Friday, October 30, 2009

...but I'm blogging!

All three of us are alive and well and in Pigsbird. The Goob is next to me, watching a DVD (Ice Age 3), and playing with stuffies. The husbeast is on an Epic Quest for a packie (specialized booze store). I am standing at the window sill, typing, because this is the only place we can get wi-fi until the cable people get here Sunday and hook us up.

Today was part one of buying all that pesky stuff you need to set up a house. Part two is... sometime this weekend. When we can feel our feet again.

I've had to build the kitchen pretty much from scratch, because all our stuff is in storage. As with so much else, it's kind of fun, and kind of a royal pain in the ass. The new kitchen is so small, I'm thinking of it as a chance to show off my efficiency skills. That's the spin I'm using to get through it, anyway.

Most of our stuff is in boxes, still. My feet hurt too much to do any spinning. My hands hurt to much to knit. Mostly I think I'm going to sleep the whole weekend.

But we're here, and all is well.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


It's been a long day of 'stowing and throwing' as the husbeast puts it. We rented a trailer this morning, the husbeast and his dad moved the furniture into it (we're borrowing furniture from the in-laws). After that we packed clothes, and toys, and craft supplies, and you name it, and put it in the trailer. And the Jeep. And the back of the in-laws' car. Not too exciting, but really tiring. So here are a few things going on.

Last night the Goob fell asleep like this.

Yes. I swear she's asleep. Eventually she straightened out and laid down like normal, but my foot goes numb just looking at that.


We carved a pumpkin.

The husbeast carved: I fished out the seeds, roasted them, and ate them.


And this. Well, this is an antique water goblet. It got broken a while back, by... someone. I won't say who, for their protection. (It wasn't me. I swear.)

No one in the area was willing to touch the thing; glassworkers heard the word 'antique' and practically shrieked "I can't do it!" So we busted out the UV-sensitive glue, and a UV light, and, well, there it is. So far it's looking pretty good.

Now I get to go pack something. Again.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


You know, people have commented on my organization before.

A place for everything, and everything in its place.

As I pack up yet again for another move (we take ownership of the place in Pigsbird Thursday), I put everything in a little box with a label or obvious purpose and I realize, I'm not really that organized.

It's just that if I ever want to find anything again, I've gotta do something.

My mother was an organizational dynamo. She should have been one of those consultants who goes into someone's house and whips them into shape; when I was a kid, she used to save up all sorts of food containers as craft supplies, and even THOSE were organized. (Washed, nested in stacks, on a shelf in the corner of the basement.) My brother and I both got the organization skills sort of by default. You couldn't live with the woman for more than five minutes - let alone be RAISED by her - without figuring out the basics.

When I'm in school, I'm always well known as the person who is always on time, who never lacks a pen and pencil (and spares for classmates), who can repeat what the professor said on the first day of class on the last day because of her notes. When my brother was in the Marines, he was always the guy in the platoon assigned to any organizational chore, because he was the guy they knew would do it, and do it right. One thing the military does is make sure all packs are packed the same way (ammo in one pocket, medical supplies in another, etc); that way, in the dark, with hell breaking loose, you can find what you need in ANY pack. My brother was the guy who made that happen in his platoon.

So now I've got a ribbon box. And a fiber box. And a bead box. My kid has one big plastic bin for art supplies. Another holds all her Little People animals.

And the organizational skill passes on to another generation, even though my mother's been gone for nearly a decade.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday Montage.

It's insane here (the husbeast has gone off the deep end at the idea of us moving Thursday), and I don't have much to blog about, so here are some photos of what's going on.

The back yard looks like an autumn holiday. Or a movie set. Or both.

I keep waiting for Legolas and a party of elves to ride out and ask directions to Rivindell. (At which point I will jump him... but that's another fantasy. Leave me to it.)

The weather controls exactly what colors the leaves turn each year. (It has to do with different types of chlorophyll dying out of the leaves at different rates.) Apparently this year the weather was tuned to yellow. The whole down has these gloriously yellow trees, with an occasional bright red maple for interest. Even when it's overcast and raining, it's beautiful.


I've been spinning. I'm thrilled to report that I'm almost down to one bag of carbon fiber. (I think. I did not make an extensive search before jumping to this conclusion, and I'm not gonna, because it makes me happy.)

After I had about half a bobbin of carbon fiber spun up, I plied it with a 250 yard spool of blue glitter thread. I'm not sure it shows up well in this photo, but it's there.

Unfortunately, that took most of the bobbin of carbon fiber, so I'm back to spinning that crap for another 250 yards. Then another quick ply with more glitter thread, and I'm done for now.

Can't wait.


The spinning class went to my head a bit; one of the things we did was add Angelina fiber - really garish, multi-colored Angelina fiber - to some natural brown long-staple wool. It spun up beautifully, looked great, and, well.

Now I wanna do it myself. For about a thousand yards' worth.

I also hit a sale at a yarn shop yesterday. I picked up a ball of bright-freakin'-green (nearly fluorescent) lace weight merino that I intend to thread beads on and spin up with some wildly-dyed merino top I've got sitting here. Then maybe make a cabled yarn with it.

Truly, I've gone mad. If only people would leave me alone so I could spin.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Local history can be fun.

I'm pretty sure I had dinner last night at a speakeasy. I'd been there before, and I'd known it was an old building, but last night as I was leaving I spotted the "Baker's Cafe -- established in 1933" on the sign, and that pretty much clinched it. (Unless the owners want to confirm, which I won't hold my breath for. They don't even have a web site. All they do is occupy their very old building that looks suspiciously like an old dance club, and serve really good food.)

For those of you unaware of the details of American history, from 1922 to 1933, the United States made alcohol illegal. This led to a whole lot of bootlegging of illegal liquor in from other countries, brewing it in the basement, or mixing it in the bathtub, leading to the term 'bathtub gin'. Cocktails became popular in this era, because they had to mix the raw booze with something to make it drinkable. Sociologists also speculate that it was this era that romanticized gangsters, and it certainly led average citizens to disregard federal law to a degree never seen before. Plus a lot criminologists now use it as an example of how illegal booze funded gangs (Al Capone and all that mess), and now illegal drugs fund modern gangs, and, gee, look how the older gangs died out when booze was made legal again. Prohibition appears to have been the trigger for a lot of modern lawlessness.

But that's a rant for another day.

During prohibition, this area was a hotbed of illegal activity. Not only was southern Ohio's hill country full of stills (parts are to this day), a lot of farm kids pulled in extra money running booze across Lake Erie from Canada, then down to the Ohio River where it could be shipped nearly anywhere. I've got a couple great-uncles on one side of the family who were 'rum runners' back in the day. I remember them at family reunions, drinking a beer or two and laughing over old adventures (some where pretty good). On the other side of the family, my grandfather always seemed to have money in the 20s, and no one's quite sure where it came from, and in this area, well, where ELSE would it come from?

There isn't any shame (at least, in most families) at this point, over such things. Just mild amusement. It's so common - most people, if they start asking questions, will find some fairly close relative who ran a still, worked in a speakeasy, or ran rum back in the day.

So, last night, we all went out for dinner. It's a little place across the street from what used to be one of the largest factories in the world, situated in among the row houses that the company built for its workers. A small rectangular cinder-block building, back against a hill. Nondescript except for the Cadillacs, Nissans, BMWs, and Mercedes parked around it. (Just like back in the day, I betcha.) Inside, there's a long hall with rest-rooms on one side and a solid wall on the other - behind the wall is the very small kitchen. Into the main room, there are booths all along one side, a bar that runs the entire length of the building on the other, and tables in the middle. If you took out the rickety tables, you'd have a club with a dance floor in the middle.

The food is simple but excellent: if you order a steak, you get a plate with a perfectly cooked steak in the middle. They don't fuck around with garnishing. You also get a potato and a salad. The waitresses call everyone 'honey'. The decor is old, nice paneled walls with beer signs over top. The pies (I had peanut butter pie with hot fudge sauce) are divine. If I didn't know better I'd swear they had my grandmother in the back making them. (When my mother-in-law's friend found out where we were going for dinner, she slipped my father-in-law some money and asked him to get a slice of the peanut butter pie to go, for her. And not to forget the hot fudge. He gave it to her this morning when she stopped by for coffee.) People show up in everything from jeans and tee shirts to mink coats and evening wear, depending largely on what time of day it is. There's a huge wine list, and a bartender who will mix up any cocktail you could possibly imagine.

Established 1933. Yup. That's the year prohibition ended, and every speakeasy in the country had to go legit as a restaurant or bar, or go under. Looks like Baker's went with the restaurant idea.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Spinning class.

This is gonna be a short (for me) post because I've been on the go all day and am tired. Plus, spinning class is one of those deals where you can sum up half an hour in one sentence. That's exactly how the class was set up; the lady running it would give us all wads of different types of fiber and tell us what to do with it, and then turn us loose for half an hour or so. Then she'd wander around, offering suggestions and pointers. (I assume this is the normal way such classes are done. I've never taken one before. No knitting classes either, now that I think about it.)

One of the major things that made this class really fun was that it was held at the art museum, in the central courtyard (it was enclosed, but with skylights so we had really excellent lighting). Some people happened to be visiting the museum looked in, saw someone they knew in the class, came in to say hi and stayed half an hour, watching and asking questions. Once the other museumgoers spotted muggles in there, others wandered in, asking timid questions and being fascinated. So not only did we learn, we were like a performance art exhibit for the day, and got to teach some folks about fiber into the bargain. ("Do you save money?" "No, it's a for-fun sort of thing... but you do get yarn at the end of it, which does count for something.")

The class started off with completely untreated locks of wool, straight from the sheep. Still had lanolin on them and everything. It was a great thing to do, because it got everyone to experiment and try new things and give up on perfectionism straight off. We all got the message and had some fun. "Oh, look! A slub!" "Hey, an imperfection!"

Then most of the rest of the day was spent fooling with carders and different types of fiber, mixing them in different ways and then spinning them to see what happens. It wasn't originally what I was looking for (I was after how to spin a boucle and stuff like that), but it was still educational. I got in a lot of experience with a drum carder and a good teacher leaning over my shoulder, and now I know that I do want a drum carder, and that I'd use it, if I had one.

Really, the value of the day for me was to just hang out with ten, twelve women and exchange ideas about different fiber arts and laugh and have a nice time. We discussed food coloring vs. acid dyes, different types of wool, art yarn and the inevitable 'But is it art?' discussion (no fisticuffs). I compared surgical scars with another lady and we talked about spinning and knitting as physical therapy. One woman was wearing two wildly different, hand-knit socks (one neutrally shaded stranded color, one handspun blue-yellow-green self-striping), and explained that she's quit knitting second socks (I'm SO gonna do that). We traded bread recipes. We leaned over each others' shoulders and admired yarns and fuzz and slubs, and complimented our imperfections.

My experience with guilds and other fiber-related groups is wide, due to all the moving around I've done, and I've never met such a nice group as this one. It's the third time I've met with them now (this is the same crew that does 'spinning nights'), and they're always like this. Just plain nice (which isn't plain at all). I'm going to try joining the guild and getting back and forth between here and there, at least for the workshops. They're too nice not to.

And the cherry on top of the hot fudge sundae of today? The class instructor lives in Pigsbird. I have her e-mail and am welcome to send her any questions I have about the city.

We even had chocolate cake.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Vogue Knitting, Holiday 2009

I've worked hard, over the four years (!!) that I've been doing these reviews, to strike some sort of balance between what I really think (apparently that's offensive) and straight tech (that's boring and not too informative), and you know, I've decided that it's the nature of a review to piss people off. My epiphany came after that last review, when I got another e-mail, and... well, fine. It's a review. It'll piss off someone.

That said, this issue isn't bad. I can't think, off hand, of one of the patterns in the issue that are High Fashion, but a few come close. Much of it is wearable. But it is becoming clear that the editorial staff has little to no technical understanding of knitting, and certainly don't get the history.


Lots of good-looking, knittable, wearable stuff in the advertising. Gives me hope for the world.

Trisha Malcom, in her letter from the editor, mentions cruising Ravelry and reading knitting blogs... I wonder if she's comparing VK stats to Interweave and Knitty? She also tells us cowls are big this year (that's funnier once you read the actual magazine) and all over the runways. She calls them a "gown up scarf". (I think of them as a way to mess up your hair 'cause you have to pull them over your head. But I'm not fashionable.) Then they push a couple new titles from VK Books.

Lots of advertising disguised as articles (Regia sock yarn turns sixty).

The second of the three-generation Hat Series installments is from Meg Swansen. The first was of course from EZ, and was the Ganomy Hat. I somehow got my wires crossed and thought all three generations would work with the Ganomy, but not so. Meg offers a completely new hat of her own design. Not only is it cool, but now I'm really curious to see what her son turns out, for the next issue.

Seamless part two with Jared Flood.

Designer article this issue is about Veronik Avery, which is cool. Avery does neat designs and is launching a magazine, St-Denis, and yarns to go with. Should be interesting to see what happens; I've always liked her designs.

PATTERNS: (Please be aware I am now rounding sizes; I am tired of typing out crazed fractions.)

First pattern section, "Color Vibes". "Every spin of the kaleidoscope reveals exquisite and unexpected knittable colorscapes." I asked the husbeast, "What do you think of when I say the words 'Color Vibes'?" He said "I'm not answering that out loud." I said, "Okay, just checking to make sure I'm not completely insane." We were both thinking of these. (Link absolutely, totally, positively not safe for work.)

All non-knit clothing in this section by Anna Sui and Nanette Lepore. I wonder if this was part of the deal for the sweaters in the last issue, or if they're making more advertising revenue off it.

Right then.

1. Empress Jacket, by Maie Landra. Uses Koigu in umpty-eleven colors (okay, fifteen). Shown in size large on the model; available in bust sizes 40, 43, 46, 49, and 52in/103, 110, 117, 124, 132cm. The pattern is extreme, but if you've got a lot of Koigu and an urge to knit mosaic, go for it.

2. Slip Stitch Cable Cardi, by Deborah Newton. Bust sizes 38, 40, 43, 45in/96, 103, 109, 115cm. Has a wide boat neck, and I'm not sure it would stay on your shoulders if it was unbuttoned.

3. Heart Yoke Cardigan by Kate Gagnon Osborn. Bust sizes 32, 36, 40, 44, 48in/91, 101, 111, 122cm. Cute. Possibly too cute; I guess that's something we each have to decide for ourselves. Knit with alpaca, which is hot to go with your cute. Again, you decide. It's knit flat, in the pattern; I'd seriously consider knitting it in the round and steeking the front. Only way to stay sane with stranded color.

4. Dolman Pullover by Kaffe Fassett. Bust sizes 54, 56, 59, 61in/137, 142, 150, 155cm. Because plus sizes are JUST the people to be wearing horizontal stripes. Kaffe Fassett knits with self-striping yarn and everyone goes ooh-ah.

5. Fair Isle Cardigan by Laura Grutzeck. Bust sizes 34, 39, 45in/86, 100, 114cm. This puppy is knit with alpaca/silk/cashmere blend, and then STEEKED up the center. They use a machine-stitched steek because that yarn's too slippery for regular steeking, but otherwise, it's a traditionally knit sweater. I love this stuff, I knit it all the time. I had no idea I was High Fashion. (Please note heavy sarcasm.) Still, it's an awesome traditional Norwegian-style cardigan, that avoids a heavy horizontal line.

6. Fair Isle Yoke Top by Fiona Ellis. Bust sizes 35, 37, 39, 41in/89, 94, 99, 105cm. Knit with superfine merino at 22 sts to 4in/10cm. Nice. Could use some more sizes, but all these sweaters could use some more sizes.

7. Fair Isle Hoodie by Heather Carlson. Bust sizes, 33, 35, 39, 42, 45in/83, 90, 100, 106, 115cm. Now, here's the thing that makes no sense to me. It's not a short-sleeved cardi. I get that. Those are nice. I've knit some myself. What I don't get is the HOOD. If it's cold enough to need a hood, why doesn't it have long sleeves? Or is the hood just some styling point, like belts that aren't used on coats? If that's so, why is the model wearing it up? Is it possible I think too much? Nah, can't be that.

8. V-Neck Pullover by Mari Lynn Patrick. Bust sizes 37, 39, 41, 45in/94, 99, 104, 114cm. No idea why anyone needs a big band of double-thick knitting around their waists to emphasize it, but the sizes are small I guess there's no danger of anyone looking fat. They're calling a 45in/114cm bust extra large.

Incidentally, nothing in this section that's labeled "Fair Isle", is. I assume the designers knew better and it was the magazine that did it. Fair Isle is a very specific form of stranded-color knitting. Not all stranded-color knitting is Fair Isle, and they are not interchangeable terms. I'd have thought editors of knitting magazines would know that.

Section two, "Think Big". "Knit larger than life, cowls are what's next for necks." Cathy Caron designed all four cowls in the section, and I give her points for creativity when faced with four super-bulky cowls. (Cowls are big this year. HA.) Takes creativity to find four ways of doing it that don't all look the same. All but the last are considered "Very Easy, Very Vogue" to which I think "yeah, right", because bulky yarns are hard to work with, but never mind. Cowls. Cowls it is.

9. Seed Stitch Cowl. One size allegedly fits all. Uses five balls of chunky merino which I would hope would keep your neck warm. I wanted to list the cost of knitting these, but this yarn, "Be Sweet Chunky Merino" is almost impossible to find. Especially since I don't read any Scandinavian languages.

10. Ribbed Cowl. Yup. That's what it is. Knit with Mist Alpacas "Hand paint super-chunky", bringing the cost of this neck-warmer to $152USD to knit. I confess I snickered a little when I did the math. Gorgeous yarn, but damn.

11. Eyelet Cowl. Because putting holes in something always makes it warm. Knit with a hand-spun yarn from Tanglewood Fiber Creations, $264USD for the cowl. I'm SERIOUSLY undercharging for my handspun. Even if it's not merino/angora/cashmere blend like this is. Y'all might wanna try knitting one of these with your own handspun, though.

12. Cabled Cowl. $60USD to knit. Nice if you go for cabled cowls.

Section three, "A Softer Shade of Pale". "A touch of tint is all it takes to light up a room. Our wintry knits take their place in the spotlight." Yuh huh. And just to confuse the issue, they stuck fake snow and fake flowers all over. I've said it before and I'll say it again... OMFG, BEIGE IN WINTER, HOW HIGH FASHION, HOW CREATIVE, I'VE NEVER SEEN THAT BEFORE EVER! That said, there's some nice stuff in here.

13. Cable Tunic, by Nicky Epstein. Bust sizes 36, 40, 44, 48, 52in/91, 101, 111, 122cm. Something claiming to have plus sizes, that DOES. Amazing. Although. You see that, right where the neck cable meets the styling cable? They stuck a honkin' big flower on it. Wanting to know why, I hit Vogue 360 and watched a video of this sweater, and you know what? THEY LEFT THE FLOWER ON. Looks like an awful lot of bulk on the right boob, and a flower on top... I seriously wonder what is wrong. APPROACH PATTERN WITH EXTREME CAUTION.

14. Diamond Capelet by Coralie Meslin. Width at shoulder, 34, 36in/86, 92cm; lower edge 51, 56in/129, 142cm. Cute little jacket-thing to put over your evening dress and keep you warm. It's even knit out of alpaca, to suit the purpose. It's... like... perfect. I even hit Vogue 360 to see it from the back. There's nothing wrong with it. If you're looking for a wrap, this is a really nice one.

15. Bow Neck Pullover, by Shiri Mor. Bust sizes 30, 34, 38, 42in/76, 86, 96, 106cm. Knit with an involved and tricky method; you start the top at the neck with size two needles and gradually work down and out, shifting through every size known to man until you get to size tens at the bottom hem. Great when it works, bad when it doesn't. If your gauge is unusual, beware.

16. Nordic Pullover by Tanis Gray. Bust sizes 35, 37, 40, 50, 54in/89, 95, 101, 127, 137cm bust. (Sure hope you don't have, say, a 42 inch bust, like the AVERAGE SIZED WOMAN does, huh?) Uses Mongolian cashmere. $410USD to knit 40in/101cm bust size. $615USD for the largest size. "And it's big butt length!" the husbeast added. (Bet you fifty bucks the yarn company paid to have their yarn used.)

17. Cable Cardigan by Jenn Jarvis. Bust sizes 34, 38, 42, 45, 49in/86, 98, 106, 115, 125cm. Not bad on sizing. The copy writer called it "on-trend". WTF? It's knit side-to-side and would be flattering for many body types if it was shortened a bit. (On a personal level, I usually hate bobbles, but those are used in a cute sort of way.)

18. Lace V-Neck Top by Pam Grushkin. Bust sizes 29, 32, 36, 40in/73, 83, 92, 101cm. Apologies to thin people out there, but TWENTY NINE INCHES??!!?? Come ON! Anyway, this is horse shoe lace, the pattern is older than dirt, can be traced in Shetland knitting WAY back. Used to be used for shawls. It's also really easy, and the pullover has minimal shaping, so if you've wanted a beginner lace garment, this is probably it. (VK claims it's experienced level... bah.) I'm betting the square styling makes it hang a bit. Judging from the contortions of the model.

19. Ruffle-Edge Cardi by Shri Mor. Bust sizes 32, 34, 36, 40in/81, 86, 91, 101cm. "Vivacious waves and graceful piecework unite in enticing knits." Oh, puh-lease. I've got a love-hate thing going with this cardigan. It looks cool. I'll be the first to admit that. When it's hung on a size, what, four model with no excess body fat, wearing a tissue-thin dress. Sure. However. Ruffles add bulk. 99% of us real people don't need bulk. Added to that, the ruffles (THREE of them), are knit separately AND THEN SEWN ON. I don't know about you, but I don't like to sew. I like to knit. If I liked to sew, I'd sew a ruffled shirt.

Section next, "Plum's the Word". Everything's purple. Har. "Plumb the depths of the color purple - regal, romantic and just right for lush and luscious knitted designs." Not the worst copywriting ever.

20. Crossover top by Cathy Carron. Bust sizes 32, 36, 40, 44in/81, 91, 101, 111cm. Just what it looks like. With a double layer of knitted ribbing over your boobs for emphasis, and big gaping holes under the arm pits where the sleeves don't meet the criss-cross.

21. Cabled Yoke Pullover by Helen Sharp. Bust sizes 32, 36, 40, 44in/81, 91, 101, 111cm. Now. If you went to the trouble of knitting an elaborately cabled yoke on a sweater, would you want the wankers in the art department to photograph it so you couldn't see anything but some buttons on the shoulder??!!?? I had to look at Vogue 360 to get a good look. It's okay. She didn't incorporate the yoke shaping into the cabling, so it looks a little awkward.

22. Cropped Cable Jacket by Michele Rose Orne. Bust sizes 34, 38in/86, 97cm. On Vogue 360 the model has a hard time keeping it on her shoulders (I suspect spirit gum or two-sided tape) and it bagged rather dramatically at the bottom hem in the back.

23. Wrap Cable Jacket by Shiri Mor. Bust sizes 30, 32, 34in/76, 81, 86cm. Shown in the photo in size medium, meaning a model with a 32in/81cm bust looks waistless in this thing. It looks like the fabric's too stiff. Maybe if it was knit with a looser gauge? $223USD to knit size medium.

Next is the gift section. Which is a good idea. Their theme for this season is "Through the Looking Glass", which would be cool if the actual knitted items had anything to do with Alice in Wonderland.

24. Lace Beret by Kate Gagnon Osborn. Nice. Not a thing wrong with it. But considering there were, what, three in the last issue, uh, overkill??

25. Fingerless Gloves by Mari Muinonen. I'm not sure I'd call these gloves. I'm not sure what they are, other than pretty cool. They're a couple bits knit circularly like mini-doilies and then sewn together into hand coverings. I think I'd try to knit them a little bit smaller than the pattern calls for, to make sure they're tight enough to stay up. But dang, if I had a fancy-dress anything to go to this holiday season, I'd knit a pair of these to wear.

26. Medallion Scarf by Mari Tobita. This is... I don't know what it is. Literally. There's no schematic. I don't know if that's because they couldn't draw one, didn't know how, or what. A check of Vogue 360 doesn't tell me anything. It's wrapped around the model's neck in layers so you can't tell what's going on. A read of the pattern is no help. You can't make me knit it. It appears to be a sideways-knit strip of cables and bobbles, with circular medallions and i-cord fringe. Oh. The directions aren't entirely in the magazine, they're on the web site. Cute.

27. Vintage Baby Dress by Kristen Rengren. Chest sizes 20, 22, 23in/51, 56, 58cm. Very cute. I like the ribbon.

28. Lace Socks by Debbie O'Neill. Leg circumference 6.5, 7.5, 8.5in/16, 19, 21cm. Pretty.

29. Braided Cowl by Faith Hale. (Why isn't this in the cowl section? Those can't be presents? This can't be kept?) Knit in strips and sewn together. Seems like a lot of work, especially when you're using bison/silk/cashmere/tencel yarn. $104USD to knit.

Designer Details is the next section, when they bring in designers to show their work. This issue it's Anna Sui and Twinkle.

30. "Close-fitting, structured jacket with hemmed edges, flared peplum and embellished with purchased braid trimmings." By Anna Sui. Bust sizes 33, 37, 41in/84, 94, 104cm. Now I ask you. Can you SEE any of that? Structure? Hems? Flares? ANYTHING? I can barely find the freakin' BRAID. WHY IN HOLY HELL ARE YOU GOING TO KNIT A FITTED, DETAILED GARMENT WITH YARN SO WILD YOU CAN'T TELL WHAT IN FUCK IS GOING ON??!!?? I have looked at the pattern. I have looked at Vogue 360. I have looked at the schematics. It appears to be a really cool-looking, military style, fitted jacket. There might be braid down the sleeves and around the cuffs. It's a damn shame WE CAN'T TELL WITH ALL THE FREAK YARN.

31. Ribbed Jacket by Twinkle. Knit with some unholy super-bulky god-knows-what, at 2 sts per 4in/10scm. That model's pose is worse than useless. It is supposed to be "loose fitting" and have a stand-up collar, but no collar I ever saw stood up from your waist. The 360 view is almost awe-inspiring; the back of the collar is leaning out from the waist and is nearly a foot away from the back of the model's neck, stiff as a board. If that's how it's supposed to fit, I can only say, WTF?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

VK. I has it.

That's about all the news that's fit to print, today. I got hold of a copy of the holiday Vogue Knitting. Lots of nice stuff in it, almost none of it high fashion. (And I ask for the thousandth time, what in FUCK is the point of wearing a cardigan with a hood and SHORT SLEEVES?) Getting psyched for a review. Maybe tomorrow if everyone would leave me alone for ten seconds.

We're moving a week from today, we're having the last of the good weather for the year, and so I'm stuck chasing the Goob while she runs around people trying to pack things.

Missed yesterday's knitting quota (four rounds per day; that translates to over 1200 stitches). I don't have much hope for today's quota either. Hell with it. Once I get to Pigsbird I'm crawling under a rock. We'll be too broke to do anything, and I'm looking forward to it.

For now... I guess I go knit.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Stream of Consciousness.

Still with the crappy 'tude. One of these days I'll blog it (maybe tomorrow), but for now I'm trying to stay in a good mood because the husbeast and I are going on a date tonight. Without the Goob. I will get to eat a meal in peace without having to yell, clean food off my kid, clean food off myself (I hope), snarl, or otherwise Be A Mom. Can't wait. But for now, a jumble of thoughts.


We were rattling off this (admittedly lame) list of reasons we need to be home in time for the Goober's bed time, and my father-in-law gave us both a pitying look and said "Gee, we've NEVER put kids to bed before." After that we shut up.


Spinning class Saturday. I got something in the mail yesterday telling me what all I'd need, and I'm set except for handcards. Which kinda pisses me off, because this is a class about spinning, not fiber prep. Plus using handcards makes me feel like I've got rabid squirrels chewing my hand off at the wrist. So I'll just watch that bit. At the least, I won't be self-taught any more.


I mentioned the Goob may not get to go Trick-or-Treat this year, because we're moving that weekend. The outcry from both sides of the family (my brother was also horrified) was unbelievable, and my father-in-law made a couple phone calls and found a 'harvest party' with trick-or-treat on Monday night. No time now for a Bubbles costume (I was gonna make it... shouldn't be too hard, just need tights, mary-janes, and a quick sew for a dress), we'll go with the trusty Pwincess Dwess. Bubbles next year. All hail the glory of the Pwincess Dwess.


I still hate my hair, the carbon fiber is still pissing me off, but the egg salad sandwich I had yesterday was REALLY GOOD.


It's Indian Summer here. Seventy degrees in the afternoons, but after a freeze, so there are no bugs left. (Well. Very few bugs. We've got ladybugs swarming, which is kinda freaky, but they don't bite so I'm good with it.) The leaves crunch under your feet when you walk, and you can drink hot chocolate without getting overheated, and there are football games every Friday and Saturday night if you're so inclined. I'm more about ice hockey, but I like going out and sitting in the stands for a high school football game, every once in a while. Pumpkin pie season has hit, and mulled cider, and school is still new enough to be interesting, before the unholy, terminal boredom kicks in. With luck, this time next year I'll be in school again, arguing with some poor, unsuspecting professor over something esoteric and weird. No matter that I've spent more time out of school than in, over the whole of my life (it's damn near a tie, though); autumn means school to me.


We move to Pigsbird officially, a week from tomorrow. The husbeast starts work November 2, and as soon as the paycheck situation smooths out, we will be enrolling the Goober in preschool. Which means at least some of my time will once again be my own. I hope to use that time to expand my shop, and maybe get the income to be enough to pay for my education. That would be nice.



-Marching band practice on Wednesday afternoons. I can faintly hear it from the front yard. They are attempting to play Led Zeppelin. There ought to be a law.

-The mailman started the neighbor's leaf-blower the other day; she can't get it going the first time, each fall, so he does it for her.

-Indian Summer. Two weeks later than I was expecting it, sure, but it's warm weather and I'll take it.

-The toughest, most fit hard-body at the gym (which is the local YMCA) is nearly old enough to be my grandmother. Definitely old enough to be my mother.

-Pumpernickel at the grocery store. I know I've mentioned it before, but it never gets old.

-Seasons! What in hell is up with that?

-Trains. We're the meeting of several rail lines here, and no matter what, there are trains going through.

-We have a castle for the public school administration building. (That has an indoor swimming pool used to store books.)

-You can smell pig shit at the city limits. We're pretty sure there's a plan to it, but we're not sure what.

-Seasons! What in hell is up with that??!!?

Monday, October 19, 2009

A pictoral.

It's been... well... not a good day. So I leave you all with a photo montage of things that make me happy. Or make me laugh. Same difference.