The Weaving Inn

Home to the knitting world's anti-Finisher. Kind of like the anti-Christ, but with a smaller following.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Lace On A Lamp

I am calling this highly artistic photograph "Lace On A Lamp." Some people might know it as "Branching Out" from Knitty but I like to state the obvious.

Didn't My Blocker do a lovely job? She's a very talented woman. And quick too! And has the world's most beautiful baby. Anyway, for those of you interested in yarn (ha) this was knit in Elsebeth Lavold's Silky Wool in the colorway "I've Forgotten." On whatever size needles the pattern calls for. This was my first lace project and while the general consensus is, is that Branching Out is a beginner's pattern, I wouldn't readily agree. Or maybe I'm just lace challenged.

I wore it to work yesterday, telling everyone that wearing a scarf was my "condescension" to the cold weather. Nice mangling of the English language there, April.

You know the world is aware of your sock yarn obsession when you start getting e-mails from your LYS telling you they have new yarn in the store. This is Colinette's "Jitterbug" sock yarn. I'd love to tell you all the pertinent details about it but I'm at work and the yarn is at home. But it's nice to look at, regardless.

Andy likes to play fetch.

I love bubble baths. Especially on cold nights which it was last night. I like them so much that I have a tendency to fall asleep in the tub.

Apparently Andy still doesn't understand that when Mommy's eyes are closed, Mommy is asleep.

Let us now bow our heads in mourning for the loss of our dear friends, Squeaker Fish (death by drowning), Mr. Mousie (death by drowning) and Catnip Pillow (death by drowning.)

Monday, November 27, 2006

Too Much Oddness

I have become A Neurotic Sock Knitter. This may have something to do with my superstitious nature. A common phrase in my vocabulary is “It’s a sign!” For example – if I have not allowed enough yarn for a long tail cast-on the pattern is doomed to fail. If a yellow Volkswagen drives by carrying two people and a poodle when I’m on a purl row, the sock won’t fit.

My knitting “quirks” have now expanded to include the number of stitches in a round. I seem to be incapable of knitting in anything other than multiples of 2. Yesterday I was working on the Basket Weave Rib pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks. The author of this veritable tome has an obsession for centering the pattern over the instep. I kept having to shift everything by one stitch. ONE STITCH. Truly, she was messing with my mind. At one point, and I kid you not, I had 27 stitches on N1, 16 stitches on N2, 17 stitches on N3 and 26 stitches on N4.

My knitting lobe went into meltdown.

Rip. Frog. Re-wind.

I am now doing another pattern, the Openwork Rib. On multiples of 4. And I refuse to shift.

While my mind was trying to deal with having an odd number of stitches on my needles I also had this goin’ on.

Pumpkin Bread. From a mix. I am not a big fan of “The Mix” but this one is fabulous. It’s from Trader Joe’s and I think it cost all of $1.99. It’s not overly spiced and all you need to add are eggs, oil and water. I also threw in some walnuts. Please try not to notice that there are two pieces already missing from the end. After all, I had to taste it to give my review.

This was once MY loveseat.

Friday, November 24, 2006

The Case Of The Missing Gift Certificate

Some of you may recall a few months back when I posted a bit of a rant about my favorite LYS. They had hired a new clerk who apparently slept through the "Customer Service" class. You may also recall that this clerk was let go and I was rewarded with a gift certificate for bringing the issue to management's attention. A very GENEROUS gift certificate. A gift certificate that I have yet to spend. I was saving it for when a) I was low on funds and b) I needed a yarn fix.

I have now met the criteria for spending the gift certificate.

But ...

But ...


I clearly, oh so clearly, remember putting it in one of my many yarn containing containers. I thought it was a rather clever idea at the time. Plus I was trying to conceal it from anyone who might break in and try to steal it. Take the friggin' T.V. I don't care but don't you dare think about taking my gift certificate.

This entire afternoon has been spent rummaging through Rubbermaid boxes hoping to find it. I removed every single ball or skein of yarn in each container, flipped through all the pattern books that were in the containers in case it was stuck between the pages and have come to this conclusion. It's gone. Fuck.

DeeDee says, "But Mom, how will you fill up this bag again?"

Of course, being the anal accountant that I am, I couldn't resist organizing my yarn as I was putting it away. This process also helps to serve in reminding me that I don't really NEED any more yarn. I discovered a number of things while I was organizing. First, I definitely need to stop buying single balls of yarn. Or buy that "One Skein" book. Second, I discovered that the lace / fingering weight selection is at least double the other weights. Yes, I did organize the containers by yarn weight. See the anal comment above.

My third discovery was this ...

I seem to have a bit of a Cabin Cove Mercantile addiction goin' on. But can you blame me? I mean, look at those COLORS! Of all the brands of yarn I have, ol' CCM seems to be in the lead. Honest, I didn't think I owned six skeins of this fantastic yarn.

Because I don't, I own seven! New sock! This is the Basket Weave Rib sock from Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch. The pattern is much more obvious in real life than it is in the picture. For some reason this color makes me very happy. I'm knitting it on US 2.5 and I'm getting a nice, firm fabric. I've said it before and I shall say it again, Dave is the Monet of yarn dying. So please go buy whatever is in his store before I do. Please.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Duh, One More Thing

One more thing I'm very thankful for and that's "My Blocker", Julie. She blocked my Branching Out scarf and did a fantastic job. You can see my little scarf STARRING in Julie's fantastic tutorial on blocking lace here. You'll also want to check out her blog, the woman cracks me up.

Thanks, Julie!

Things To Be Thankful For

A few things to be thankful for on this sunny Thanksgiving Day ...

A new book of shawl patterns, 85% of which I actually like and want to do.

Tapestry socks finished in time to wear to Thanksgiving dinner ...

Leftover turkey!

As well as friends who invite you over because they know you'll just end up sitting at home eating frozen pizza (thanks Traci and Hector!). Not to mention, all the many friends I've met through this piece of nonsense I refer to as my blog. And of course ... yarn.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Psst ... Over Here

Hey, over here! Yeah, it's me. The absentee blogger. I don't really know where this week has gone. Suffice to say, a co-worker has run off to get married so I'm doing two jobs and there has been a lot of watching of the "24." Which has led to the completion of this ...

Feel free to admire the artistic photography. I call this "Scarf Hung Over Chair." This is the Vetiver version of My So Called Scarf. One skein of Malabrigo knitted a 48" scarf which was long enough for me. I'm very pleased with how this turned out, it's not bulky or overly wide and it's hella warm. It needs a bath though; it smells very "sheepy." Or something.

I've also been on a bit of a baking kick. Generally from March until October it is simply too friggin' hot in my apartment to bake. This is because a) I live in California and b) my oven is not insulated. At all. So turn on the oven, heat up the apartment! And just between you and me, I love to bake as much as I love to knit. So Sunday I made cookies, Wednesday night I made cookies and today I made cookies. I'm really feelin' the love from my co-workers this week.

These are the cookies I made today and frankly, they're the best cookies I've ever made. They're from Debbie Fields "I Love Chocolate" cookbook. They're the Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie. They have milk chocolate chips, peanut butter, unsalted, roasted peanuts and then you swirl 6 squares of melted semi-sweet chocolate through the batter to give it a marbled appearance. Bring on the elastic waistbands.

Last night I cast on for the second Garter Rib sock that I'm making from Rowan's "Tapestry" yarn. I'm using US 4's for it which is why I'm already at the gusset. Because I am so not a fast knitter. I really love this yarn. So much in fact that I have another colorway in my stash for a second pair of sockies.

OK, there you have my excuse for my lack of posting. Thank you to everyone who wrote and asked if I'd dropped off the face of the planet. I am still here, baking and knitting up a storm. However, not everyone at Chez Insanity has been quite so productive ...

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Three Hours Of "24"

Equals 12 inches of scarf.

This is My So Called Scarf from Sheep In The City. I'm sure the talented Sheep has another name, I just don't know what it is.

As you might have noticed, I've been on a bit of a lace kick lately. However, I can only knit lace (successfully) in complete silence. Which is OK most of the time but not when I want to see Jack Bauer save the world. "Damn it, I'm running out of time!"

I've been wanting to make this particular pattern for ages. And since it's dead easy with the stitch pattern over just 2 rows, it's perfect T.V. knitting. What could I do? I had to cast on for a new scarf. This is Malabrigo in the colorway "Vetiver." I don't know what Vetiver means. I thought it was Spanish so I typed it into Babel Fish and Babel Fish returned "to vetiver." So I'm not really knitting, I'm "vetivering." This makes perfect sense in my world, maybe not in yours.

I am totally and completely in love with this yarn, regardless of what vetiver means. It's a worsted weight but I'm knitting it on US 11's. It's knitting up so soft and the stitch pattern makes the fabric dense without being bulky. And the pattern itself, while easy, still requires a bit of concentration so it's not boring. Well at least to my little hamster brain. I highly recommend both pattern and yarn for all your Christmas gift making.

As further proof that my little apartment was rockin' last night ...

Andy, wake up, it's Saturday night!

Dude, wake up! I scored a bag of 'nip!

"Whoa DeeDee, that's some serious sh!& ..."

Friday, November 10, 2006

Chicks Gone Wild

As usual, I went to the barn after work tonight. We have a chicken coop at the ranch that houses about 15 assorted chickens. They're usually let out around 4:30 - 5:00 each evening so that they can ... uhh ... stretch their legs? And since the coop is a short distance from my goat pen there's always a few chickens wandering around to see if I've dropped any grain.

So there I am, walking towards the pen and I hear "shuffle shuffle shuffle." I turn around and about a foot away is a chicken. Not wanting to appear rude, I say "Hello" and then keep walking. "Shuffle shuffle shuffle." I turn around again and there's the same chicken, but this time he gives me "A Look." By now Leland and Stanton are screaming because they can see me so I head off again.

"Shuffle shuffle shuffle." I turn around and the bird LAUNCHES HIMSELF AT ME. He lands on my arm, digs in with his claws and starts flapping his wings and squawking. I can't figure out if I'm being raped or assaulted but I start running around screaming, "OFF, OFF!!!" Finally the damn thing falls off and starts running for the coop.

What the hell? When did we start keeping attack chickens at the ranch? One of the little terriers that runs around the ranch has been catching chickens lately - was this a counter-attack? Am I going to have to start carrying a firearm? I must admit, I was a trifle shaken up. I've never, ever, been attacked by an animal before, let alone a stupid ass chicken. For heaven's sake.

Let us calm ourselves with yarn.

It's Lacevember, right? A celebration of lace and all the wonderful things that go into it's construction. Like say, some pretty laceweight yarn? But of course. This is Jade Sapphire's "Cashmere Silk" in the Caribbean Mist colorway. Like the name says it's 45% cashmere, 55% silk and a whopping 400 yards. Which is a good thing, because all I could afford was one skein. The picture doesn't even come close to doing it justice.

And to go with the lovely yarn, another pair of magic knitting needles.

These are Lauren Hill palmwood needles. I got my first pair of this particular brand back in April when I went on the knitting retreat. I've been a Lauren Hill junkie ever since. They're light, have nice pointy ends for knitting lace, and I dunno ... they just feel good. There also seems to be a very thin coat of varnish on them so the yarn just goes whoooosh.

Now if you'll excuse me, I must tend to my "chicken wounds."

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Lacevember Q & A

So I've joined "Lacevember" - a month long celebration of all things lacey. I particularly like to wear lace shawls when I'm mucking out a goat pen. And hey, the KAL had cool buttons to put on your blog.

Seriously though, I love the lace even if I'm not really a lace wearing kind of girl. But with litle ol' me, it's all about process not product, anyway.

This week's lace mission is to answer a buncha questions in the hope of winning some Schaeffer Anne. Which is incentive enough for moi.

Le questions:

How long have you been knitting? 20+ years but you'd never know it.

How did you learn to knit? Self-taught and it shows.

Favorite thing about knitting? It's a solo activity.

How long have you been knitting lace? Six months.

Favorite thing about knitting lace. I like a challenge.

Favorite lace yarn? It's too soon to tell.

Variegated or solids for shawls? Solids or lightly variegated.

Favorite lace color? Purple

Circs or straights? Straights. Always.

Favorite lace knitting trick? Knitting with my eyes closed on the purl row.

Lifelines? If so with what? Lifelines? Dude, if you're not livin' on the edge, you're not living.

Fancy blocking wires, or just sewing pins stuck in your carpet? I have my own personal "Blocker."

Shawls or lacey items? Lace Scarves. See above comment re: circs.

Triangle, rectangle, or circular shawls? Rectangle.

Charts or printed instructions? Both. But generally printed.

Favorite lace you've knit? Fiber Trends "Streaming Leaves Scarf" by Eugene Beugler

Favorite lace you want to knit? Scheherazade

Favorite jelly belly flavor? Err, could I have Gummi Bears instead?

Tell me everything you know about Eric the Red..... He had red hair and was a Viking. The End.

Coke, classic or with lime? Diet. In massive quantities.

Holiday carols, sing along, or wish they would be banned from all public airwaves? Holiday carols are the only songs I know all the words to.

What is the definition of irony? A song by Alanis Morrisette.

How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop? More than it takes to get it wet enough to stick to your knitting pattern.

Why is my cat always puking in front of my son's bedroom door? He's trying to overpower the smell of your son's sneakers.

What is your superhero power? Being able to drive to work and back without killing myself.

If the laundry room is 9 foot by 11 foot (just dreaming, that's a big laundry room), and the walls are 8 feet tall, and you are going to tile the entire room in tiles that are 3 inches by 5 inches, what color should those tiles be? Anything but brown.

What's for dinner tonight? Raisin Bran.

What is clogging my children's bathtub drain? Your sanity.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Thank You, Seahawks

A most sincere thanks to the Seattle Seahawks for trouncing the Oakland Raiders this evening. For with this defeat, I, April The Football Goddess, have won this week's office football pool!


Umm, pardon me. Being a woman AND Canadian I take a certain amount of delight in kicking the butts of my male American co-workers. I *told* them the Spongebob Squarepants sticker on my picks sheet guaranteed my win. Go Spongebob!

OK, back to knitting. Aren't these purdy?

Hmm, I suppose I could have cropped off the bottom of the tag. Anyway, Etsy strikes again; this is quickly becoming my #1 shopping spot. But being new to the world of Etsy I rely on other people to point me in the right direction. I'd like to take a moment here to thank Sheepish Annie, trek, Wendy Johnson and aija for all helping me spend my money via the links in their blogs.

These lovely stitch markers are from Sugar Bunny Boulevard. And if you can believe it, they were only $5.00. Even harder to believe is the fact that I ordered them on Friday and they were in my mailbox TODAY. I am so pleased with these. They're maple leaves (O' Canada) and they're amethyst (my birthstone). How could I not buy them? I still can't believe they were only $5.00, I feel like I ripped off the poor seller.

April's version of a PSA - If you like a good Zinfandel (and who doesn't), I highly recommend Rosenblum Cellar's "Vintner's Cuvee XXIX". Fancy name, not so fancy price. I paid $8.99 for mine and I'm seriously considering going back and buying oh ... I dunno ... 20 more bottles. I'm not usually a big Zin fan but this bottle may have shown me the light. Or perhaps I've just had one glass too many. By the way, this wine would pair delightfully with Dave's Crepes. Check out his post, the man is too artistic for his own good.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Mmm, Mmm, Lacey!

Hey, look who's back. It's me. Where've I been? Knittin'. Goatin'. What else do I do?

OK, before we even start talking about this project, let me share a new knitting lesson I've learned. When the instructions for the provisional cast-on say "Crochet a chain of blah blah stitches in a contrasting color" they do not mean a HIDEOUSLY contrasting color. As in "All you will be able to see is your chain of NEON PINK yarn." I think they mean just a different color. I also think part of the reason I'm working so diligently on this is because I CAN'T WAIT to start the other half so I can take out the HIDEOUSLY contrasting yarn. Hmm ... now that I think about it, maybe I'm on to something here.

So it turned out that I do like the Fearless Fibers "I've Forgotten" colorway for the Oak Leaf And Acorn scarf. I'm doing this on US 6's so it's motoring along nicely. Also, the pattern is quite straightforward so if you make a booboo it's pretty obvious really soon. Not 20 rows down the line. Trust me on this. I'm hoping once it's blocked it'll look less like a bowl of cooked yams with brown sugar sprinkled on top.

Meet "Iolite." She's patiently waiting in the wings for me to start on Scheherazade. She came to me courtesy of the Laughing Rat Studio on Etsy. 1,250 yards of laceweight alpaca. Nummy.

We haven't seen any goat pictures lately. The goats have been relocated. It rained here on Wednesday and Thursday and it was obvious that the pen they were in wasn't very well sheltered from the elements. The entire floor of their enclosure was soaked as was their hay. This is not good news for little creatures prone to respiratory ailments. And their tiny hooves were all wet and muddy. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find rubber boots for goats?

So yesterday Traci's husband, Hector, put up wire in the pen beside their original home and I herded goats for 4 hours. This was a little exhausting to say the least. They're pretty good at following me though, especially if I have grain in my hand. We went over and visited the other goats, explored the chicken coop and got chased by a dog. I never knew goats ran so fast. Especially Stanton, who also likes to jump and kick his heels.

See, I told you. Knittin' and goatin'.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Blocking For Bucks

You knit and you knit and you knit and all you end up with is something that looks like, as the Yarn Harlot so eloquently puts it, "ass." Or what appears to be a big pile of green string. Take your pick.

But then you grab your sewing basket, pin a few pins and it looks marginally better.

This would be the Streaming Leaves Scarf from Fiber Trends, off the needles as of 10pm this evening. I knit about 80% of this scarf while I was in Vancouver with my Mom. So I don't think I'll be giving it away. Anyway, this yarn was purchased in Canada, it's King Cole's Merino Blend. They're a British company and I really like the yarn, although I'm not wild about the color. But I *love* the pattern. The pattern repeat is over 64 rows so it was challenging enough to keep my interest but not so difficult that I gave up (obviously). It has 3, count 'em 3, mistakes in it but do I care? Nopers.

Next up, another Fiber Trends pattern that we've all seen way too many times on this blog. Let's hope that this ...

... will be the magical yarn that makes this scarf (Oak Leaf And Acorn) come to life. I've given up trying to keep track of how many times I've started and stopped this pattern. This particular yarn is Fearless Fiber's sock yarn, the name of the colorway "I've Forgotten."

Speaking of lacy scarves, is there anyone out there willing to block for bucks? I am unable to block because (a) well I don't know how to and I don't want to learn, (b) Andy, (c) Andy, (d) nowhere to block where Andy won't be able to get at the scarf. I have two lace scarves that need to be blocked. If you're interested in picking up a few extra dollars please let me know at .

What's with all the lace scarves you ask? Well I'm in training for this ...

This is Scheherazade from the very talented Melanie of Pink Lemon Twist. The pattern has been purhased, the yarn ordered and the training program in full swing. Hey, who's that mumbling "April's lost her friggin' mind"?


I have no pictures. But I do have a story.

Back when I was a kid (around the time dinosaurs walked the Earth) there were three important events in the year. MY birthday, Halloween and Christmas. Everything else paled in comparison. But when you’re talking presents and free candy that’s understandable.

Halloween night couldn’t start fast enough. After school I’d stand by the window watching the sky turn dark. Although I was perfectly OK with trick or treating starting at 4:00, not everyone felt the same way.

Last night, around 6:00, I was cleaning out the goat pen when my little pal Austen came running up to see what I was doing. He was looking very spiffy in a cowboy costume.

Me: Austen, why aren’t you out trick or treating?

Austen (in a quivering voice): I’m supposed to go with some other people but they’re not here yet.

Me: Why doesn’t your Mom take you?

Austen: She’s busy cleaning horse stalls.

Me: But this is prime trick or treating time.

Austen (now sniffling): I KNOW. And all the candy’s gonna be gone and Halloween is gonna be over and I won’t get to go and I won’t get any candy.

Well, what the heck was I supposed to do? An eight year old child is standing outside my goat pen crying because he’s afraid he’s going to miss Halloween.

Me: Austen, do you want me to take you trick or treating?

Austen: YEAH!!!

After clearing it with his Mom, we set off in search of the closest sub-division. And dear blog readers, we struck it BIG. We found a sub-division that went on for DAYS. Filled with happy houses complete with jack-o-lanterns, scary ghosts, and plenty of candy.

I have never seen a child run as fast as Austen. If the local utility company could have harnessed his energy we could have lit up San Francisco. He was so wound up he would do the Texas Two Step while waiting for people to answer the door. This of course was after he knocked on the door AND rang the doorbell. And it wasn’t “Trick Or Treat!”, it was “TRICKERTREAT!”

After half an hour, it fell to me to carry the trick or treat bag because it was so heavy. After an hour and a quarter it was definitely time to head back to the ranch and return Austen to his parents. I was sorry that they hadn't come along. Because their little guy won’t ever be eight again and Halloween 2006 is gone.

I’m quite sure Austen went to bed tired but happy last night. I did.