The Weaving Inn

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

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Walking In A Weiner Wonderland

Ahem. Don't you love how I say I'm going to post the WEINER on Wednesday and then don't do it until Thursday? I would have posted last night except someone fell asleep on the couch. Many thanks to all the people who commented with suggestions about what to do with my Cascade 220. A cat bed seemed to be a popular idea. I actually gave it some thought. Until DeeDee puked in my riding boots Tuesday morning. I was going to post a picture of the aftermath but that would be icky.

So here we have my stash of Cascade 220. And we can clearly see that to make a sweater out of all 9 of these skeins would create a really ugly garment. But we could combine the yellow, green and brown to knit a giant felted daffodil. Or we could combine the red and black to knit a felted ladybug. And then there's the blue tweed. Sorry, I'm outta ideas.

This has resulted in a change in the rules. Our weiner today will get to select three colors as their WONDERFUL PRIZE. I'll give the rest away some other time. Like, probably next week. Or next week might be something else. Who knows? Anyway, our fabulous weiner this week is CINDY LOU WHO!!!. Oddly enough, as in the last giveaway, I know this person in real life. What a coinkydink. Cindy Lou Who is a master knitter and if she wasn't such a lovely person I'd probably not like her very much. So little Cindy Lou, please to send me an e-mail advising me as to the disposition of your yarnage. And now I'm off to start another Baby SURPRISE Jacket. Cuz the other one's 5 rows away from being done and I can't figure out how to pick up the flipping stitches. *Sigh*

Monday, March 24, 2008

I Don't Felt

Which is not to say that there's anything wrong with felting. I've seen many lovely felted bags in my time. However, it's not my thing. Partly because I live in an apartment without my own washing machine and partly because .. well I don't know the other part.

Now you're probably wondering where I'm going with this and truth be told, I'm kinda wondering myself. Oh right. Cascade 220. Dudes, this is the Felting God's yarn of choice. Or so I've been told. Anyway, I've got a fair amount of it. And it's taking up precious space in my Rubbermaid containers. Rubbermaid containers that I'd like to fill up with something else.

I suppose I could use it to knit something else with but you know what? I don't even really like Cascade 220. I imagine it wouldn't make very comfy socks, you can't really knit lace with it and now that I'm on this BSJ craze I'm all about the machine washable. So you can have it, k?

You know the drill, leave a comment or whatever. I'll do the random number generator thinger on Wednesday.

If you want to see what other colors there are, I'm on Ravelry as "Sakkasie". And that's not all of the colors either. Really.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Doin' What I'm Told

I was sitting in the yarn store yesterday after having just taught a class in the ol' Chalice Cable Handwarmers when Phyllis looked at me and said, "April, what are you doing?"

To which I replied (rather obviously I thought), "Sitting."

Phyllis then said, "But April, you can't just SIT in a yarn store. You have to knit. You're making me nervous."

Of course I always have some kind of knitting with me but yesterday all I had was the "Luna Math Shawl" (formerly known as the Luna Moth) and the handwarmers I'd just finished teaching. I have learned my lesson about knitting lace in public and I wasn't too keen on any more handwarmer knitting. I needed to do something simple, chatty knitting so to speak. Fortunately I had an assortment of Rowan Pure Wool DK yarn with me because I never travel without 12 balls of yarn so I didn't need to buy any more yarn (like that's ever stopped me). What could be more simple than the Baby Surprise Jacket?

Well simple if you understand Elizabeth Zimmerman-ese. Thankfully Gunilla was there to help me get started because I simply could not wrap my mind around this pattern. Maybe I was just tired, maybe there was too much going on in the store at the time or maybe I'm just stupid. I don't know but I seem to be heading in the right direction now. I hope.

Here we have another attempt to convince myself that I like to knit with lace weight yarn. This is Dream In Color's "Baby" in "Visual Purple." It's not working for me either so I think I'll put it up for Trade Or Sell on Ravelry. 700 yards of superwash Merino. It's a lovely color and I'm sure someone will enjoy knitting with it. Just not me.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

It Seemed Like A Good Idea

I've been looking around for something a little more challenging than fingerless mitts. I thought the project above would fit that description. This is the CITY-Stole from Vera Kaltenecker. It's kinda cool, eh? It's also 14 pages of charts. With lotsa little symbols. It calls for a fingering weight yarn but we didn't have the color I wanted at the store so I decided to go with Blue Sky Alpaca's "Alpaca Silk" which is a sportweight. In a nice shade of grey. I've done 11 rows and IT'S NOT WORKING.

I need a yarn that's substantially ethereal. The Alpaca Silk, as lovely a yarn as it is, is looking far too bulky. I figure if I'm going to be knitting my personal version of Michelangelo's "Sistine Chapel" it better be perfect. So now I have seven hanks of Alpaca Silk. And I'm thinking ...

This the Luna Moth Shawl, which is a free pattern from This chart has a lot fewer symbols. And it's only one page. It does have a nasty provisional cast on but did I mention it has fewer pages? Moths are grey, right?

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Good And The Bad

I like foreign films. With the subtitles and what not it's almost like you're reading a book while you're watching a movie. The movie above, "Monsoon Wedding", is one of my favorites. If you haven't seen it, I recommend it wholeheartedly. However, the next movie ...

... was beyond hideous. "Dilwale Dulhania Le Jaynege" (no, I don't know what that means) was the WORST movie I've ever seen in any language. I cannot even begin to tell you how horrible this movie is. Simran and Raj meet on a tour of Europe after graduation. This is their one last jaunt before going on to their respective arranged marriages. Of course they fall madly in love with one another. But ol' Raj, he's a coy one. Look, there he is on the bridge in Switzerland, playing his sitar. Simran approaches him.

Raj (speaking hypothetically we assume): Simran, what if you were to meet a man on a trip and he steals your heart?

Simran: What do you mean, Raj?

Raj: And he was to fall in love with you?

Simran: Oh Raj ...

Raj: Haha! I am only kidding you, Simran!

Simran: Raj, stop chewing my brains! (translation issues??)

And then, because this is an Indian film, the music starts and they begin dancing up and down the river! And then they're on a mountain and Simran is wearing a disco dress in the snow! Then they're in a swimming pool! Next a car! And all the while there is more singing and more dancing.

This was one of those movies where you sit and stare at the screen in sheer amazement. How did something like this even get produced? And if you really love the singing and dancing do not despair - this movie is 3 HOURS LONG. I made it through the first 90 minutes. It was horrible. I feel as though I have a "movie hangover." Don't ever rent this movie. Please.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Guilty As Charged

Ladies of the Knitting Jury, you did a fine, fine job of not reaching a unanimous verdict. However, being the superior sleuth that I am, I already knew who had done the dastardly deed. You see, my three cats each have their own unique "puking style". Wilma, bless her pointed little head, is a projectile vomiter. If she had been the culprit, the entire living room carpet would have been covered. Andy is what we Canadian hockey lovers would call a "hat trick puker". If Andy needs to be sick, once isn't good enough. Noooo, he needs to throw up three times in rapid succesion. In different locations of course. With DeeDee, once is enough. Which is all there was.

AND just to provide further evidence of her crime, here she is trying to escape prosecution by hiding out in a Knitting Arts bag. Nice try, DeeDee, you're busted.

Which leads us to the weiner of this week's contest. The magical Random Number Generator picked #5 which just so happens to be my lovely friend, ROZ!. Not only is this a delightful event for Roz but it's also nice for me since I don't need to mail anything. It's also somewhat ironic as Roz is the Queen Of Fingerless Mitts having made like, oh, six million pairs of Mosaic Mitts for every one of her relatives. Perhaps this will be a nice change for her. CONGRATULATIONS, WEINER ROZ!

Moving on to the cultural portion of the post ...

I was sadly disappointed in Cate Blanchett's second run at Elizabeth I. Or perhaps I've just grown weary of watching Elizabeth chop off Mary's head. After all, I have seen almost every movie made about ol' Liz. But at least Cate Blanchett is the appropriate age. Not like Helen Mirren, who I still haven't forgiven for trying to portray Elizabeth at 49 when we all know Helen saw 49 QUITE SOME TIME AGO. Thankfully Clive Owen *drool* was also in this, as well as Geoffrey Rush. If you like period dramas it's worth renting for the costumes as well as the scenes where the British Navy kicks Spain's butt, otherwise give it a pass.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Maybe You Can

Ahem. Attempt #6. After knitting 20 or so rows yesterday I came to the realization that I was knitting the right hand mitten using the left hand chart. So after spewing out a few words that rhyme with "duck" and "hit" I accepted the fact that it was back to the ol' drawing board for Attempt #7. Now as you can imagine, I've accumulated quite a few fingerless mitt patterns over the last few weeks. I like to be organized (sorta) so I bought a brand new binder for my patterns and filed them all away over the weekend. Unfortunately I left the binder lying on the floor.

If you have cats it's never a good idea to leave things on the floor. Here is an example why. When I got home last night someone had PUKED all over the binder. I was not amused. But who was the culprit?

Had Andy or DeeDee taken time out from their TV viewing to upchuck the Fancy Feast? Was it Miss McSnarlyPants Wilma? We just don't know. However, since I'm such a big believer in signs, I took the sight of the vomit covered binder to mean one thing. April, do not start another pattern. Carry on with Attempt #6. So that is what I'm doing. I'll simply do the left hand cable pattern on both mitts. Does it really matter? At this stage, nope.

That being said, it would be nice though to see what the pattern actually does look like. This is where you come in, loyal reader of one. I really like the Chalice Cable Handwarmer pattern. I think you will too. I also have a heck of a lot of Rowan DK. As evidenced below.

If you would like to win some Rowan yarn and a brand spankin' new copy of the Chalice Cable Handwarmers (because we do not copy patterns for sale, we buy new ones, right?) simply leave your best guess as to who tossed their crunchies on the binder. Andy, DeeDee or Wilma. Look carefully at their little furry faces. Who would commit such a despicable act? Only you, the knitting jury, can decide. That and the random number generator which will be fired up tomorrow night, Friday, March 14th at 6:00 PST. And maybe you can knit this pattern as it was meant to be knit.

ETA - Silly me to assume the world knows who my kitties are. In the collage, from top left and going clockwise, Wilma with the pink collar, DeeDee the supermodel, Andy the stuffed mouse hunter and finally Andy and DeeDee watching television.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Attempt # 6

I like to knit. I've been knitting for a few years and I can generally tell a knit stitch from a purl stitch. On a good day I can even count rows. I've got a few balls of yarn and some needles. Pattern books too. So, although I try not to flatter myself, you could probably call me "a knitter." However, it would appear I am not a good knitter of "things for other people."

This may have something to do with the fact that I'm a bit anal. My motto, "Perfection Is Acceptable", may annoy my co-workers but it does result in some nicely turned out knitted items. This is compounded by my slightly competitive streak. Which is why, maybe, I'm not so good with this whole swap thing. Because a) my fingerless mitts must be PERFECT and b) they must be better than all the other fingerless mitts being made for the swap. It is essential that when my swap partner opens her package from me that she should be heard to proclaim, "These are the most perfect fingerless mitts in the entire universe and I am the luckiest person in the swap." Not so much to ask for, eh? And thus begins Attempt #6 at a pair of fingerless mitts.

Which wouldn't be so bad if I was just changing the yarn OR the pattern. But no. As each attempt fails, a new pattern and new yarn must be procured. The act of creating a pair of fingerless mitts has taken over my life.

The latest attempt - Chalice Cable Handwarmers. This is a very cool pattern in that at one point you're actually using 2 cable needles to create a cable within a cable. How's that for an exciting party trick, huh? That'll impress the folks at Christmas, no doubt about it. And the yarn of the day is -

Filatura di Crosa's "Zara". This isn't the color I'm using though, this is.

Color # 1746 or Deep Teal. This is a delightful DK yarn, 100% merino wool and machine washable. What one might call a workhorse yarn. No bells, no whistles, just great yarn. It averages about $9.00 per ball and you get 137 yards. So let's all hope the sixth time is the charm for the ol' fingerless mitts. And if you're looking for me later, I'll be burning skeins of Red Heart as an offering to the Yarn Gods.

Monday, March 10, 2008

I Didn't Expect To

Allow me to preface this post by stating that a) I realize that there are some people who can stick to a budget when it comes to yarn, b) not everyone works in a yarn store where they get a lovely discount and c) some people live 300 hundred miles from their closest yarn store. That being said, I must go against the grain and state that I am not so crazy about KnitPicks yarn.

Sure, you can't beat their prices. They've got a wide range of products. Some of their lines have a really fantastic selection of colors. And yet ... sometimes the quality is feh. Palette, their fingering weight? Unbelievable color range. And great if you need something to use as a substitute for string. Wool Of The Andes? Very useful if you're into torturing your children with uber scratchy sweaters.

However, all is not lost at KnitPicks.

This is "Gloss", their fingering weight created from 70% merino and 30% silk. 220 yards and only $3.99 a hank. Very nice stuff. I had it sitting in the stash for some unknown reason and needed something for fingerless mitts for a Ravelry swap. I'm making Anne Hanson's Fine Cabled Mitts and my swapee likes jewel tones. KnitPicks promotes this yarn as a sock yarn but it's not that tightly spun which makes me wonder how long it would last on the feetsies. But as mitts or a lace shawl? I don't think you can go wrong.

And you people who can stay on a budget when it comes to yarn ... whoa.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

My Little Aggie Waggie Boogie Woogie

There are few things more perfect in this world than a pug. With their squished up faces, curly tails and roly poly little bodies, how can you not absolutely adore them? Let us join hands and sing a song in celebration of the pug.

Ode To Agatha

O' little pug
With snuffly nose,
Look how wide
Your tummy grows.

A cookie here,
A cookie there,
On my lap
You leave your hair.

All day long
You run and play,
And snort and bark,
The puggly way.

Allow me to present Miss Agatha, my bestest friend in the WHOLE WORLD. Unfortunately Agatha does not belong to me. She is the granddog of my very good friend, Roz. Agatha comes to visit us at the yarn store where she is always on her best behavior. She is such a good dog that she's allowed to sleep on an Alchemy silk shawl. And no matter how many dog treats we feed her she never pukes them back up. Such a good girl!

OK, now that we've all had our pug love for the day it's time to announce the big WEINER of the Black & White Cookie debate. Oh shit, I've forgotten who it is. Hang on, I'll be right back.

OK, ready. Our big WEINER is CHRISPY of the world famous blog Pursuit Of Fiber. Chrispy. A fine name for a WEINER of a cookie debate contest. Anyway, Chrispy slipped in under the wire having been lured in by the promise of Pagewood Farms Hand Dyed Sock Yarn in "Camo". But that's not all Chrispy wins! Johnny, tell the folks at home what else Chrispy has won!

Folks at home, Chrispy has also won a copy of Vogue Knitting's "Socks Two"!

Wow, that's exciting.

Chrispy, please send your snail mail address to and I'll get your package off in the mail to you ASAP. And now, being somewhat tired from my exciting day of Pugs and Prizes I shall leave you all and retire to the couch.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Lativa Smatvia

OK, let's have a little informal poll here tonight at the ol' Weaving Inn. Hands up everyone that believes Latvia is part of Russia. Aha! Just as I thought, everyone thinks Latvia is part of Russia. However, in looking at the map below ...

... we can clearly see that Latvia is a country unto itself. Which is why it was a really BAD idea for me to ship a package for one of the House Of Torture's customers to Moscow. Do not all roads lead to Moscow? No, they do not. Apparently this package was supposed to go to Riga (aka the capital of Lativa).

This has left my customers Vadim and Ivars most confused. And resulted in them sending me angry e-mails such as, "April! Why send package to Russia?!? April! You must pay attentions better to your workings!" Ha! I'll tell you right now that I take great pride in my workings!

I am but a lowly accountant, no one ever told me I needed to know every single country in the entire world as well as how to prepare a balance sheet. Honestly, can you blame me for not knowing that Latvia was a country? When was the last time you heard anything about Latvia? Sure, they've got some kick ass mittens but what else? If the Latvian government had any sense at all, they'd offer up an orphan to Brad and Angelina and then the entire world would know about them. And maybe on the way over there, Brad and Angie could take a detour through Moscow Customs and see if they can't find Vadim and Ivars package.

Now let's all take a deep breath and look at some yarn.

Here we have more Pagewood Farms Hand Dyed Sock Yarn. In "Camo". I keep buying this yarn because A) you get a lot and B) it's very reasonably priced for a hand dye. The yarn is a bit more greeny in real life and quite frankly I have no idea what I'm going to do with it. Hey! Maybe I'll give it away as a prize in the great Black & White Cookie Debate! Just a reminder, you have until tomorrow at 6pm PST to weigh in on what defines a B&W Cookie. Or you could just talk about cookies. It doesn't really matter. At this point I'm far too busy trying to find a missing package.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Not So Black And White

It has come to my attention, for reasons that will not be disclosed here, that there seems to be a number of different cookies going by the name "Black And White Cookie". And since I spent the entire weekend working at the House Of Torture so that we could close month end on time AND IT STILL ISN'T DONE, I feel completely justified in posting this at work. So, let us discuss B&W cookies. I present to you exhibit A.

It would appear from my research this afternoon, that this is the version most people would call a B&W cookie. One side chocolate, one side ... uh ... vanilla? This was confirmed by a trip to The Black And White Cookie Blog. It seems that the author of this blog only taste tests this particular variety. However, in California, or at least at the bakery around the corner from work ...

... this is a Black & White Cookie. A chocolate cookie with chunks of white chocolate. In the interest of science I had this particular variety today. It was tasty. Very tasty, in fact. Just to make matters worse, this bakery will actually send you e-mail alerts when they're ready to take another batch out of the oven. How anyone is supposed to lose any weight with that kind of conspiracy going on is beyond me. However, I digress.

So dear readers (all two of you), please enlighten me. Which is the definitive B&W cookie? Is it Exhibit A or B? Have you tried both? If not, I feel that it is necessary that you go out and try either one or both and report back here.

File your report in the comments and I will once again attempt to give away stuff. Cookie reports will be due by Saturday, 6pm PST. Prizes will follow. This is your mission, should you choose to accept it.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Ten On Tuesday

Ten Favorite Drinks

  1. Pink lemonade
  2. Water
  3. PG Tips tea
  4. Starbucks grande 2 pump no whip mocha
  5. Diet Coke
  6. Snake Dog IPA
  7. Coopers-Garrod '00 Cabernet
  8. Firefly Ridge Pinot Noir
  9. Grapefruit juice
  10. Odwalla orange juice

As we can see, I have a bit of a citrus problem. I wonder if I have scurvy.

On the knitting front ...

My little soap sock is done. Made not from the dreaded hemp, but good ol' Sugar & Creme. The original pattern called for a crocheted chain to use as a drawstring but I prefer i-cord. Although I think maybe I should have done a 2 stitch i-cord instead of a 3. Anyway, it was supposed to be a gift but I'm keeping it for me as a "prototype." Once I've tested it thoroughly in the shower I will decide whether or not to make another one. Who knows? It could fall apart instantly. It could ...

Sunday, March 02, 2008

If You Go ...

... to hell, and I certainly hope you don't, you will notice three things.

  1. Grateful Dead CD's are played 24/7.
  2. There are no elastic waistbands.
  3. Hemp is the only thing to knit with.

As I mentioned yesterday I bought a skein of hemp to make soap socks or whatever the heck you call them. Now I had been advised previously that hemp was much easier to work with if you soaked it in water first. But all I was making was a stupid little bag, not a three piece suit. How hard could it be?

Well for all you "tight" knitters out there, I have found your cure. Knit with hemp. If you should even tug just a little on your yarn, the next row will be like forcing your needle through stainless steel simply to knit a stitch. I was finally knitting so loosely the damn needles were falling out of the stitches. Now there's a trick, I'll tell ya. I had holes so big you could drive a semi through them. It was a bad scene.

What makes it even worse is that someone at the yarn store designed and knit a beautiful market bag out of the same stuff and it's GORGEOUS. I can't even knit 2 inches. So apparently it's easy for some people to knit with hemp, just not me.

And because I spent all night trying to bend hemp to my will I have no pictures other than the usual. Andy. Sleeping.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Hello Weiner!

It was tough, I gotta be honest with ya. Rarely has a contest of such magnitude been seen in the Blog world. When you're trying to give away a needle felted stitch marker holder, the entries come in in droves. Which is why today, rather than yesterday, we are finally getting around to announcing the weiner in our HUGE EXCITING OMG I CAN'T BELIEVE IT contest. After all, it took me a good two hours just to tabulate the four entries. I am exhausted. Truly. And so, without further ado, let's see what our lucky weiner has won!

Look! It's the needle felted stitch marker! But honestly people, did you really think that was ALL I was going to give away? Shame on you. I work in a yarn store, for Petey Monkey sakes. I have unlimited access to STUFF. So let's see what else our weiner has won. Actually I just like the way "weiner has won" sounds, there really aren't any more prizes. HA! KIDDING!

More prizes! Yay! Our lucky weiner will also be receiving 150 yards of Manos Silk Blend, 30% silk, 70 merino. This is a DK weight and will make a lovely pair of fingerless mitts, IMHO. Or use it for whatever you want, Weiner! Also included in the prize package is "Bella" who was handmade in Thailand using one continuous piece of string! Amazing! According to her tag "Bella makes sure that your life is full of fun folks and wild times." Kinda like my life. And finally, a delightful ladybug tape measure. Congratulations to our Winning Weiner, RONNI!. C'mon down Ronni! Or, alternatively, please send your snail address to for prompt posting of your winning windfall! I'm all about the alliteration this evening.

And of course, it's only right that I should get to have a prize for holding a contest. Which is why I bought some hemp today to make soap sock thingers you know what I mean. Like these. I have a friend who travels a lot so I figured I'd make a few up, toss in some handmade soap from Etsy, and he can throw them in his suitcase. A little nicer than the scratchy faceclothes and teeny soaps you get in most hotels. This is Lanaknits "Hemp For Knitting." Catchy name, no? 150 yards of hempy happiness. OK, enough with the alliteration, already. Help, I can't stop!