PRGE Questions

1. How long have you been knitting/crocheting/spinning? I’ve been knitting for a little more than two years. I taught myself to crochet last summer, but it doesn’t hold my fascination the way knitting does. I haven’t learned to spin (yet).

2. Do you consider yourself a beginner, novice or experienced yarn artist? I’m pretty experienced, but not an expert. I love working lace, cables, twist- or slip-stitch patterns. These days, I’m trying to learn more about pattern construction.

3. What fibers (materials) have you knit/crochet with? Most of the biggies ... wool, wool blends, alpaca, cotton, bamboo, mohair, acrylic, silk blends.

4. What are your favorite yarns? Patons SWS. Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride (bulky and worsted). Rowan Kidsilk Haze. Debbie Bliss Cashmerino. I'm just now starting to explore Knitpicks, too.

5. What fibers are you dying to try? Hmm ... I’m honestly not sure. I’d like to be exposed to something different or new or weird.

6. Do you prefer solid, self striping, or handpainted yarns? I like them all! I think they all have their place. But with self-striping, I like yarns where the stripes fade in and out (like Noro or SWS), rather than start and stop abpruptly.

7. What fibers do you dislike? I’m not crazy about most acrylics, although some novelty yarns and boucles are okay. Lion Brand does not work for me, especially Homespun.

8. What are your favorite colors? Black, pink, black, pink, red, purple, blue. Also: black and pink.

9. What are your least favorite colors? Yellow and orange. Also, non-pink pastels.

10. How did you learn to knit/crochet/spin? My mom knits and crochets; she tried to teach me both when I was a teenager but I couldn’t get beyond the first row of either. She gave me a knitting kit from Target a few years ago -- I tried valiantly and failed miserably. Then for Christmas in 2004, I got Stich N’ Bitch, and picked it up pretty quickly. I learned crochet from Happy Hooker last summer.

11. What projects are you currently working on? I’m about to start my first sweater. Now that it's in the high 70s and low 80s in Austin.

12. How old is your oldest UFO? What is it? Will it ever be finished? I started the tankini from SnBN in spring of 2005, and it bored the hell out of me. It’s never going to be finished – I plan to use the yarn for something else.

13. What is the most heartbreaking project that you ever frogged? I had to frog my Sexie top partway through, after laboring over it ... fortunately, I was unemployed at the time, so I had time to start over.

14. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Circulars. I never knit with straights anymore unless it’s a size I don’t have in my standard Denise kit. (I long for the extra needle tips they have now.) I use DPNs pretty frequently.

15. Do you own a swift and/or a winder? Nope, to my dismay. I am thinking of getting the winder soon and forcing Mr. Fury to build a swift.

16. Where do you keep your needles? I have a Denise kit, which is self-contained. The neglected straights and my DPNs hang out in a big glass mug on my desk.

17. Do you enjoy helpful hints about your knitting or does it just piss you off? I’m fine with it, as long as there’s no Nelson Muntz “ha ha” involved.

18. What techniques are you still a virgin in (lace, cables, ect.) and are you interested in trying them? I’m a sock virgin, but hope for deflowering in the next few months. I’m also tempted by entrelac.

19. What knitting magazines do you subscribe to? None.

20. Are there any books, needles, yarn, patterns that you are dying to get your hands on? I always like patterns sized for wee torsos (I have a 32” bust and 25” waist ... and a very, very big ass), or anything that takes just one or two skeins to complete.

21. Do you enjoy knitting socks? How big are your feet? I hope to begin enjoying knitting socks in the near future! My feet are 9” long, and I have rather thick ankles and heavy calves. (It’s muscle, I swear.)

22. Do you have a wish list? Sure do.

23. What are your non-knitting, crochet, spinning hobbies? Reading, dancing, exercising, general domesticity, watching movies.

24. How do you feel about sports? I love UFC but that’s the only professional sport I can stand. Austin roller derby is awesome but I haven’t attended for the last season or two.

25. What is your favorite season? Least favorite season? Why? I love a nice warm Texas spring. Winter is my least favorite because I cannot abide being cold. Hence all the wool.

26. What is your favorite holiday? Halloween. It celebrates three of my favorite things: costumes, candy, and horror movies!

27. Do you like handmade gifts? Of course!

28. Do you wear jewelry that isn't real? None of my jewelry is real. Even my wedding ring is CZ.

29. What are your favorite foods? Scents that you love? I love chocolate, candy, junk food, and coffee. In terms of real food, I love Italian and Tex-Mex. Not that anyone would send meat for a gift exchange, but for the record, I’m a long-time vegetarian (eight years running). As for scents, vanilla is the all-time champ.

30. What is your family situation? Do you live alone? I own a condo with my fantastic husband. We have been together for about seven years and married for a little more than three of those. We eloped in Las Vegas; our wedding was featured on MTV. (Which never fails to get me recognized when I duck into Hot Topic.)

31. Do you have any pets? We have five ferrets: Eris, Fozzie, Ginsu, Houdini, and Illiogor. Yes, that’s a lot of ferrets. We decided to go with ferrets instead of kids, as ferrets can be caged when we aren’t home.

32. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3's? Rockabilly, punk, old-school country. I’ll listen to just about anything except radio pop and commercial rap. (mc chris, on the other hand – rock on!) My computer can play MP3s.

33. What are your favorite movies? TV shows? Actors? I am a horror movie junkie, especially zombie movies. As for TV, I’m crazy about Adult Swim on Cartoon Network, and I watch both the Daily Show and Colbert Report. Court TV and Law and Order tend to be on in our house too. I still lament that Mystery Science Theater is gone. My all-time favorite actor is Seth Green – I never watched Buffy, but I’ve been in love with him since I was 12.

34. What do you collect? Anything kitschy or evil. I’m very fond of fridge magnets, postcards, and buttons (not the kind that are used to fasten garments, the other kind).

35. What do you do in real life -- besides knit and blog? My day job is at a small niche travel dot-com; I love it immensely. I’m also a member of the Satan’s Cheerleaders dance group. Besides knitting, most of my time is spent reading, or being domestic with Mr. Fury and the ferret herd. I’m also a hardcore gym addict ... I do weights, yoga, or spin class pretty much every day.

36. When is your birthday? Is it a national holiday or just another day? March 25. It’s the Annunciation, which I don’t celebrate because I’m not Catholic.

37. Do you have any allergies, medical conditions or disorders that your pal should be aware of (ie. diabetes, food/pet allergies, ect.)? I can’t stand cigarette smoke. Hate it, hate it, hate it. Please don’t send Pall Malls.

38. Are there any scents, phobias, or sensory thing (ie, the way certain objects feel) that your pal should be aware of? Nope. Well, I don’t like the feeling of wet cotton balls, but I suspect the chances of receiving wet cotton balls are pretty slim.

39. What is the most difficult thing that you have ever knit/crochet? You know, I’m not sure. Probably the very first row I ever knit was the most difficult.

40. What is your personal style? Is there a time period/fashion movement that you take your cues from? I’m very jeans-and-t-shirt during the day (see the aforementioned dot-com day job). But for going out ... my crowd enjoys dressing up. Costumes, fetishwear, corsets, vinyl -- it’s all fair game. I get a lot of inspiration from the 1920s, 1940s, and 1950s. I do love me some bullet bras.

41. Anything else that you would like to say? I’m sure whatever you send will bring me much, much joy. My pleasures are simple. This is my very first online gift exchange and I’m stupid excited about it.


Buzz Bomb

I have been meaning to expand my posting a bit, to give everyone a better idea of who I am.

In that spirit, I present one of my favorite things ever: the music video for "Buzz Bomb." In case you can't tell, I'm the blonde in the red dress with the electric knife (and I'm also dancing behind our bass player in most of his close-ups).

Silk Garden Redemption

I finished my blue-hued Noro hat last night. I'm happy enough with it, although the decreases are a bit wonky as written. Probably won't be using the pattern again; should I need to do another one-skein Noro hat, I'm sure I can puzzle it out for myself. (Famous last words.) I think I am going to give this particular hat to a friend as a birthday present next week. That wasn't my intention when I started it -- I'm a selfish, selfish knitter -- but she'll like it.

I'm extending probationary forgiveness to Silk Garden. There were no problems with this skein, although I could live without the wee bits of grass and whatnot that somehow end up in there. Perhaps it's time to give other Noro family members a whirl.

Unless my Knitpicks order arrives today, which I sincerely doubt, I'm in project limbo for a bit. This is just as well, I suppose, since I need to get some hausfrauing done in Mr. Fury's absence. I'm thinking of using my black Sierra towards a scarf for someone, and I still have enough Cascade Fixation to try Broadripple.

I do have one problem with moving into knitted socks: Illiogor. He enjoys eating, sleeping, wrestling with the other ferrets, and sock rides. That's where he sinks his teeth into the toe of your sock as you walk by, and then hangs on. I shudder to think of the damage he could do to a beloved handknitted sock ...


Knitting, No Tears

I'm still working on my second Noro Silk Garden cap -- this time following the pattern as written, after trying a few other things and frogging. I have about an inch more to do before the decreases. This skein is working out much better than the first one.

My V-Day present from Mr. Fury arrived today: my very own copy of Knitting Without Tears. Joy! Speaking of Mr. Fury, he will be traveling to Minnesota this weekend -- good thing I made him gloves, eh?

I might have a photo shoot on Sunday, but other than that, I plan to lounge and knit for most of the weekend. I also need to plot out my impending Snit Raglan. I ordered from Knitpicks on Tuesday ... I've only ordered from them once before, and it took approximately fifteen years for my order to arrive (okay, it was really about two and a half weeks). Hopefully it will be quicker this time.

It's getting warm again, which dissuades us Texans from knitting scarves and hats and other warm accoutrements. Is it weird that I'm thinking of knitting up some cotton sweat towels to use at the gym? At least I'm not knitting gym socks ...


My Very Own Knucks!

Pattern: Knucks
Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed, 1 ball Sigh (?)
Stats: size Lady

This is the knitting bright spot of my day -- finished Knucks. It sort of makes up for my little breakdown earlier. Huzzah! I'm not 100% sure what the color's name is -- it's sort of a dusty purple.
Next: another Noro Silk Garden hat. I love the first one I made, and have been wanting another in other colors.


I'm full of rage. Don't you love spending an entire day working on something only to have it be a complete waste?

I have this book, One Skein Wonders. It has patterns contributed by various different yarn shops; the two patterns I've used happened to be from the same person, but both of them worked out quite well. There is a simple top-down raglan shrug I've wanted to make since I got the book, so I got a skein of Rowan Kid Classic for it Saturday and cast on this morning. I had to go up two needle sizes but I managed to get gauge exactly.

As I completed the raglan shaping, I thought, Gee, this pattern is going to use every bit of the yarn. As I worked through the sleeves I thought, I think I might have to shorten it by a few rows so I don't run out of yarn. As I bound off the sleeves, I decided to measure what yarn I had left for the eleven remaining body and hem rows, plus binding off. Two yards. Two freaking yards!! That wasn't even enough to bind off the first of the eleven rows that were left.

I swore. I swore a lot. I used a particularly mean term to refer to the pattern designer. Normally I'd have headed out to the LYS to get another ball of yarn, but I happen to know I got the last one they had in this color, let alone dye lot.

The funny thing is that I only started the shrug as a fun little break from my Knucks -- I finished the thumb gusset of the second one during defensive driving (I only knit during the breaks), and started the oblique rib cuff when I got home yesterday afternoon. I realized the oblique rib was Not Working Out and frogged the cuff. I did it over in K2P2 with smaller needles, and though it's still loose on my freakishly small wrists, I'm happier with it. But that left me with the formerly completed Knuck with the oblique rib cuff.

So yeah. I need to redo the cuff on Knuck #1 and then I'm done with them (hopefully tonight). I also got a ball of Noro Silk Garden (yes, I know, I never learn) to make another cap -- this one in blue/green/gray/purple. I'm going to save the Rowan Kid Classic for use in some openwork project or another. I'm not sure if I will re-attempt the shrug with two skeins in another color or not. Right now I'm tempted to order some Wool of the Andes and make myself an actual-factual raglan cardigan.

For what it's worth: I decided it would be disrespectful to the strippers to knit Saturday night. Apparently the new trend in stripwear is legwarmers -- none that I saw were handknit, though.

Lesson learned: sometimes knitting will suck.


Hands, Fingers, Knees, and Toes

Body Worlds was one of the coolest things I've ever seen in my life. I'm still in awe.

I finished the first of my Knucks yesterday, including the finishing. I managed to do the joining row on a particularly bumpy stretch of I-35, and got most of the way through the thumb gusset before darkness forced me to abandon it. I did the cuff when I got home -- I used the oblique rib from Knitting on the Edge (in honor of all the naked oblique muscles I saw yesterday, not that the pattern has any relevance beyond the name). It's loose on my tiny wrists, but I knew it would be and decided to go ahead with it anyway.

We're going to a friend's birthday party at a local topless joint tonight. What's the etiquette regarding knitting in strip clubs?



I have made minimal progress on my Knucks. (I've done one thumb.) There hasn't been much knitting time this week. I decided that I will do all ten fingers first, so I will be pleasantly surprised when I finish the first one and don't have to face doing all the fingers for the second one.

I'm losing six hours of prime knitting time on Sunday -- gotta take defensive driving to get a speeding ticket dismissed. Bleh. I am also thinking of pulling a double at the gym on Saturday; usually I just do Saturday yoga, but I'm thinking of hitting spin class beforehand since I'm missing both my Friday and Sunday spin classes.

It's crazy cold here. Today I discovered that my Noro Silk Garden hat coordinates surprisingly well with my Branching Out scarf. Rawk! I love the matchy-matchy.


Finished Loop-d-Loop Cowl

Pattern: Cowl (sans drawstring)
Source: Loop-d-Loop by Teva Durham
Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Bulky, 1 ball Wild Violet
Stats: one size

So last night I set out to de-curl the curling edge of my cowl. After a failed attempt at a crochet edging, so I picked up stitches along the cast-on edge, did a purl row, and cast off. Then I wet it down and pinned it six ways from Sunday ... and it worked. Adios, curling!

I'm much happier with it now that the edge doesn't give me the flapping-dickey look. When I made it, I wasn't sure I'd wear it ... but now I'm liking it. Although with the neck rolled up it's pretty dorky:

Next project: my very own Knucks!


Loop-d-loop Cowl

Well, I finished the knitting on the cowl this evening ... I made the neck a little shorter but otherwise followed the pattern. When I started it I remember thinking, Wow, this is stockinette. It's going to curl. Because that's the nature of stockinette. It curls. I know this. And yet I knit it anyway.

Of course, now it's curling like a mofo. I have minimal faith in blocking to uncurl it. I did a crochet border around the bottom; upon completion, I realized I hated it and pulled it all out. I might try picking up stitches from the cast-on and doing a purl row -- which I should have done from the outset, but I followed the pattern instead of my instincts.

Lesson learned: instincts. Trust them.


Branching Out is Complete!

Pattern: Branching Out
Source: Knitty.com Spring 2005
Yarn: Patons SWS, 2 balls Natural Plum
Stats: 6" by 52"

The first shot is pre-blocking, the second is a closeup of the stitches after I pinned the whole thing down. I'm hoping it's dry by tomorrow morning so I can wear it to work.

Lesson learned: lifelines. No, really. Lifelines.

This afternoon I hopped over to Hill Country Weavers, and discovered that they don't carry Brown Sheep Naturespun, which I wanted for the cowl in Loop-d-Loop. Hm. It's used double-stranded in the pattern, so I grabbed a skein of Lamb's Pride Bulky instead. I've gone some remnants of LPB left over from other projects, so I'll use that to see if the gauge works out. If not, I'll return it and get something worsted to double-up.

I also got a ball of purple Rowan Felted Tweed for my own pair of Knucks. :-)

For Lana

Barring some crazy-ass unforseen circumstance, I'll finish Branching Out today.

Lana's post today reminded me that I have a vintage Coats & Clark pattern booklet from 1968 which features some ... interesting looks. Pretty much everything in it is knitted with four strands of yarn, and man, does it show.

This is the "moss-stitch striped dress." I know that as a small-framed woman, I like to encase myself in giant bulky acrylic monstrosities on a regular basis. It makes me appear larger to predators. I do dig the swingin' fencenet stockings though.

Here we have the "honeycomb-pattern coat." Can you imagine wearing this thing over the dress? You could get stabbed with a steak knife and never feel it.

And especially for Lana ... BIG BERETS. Just think: someone made these on purpose.


Branching Out ... and Out ... and Out ...

I made it to the halfway point on Branching Out last night, polishing off my first skein after 15 repeats and a few odd rows. I've only had to rip back to a lifeline once since my last post, and it was tonight that I did it. Rawk. I am never knitting anything complicated without a lifeline again.

The Natural Plum colorway has more color variation than the Natural Denim, which is nice. I'm quite pleased with it. There was one knot in the first skein, near the end, and the color changed abruptly. Oh, well. I don't mind it.

Not sure how long it will take to finish this one. I am already trying to decide what to do next ... I hope I don't hit the knitting ennui again. I have a four-day weekend and a car trip next week (Mr. Fury and I are going to see Body Worlds!), so I want to be ready with a project.


Branching Out

My Captain Obvious moment came this weekend: don’t waste time knitting something when you aren’t feelin’ it. I will do the gift armwarmers later. I will do socks later. It’s been cold and I want cold-weather accessories. I stumbled across a forgotten Michael’s gift card in my desk drawer, and it happened to have a bit of a balance on it. End result: two skeins of SWS in Natural Plum, destined for Branching Out. I started it last night and after some false starts, I’m happily knitting away.

I had to frog it several times before I realized a) when you haven’t worked lace in more than six months, the lifeline is your friend, and b) pens can write on paper, therefore I can mark on my pattern which stitch is number 5, number 10, etc, and thus keep track. Since I started running the lifeline on every repeat, I haven’t had to frog it. Ah, fate … you bitch.

Edited to add: got home from the office, knit three rows, and managed to make some crazy-ass mistake that I couldn't trace back. I had to rip back to the last lifeline. I am simultaneously happy to have had it there and annoyed that I had to use it.



I am experiencing knitting ennui. I decided to make some armwarmers for a friend who has been very strongly hinting about how much she needs a pair. I’ve started about six times … using Voodoo, Fetching, various ribbings, and I just can’t get into it. I didn’t tell my friend that I’d be making them, but I still feel obligated to do it. Bleh. I want her to have handknit armwarmers, I really do. But I just don’t feel like doing it. Hopefully they won’t take too long. I’m doing a show in Houston tomorrow and a show in Austin on Saturday (I wasn’t kidding in my profile when I said I’m a Satanic go-go dancer), so I won’t have a lot of time to knit this weekend.

Apart from the armwarmers, I’m not sure what to do next. I have yarn, I have patterns, I have needles. I want to knit! But nothing is appealing to me. Anyone else found themselves in a project slump?