count the interesting headaches and upper spinal aches* I’ve been having, which if they insist on becoming anymore interesting will be taking an extremely interesting trip to the doctor. Oh what fun.

I did get my clothes back from the tailor with only a small amount of Playing Chicken, however they are not exactly as I imagined them to be. I anticipated this, but I’m still a little disappointed. The top of the two piece outfit is far too loose, and the dress…

This is what my mother had to say about the dress: “You should not spend any more money at the tailors here. You should buy fabric and take it back with you, and make things there because this is a pretty fabric, and look!! Look what he made with it!!”

Mind you, this was said all said in rapid French. Perhaps if I get brave I’ll take a picture of the devastation. Thank goodness I have a fair quantity left.

Tomorrow is Tabaski. I’m going to hide in my house until the sheep slaughter is finished, and then I’ll be celebrating with one of my friends as my family is Christian.

Happy holidays!!

* The spine is just when I walk.

Basic Sock Pattern

Sunday, August 27th, 2006

–CO 64 stitches over four DPNs, distributed with 16 stitches per needle.–Work 16 rounds of 2X2 ribbing

–Work desired cuff length of pattern as follows:

Row 1: Knit

Row 2: *K2, P2* repeat around.

–Work a short row heel, double-wrapping stitches.  I usually go down to  10 stitches remaining unwrapped for women’s socks, and 12 for men’s.  (The second wraps will actually come on the pick-up rows of the heel.  Within the week I should be working one anyway, so I’ll try to photo-document for you.)  If you want to carry the pattern down the top of the foot, redistribute your stitches, before the heel, so that your top-of-foot stitches start and end with either one knit stitch, or one purl stitch.

–Continue on, knitting the instep stitches and knitting/patterning the top-of-foot stitches, until your sock is almost to your toes.  Measure your heel, from the bottom of the patterning on cuff to the center.  You want to continue your sock until you have that distance left at the toe. It should be approximately 1.5 inches, if you are too lazy for that. (Remember that your toes are rounded, and take it into account as you measure.)

–Next are the toe decreases.  Name your needles 1, 2, 3, and 4 going around (if it helps).  1 and 3 are sister needles, as are 2 and 4.  What I mean by that is you always do the same things to those sets.

Row 1:

Needle 1: K1, ssk, knit to end.  Needle 2: Knit until three stitches remain, k2tog, k1.  Repeat on needles 3 and 4.

Row 2:  Knit around. (All four needles).

–Repeat until 20 stitches remain, total.  you should have five on each.  At your last knit row, combine the stitches on needles 1 and 2, and the stitches on needles 3 and 4 so that you have ten stitches on each of two needles.  Top and bottom.  Graft using kitchener stitch.  (I am going to try to photo-document that too.  Soon.  Bear with me.)

*pop*–ouch…*pop!*–ouch……*POP!*

Monday, August 21st, 2006

Ouch!

As I tumbled down the ladder-stairs (much later than I intended), I was in search of yesterday’s strawberry muffins*. They were sitting, as cheerfully as a plate of strawberry muffins can sit, lightly covered in plastic wrap and waiting to be devoured. I heated one slightly in the microwave, sliced it open, buttered it, and opened my–*POP!*

O_o

…ouch? I guess I have a kink in my jaw…let’s try this again.

…and opened my–*POP!* Hmmm…okay I’m going to take a bite anyway. *chew–POP!* *chew–POP!* *chew–POP!*. Ouch..ouch….ouch…

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A picture of Friday’s blueberry muffins, because in my current lazy state I can’t seem to get up and find the camera. Tough cookies.

So what is going on? My jaw has never done that before, but if it keeps it up I’m going to be taking a trip to the spare body parts center, once I find out if such facilities exist.  And where.  And if they’ll take a trade.  I’m going to go off and sulk, and drink tea, and walk the beach.  But first, Grandmoom’s pineapple upside-down cake from Friday:

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And spices that became a curry, also on Friday.

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Can you sense a theme here?  Well, we had a LOT of food on friday.  Moom and Grandmoom made breakfast, Grandmoom made cake, I made muffins, Moom made chicken, and I made curry with chappatis.  In fact, we’ve had an extraordinary amount of food most days, and I personally am waddling around half the time clutching my belly and mentally mocking all the people I know who would be jealous.

There has been knitting, but nothing that it makes sense to show.  I started a sock, and decided that it was much too big for my foot.  I can’t finish the old because it is on suicidal needles.  I am finishing some things, but I am also too lazy to photograph those.  Also, showing finished projects is no fun without Emily the Yarn Duck.  D=

Oh well.  Pictures later,  and *yaaaaawn–POP!*…all I have to say about unexpected misbehaviour in the jaw-type area is…what the wool?
*Actually, they ended up being strawberry whole wheat muffins because of a rather unfortunate out-of-flour disaster, but that’s not really the mouse point. (“mouse”?? I don’t know, don’t ask me.  That’s got to be one of my weirder typos ever.  “point” to “mouse”…  Usually, I have only two unavoidable Freudian slips.  The first is “yard” to “yarn”, and the second is “heron” to “herron”.  Go figure.)

A rash, or a rack?

Tuesday, August 15th, 2006

The answer is a “rasher”.

Imagine a frying pan full of sizzling lake freighters.  =D

Valdemort, don’t you wish you were up here to know the context of that thought??
Eventually, if you are careful, the Clyde’s coma which earlier in the day both turned you into a beached whale and gave you the extra fat layer to walk in the wind begins to recede.  To go into remission.  Its jaws begin to weaken, and you feel the first twinges of something that might possibly have the potential to turn into something resembling the semblance of “hunger”.

Then you gorge yourself on dinner and little frozen eclairs.

The little sandpipers that flit around at the water’s edge leave little flat prints in the sand.  It’s a good thing we don’t have crocodiles (“flatties”, if you read Scribbling the Cat) or they’d be eaten like popcorn, three to the mouthful!
I’m glad that I don’t live a family where we “fall to our knees at the breathless beauty of the landscape and stare for ten minutes” ( O_o ), but if anyone were ever to need that opportunity we’ve got the perfect setting for it.  The lesson we shall take from this is:

If you ever end up with a truly horrible book, just walk away.  It is no sin to dispose of it quietly in the dead of night, and no one will ever know (unless you make an unreasonable amount of noise in the process).
Moom is a few inches into a sock.  I got her!

Oh, how hard it is to be lazy!

Monday, August 14th, 2006

Here I am, with a bunch of old projects that need finishing and absolutely nothing else that must be done.

Okay, I have some books too, but I can do both at once.  =D

I am reading Scribbling the Cat by Alexandra Fuller while finishing a sock and a felted laptop case.  I just now realized, as I went down into the photo section to insert the image, that I have failed to take a picture of this.  I also realized, half an instant later, that I am far too laaaazzy to care!  So instead, you get a finished project picture.

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The beach socks, guarded by The Sneak’s elephant.  Emily the Yarn Duck opted to stay in Ann Arbor, so Tiger the elephant is standing in as a guest Yarn Duck Elephant.  =D  The first sock was done long ago, and the second has been lounging on the needles for quite some time.  I guess that I just needed some real beach to spur me on, because the whole cuff got finished in the short order of one day.  Soon they will make their way to the recipient, Web Momster/Dog Mom/Dog Momster.

The sock that I am now working on is…

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Surprise!!  I just couldn’t do it.  I couldn’t rip out my Yarn Harlot sock.  I have this thing, where when I knit at concerts (etc…) I feel like I have knit part of the show into the piece. The Yarn Harlot is in this sock, as are some other good things. I just can’t rip it out.  I have fallen back in love with my simple fallback garter rib.  And the yarn.  So, in it stays!

Also, I just may have found a stash yarn (!!) that could be right for Pomatomus

Today we stopped in at

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.We parked in

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(Yes, I was with The Old Witch Moom.  Why do you ask??)

At this lovely location, I managed to restrain myself from buying *anything*!!  Moom was not so fortunate.  She fell into the trap that is yarn/fabric.

When I first bought the beach sock yarn, I had no idea where it would go or what sort of sock it would become.  Its destination eventually became clear to me, but we all still sort of wanted it.

Surprise!  Today there was one lonely ball still on the shelves!!  We couldn’t just leave it there, in amongst the other non-beachy yarns, so Moom rescued it.

When we got home, she made the lovely bracelet that is displayed on her site, from a kit bought in Royal Oak.  Tomorrow…she learns to make socks.

A mission for both of us, right?  ;D

Drained, or shall we say “waterlogged”?

Saturday, August 12th, 2006

I feel like a lace shawl in its pre-blocking soak. After working for 7.5 hours, Moom and I got in the car and drove up to “the great white north”, where we intend to reside in relative peace until the 23rd.
Er…some yarn investigations may take place during the so-called “radio static” time period between now and then…

But in order to distract you from the fact that I really, really cannot spend any more money on yarn until say…winter or even later, equally as important to yarn but I need to protect my stash from other sneaky knitters, more importantly, remember ma belle cousine Janet from the last entry?  *Waits while you scroll down*

She has been converted!!
Welcome to the blog world!  Now all we have to do is convince her to knit more…

Seriously though, I have to go to bed NOW.  Unless you want me to fall face-flat on the keyboard and type seventeen pages worth of the letter “v”?  Nah..pillow sounds more comfortable for my little nose.  O_o

A better knitter.

Saturday, August 12th, 2006

That is what I need to be. I need to practice a little more project monogomy, at least until I finish some things!!

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Random insertion of tiger wearing frog cape. Image from Janet.  I love my family =D

Now, newer knitters (or let’s say knitters who have not yet found complete obsession), have a little advantage. They do things like this, making us swoon with joy:

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Scarf for a special person, made by cousin Janet!!

But that is not all. Oh, no. That is not the crazy part! The crazy part is this:

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Scarf from leftovers(!!) for The Penguin! 

They use their leftover yarn!!!

I know what you’re thinking. I know what we’re all thinking. We’re not going to tell her, because we want her to think that this is normal knitterly behaviour. She does not need to know that the rest of us stash it uncontrollably, and even though we know that it will probably sit there gethering dust for the rest of our lives, we cannot stand to part with it. You know, in case we actually manage to use up our stashes someday, which would also fulfill the obligatory “Yarn Diet” requirement.

She even thought to document the yarn label in detail, although I am far too lazy at the moment to process the image. Everyone leave comments and praise her for her lovely, lovely work!

It’s a slippery slope, ma belle cousine, a slippery slope indeed. Now come to grandmoom’s so I can start you on some socks! ;D

Blogger’s Graph

Friday, August 11th, 2006

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If you have a website, you can make your own here. It growls =D grows from the center, and I re-did it about three times, just for fun! The pattern actually varies slightly each time, although the overall numbers and general structures remain the same.

Today I don’t really have anything that seems important enough to post about. I ran some errands, all of which failed in general. I made some plans, which really really failed for about the fifth time. What else can I tell you…let’s see…I made some tea?

I am sure that you see my point by now. I didn’t even manage to knit anything more than a few rows on a sock, embarrassingly enough!! Talk about pathetic!!!

I know what I can use as a distraction. This!! Moom posted about it the other day. I only had trouble with it in two spots, where I tried to do the right thing but placed the pieces very slightly in the wrong spot. So so so SO frustrating!! Anyway, go play. Have fun.

It is 12:17 AM. It is definitely time to take my bad mood self away from public forms of communication, and to remedy my knitting failure with more sock, a book, and some tea. Even though I should be in bed. To all you smart people who are sleeping, goodnight!!

Progress?

Tuesday, August 8th, 2006

Excuse me while I laugh so hard I choke. Progress would imply that I have accomplished something since the last time I posted.

Er..hold on a second.

*Elevator music*

Nope. I just went and examined all my current projects for signs of spontaneous and independent growth, but apparently my wool collection is not quite that evolved at this point in its history. (That’s right, blame the wool. We know whose side I’m on now…)

However, before I progress with evidence of my blatant creative neglect, I think I ought to share this lovely (and dangerous) comment with you all:

“Procrastination? I think not! Obviously you are a creative sensitive person who is waiting for the Project Gods to send you a sign telling you which project to work on. You have given the Gods so many projects that they are obviously having difficulty choosing which one to assign you to finish. You may want to cast on something else to work on until they make their decission.”

Just what I needed to hear!! =D Diane, that was the best laugh of the day. Thank you for providing me with one more excuse for my obsessions!! I certainly have a long and dangerous track record with the Project Gods…

Onward.

A few (measly) rows have been accomplished on almost everything. However, I have also dragged out two old projects!!! One is this bag, which has been nearly finished since..oh..approximately two days after I received the yarn in the mail? It is missing a small portion of handle, and then I can felt it.

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Sometimes things just have to be put aside for a while. And sometimes, things really should not be but they end up that way regardless. The other project that I have pulled out is a sweater that I am seaming for someone, “in my spare time”. You know what that means, don’t you?? I would rather not talk about that one. I have had it for far longer than would be necessary for the actual work. It was given without a time frame, however I still feel guilty. It should be done within the week though!!
Both socks have had a little work done on them. The beach socks will hopefully be done within the week as well, but the dark-ish trekking socks are going to be ripped. Why? This is why. I have to. The pull…it is…too…great…

I finished this:

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Wallet prototype

My pattern needs some adjusting, but that should be easy to do. It is very simple. I have a plan for these. Also, I was not intending to make it into a treble clef. It started to look like one though, so why not?

The aubergine design is needle felted on. It is a little uneven. Like I said, “prototype”. I was not being extremely careful with the design, as I’d already messed it up a bit.

To needle felt you need a foam pad, a wool roving or yarn, and a felting needle. A felting needle looks like this:

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It is a little hard to see, and believe me when I say it was even harder to photograph. (I love the aubergine background!) To use it you stab repeatedly though the wool, shaping as you go. The dents in it are little barbs, which catch on the fibers. In this case, it carries the fibers through the felted surface (the wallet) on which I attached it, solidly joining the design to the surface. The needles come in different gauges, for coarse to fine work. It is fun! I have some ideas that you will be seeing shortly.

Finally, a la Diane, I am appeasing the Project Gods by casting on something new!

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Shawl yarn. For Moom!! I would not have done it except I want to finish this before I go back to school. I am working on designing the pattern right now. I am probably going to put the lupine shawl aside for a while, just to get this one out of the way. Although, who really knows? Perhaps I will keep up the work on them both. We won’t really know until we get there, I suppose.

She completely confused me by going for the pink, rather than the greens blues and purples that I had set aside for her to look at. Uh..surprise!!

The truth.

Sunday, August 6th, 2006

Let’s just talk for a minute about a rather embarrassing subject. Called “procrastination”.

Would you like to know what I have been working on–what I have really been working on lately? Well I’ll show you. Scold gently, please. *Take a deep breath*…

Here they are. In no particular order.

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Beach sock #2.

I’m willing to bet that you thought I finished it weeks ago. The horrible truth is…when I picked up from my provisional cast-on, I missed a stitch. One of the sort of hidden ones at the join. That’s right, I had 63 stitches rather than 64. I was most of the way through the foot when I finally noticed this. As there is absolutely no way that I could possibly stand for such blatent imperfection in my work…*swallows a teaspoon of mirth*…out it came. Back to the toe. Now that everything is even, I can finish. It’s about time!

Next I’ll show you these. Er..This.

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The Trekking sock that I was knitting at the Yarn Harlot event. Guess how much work I have done on this sock since then?? That’s right. Nothing. Not one measly little stitch. This is a case of basic neglect. If I’m not careful, someone will be calling the WPS (Wool Protective Services) on me.

Next!

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The Sneak’s bag. All I need to do is line this. It would have been done before, but really she is right. It does need a lining to keep it from stretching. Oh well.

Next!

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Mystery Project

A secret project. Just a little stockinette on the side, I guess. This needs two seams, felting, needle felting, and a closure. For now, that is all you need to know. I am sitting here fully convinced that I am successfully mysterious and intriguing, so don’t spoil my fun.

Finally, this.

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What a surprise!!! Another untouched project! This one, I cannot wait to get back to. However, I’ll have to wait until I finish some of the smaller things. We shall see, we shall see.

In other news, The Sneak left this morning for California. She is driving out there with our “sister” Colleen (who she met before I was born), and a friend from Kalamazoo. They are camping in Omaha tonight. I have probably told you this already, but when she gets there she will be working for a bilingual radio program in Berkeley. More news as it comes to me. =D

See? Wasn’t that embarrassing? It was just…uh…

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Oops. Another project…this one I am going to let you wonder about.