Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Moving Day

Knitting, with Beads has a new home. Come on over! It's at Typepad, and hopefully will eliminate the issues that many have had trying to access blogger. I still have plenty of decorating to do, but for now we're just plain and simple.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Thunder Possible

The other evening, weather.com's forecast read "thunder possible." I think that's a great phrase, don't you? Very majestic, and full of promise.

Look at this cute little guy. He jumped onto my ankle while I was sitting on the ground pulling out a bee sting from my toe. Sister Jane tried to kiss the frog, but when I moved my hand closer to her face the frog startled and jumped away. We were at Daddy's, you know, before my fateful drive home.

My accident happened on the I-65 overpass at Columbus (IN), near where Rob and Matt's ThreadBear shop used to be. My thanks to the FedEx driver and to Chris the truck driver/paramedic who were the first on the scene.

So I'm still pretty sore, and have this incredible set of seatbelt-shaped bruises. If you are squeamish, or don't want to see some bruising, don't click here or here. The bad news is that I can't sit at my torch to make beads. The good news is that I *can* knit.

I completed two pair of socks, meeting my September SAM2 goal. First are the anklets I made with the wool Ruth dyed for me for Dye-O-Rama. I love the way these turned out!

Second pair is the anklets made using Wool2Dye4 Supersock, dyed using my patent-pending kettle/sprinkle/microwave-steam method. I like it because there's no pattern, just lots of lovely random yellow, red, and orange-ness. I used the same method for Dave's KSKS yarn as well as for Jill's August Birthday Swap yarn, so I'm looking forward to seeing how their socks turn out. Of course, Dave can't start his until he takes a *proper* photograph of the yarn. I wonder, will it count if he uses the photo he took when he received the yarn?

Also over the weekend I finished the first Undulating Rib Cashmere blend sock, using some of the yarn I got from Dave in my KS Kit. This sock feels incredible on, and will be a very welcome addition to my sock wardrobe.

Finally, I started my socks for the Mystery Sock KAL. I'm using the Lavender Wildfoote from my birthday package from Joan, and the lacysocks pattern posted to the KnitList in 1997 by JP. It's a simple lace pattern, but quite nice.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Pardon me while I indulge in a little self-pity. History: My dad has a 1991 GEO Tracker that I've coveted for over ten years. I told him more than once to be sure to please let me have first dibs when he decided to sell. So he did. And Jane and I drove to southern IN yesterday so I could pick it up. Which I did.

I then proceeded to total it. Less than an hour after finally getting my hot little hands on the keys. I'm banged up, but not seriously. Moving rather slowly today. Dang, I hate when that happens.

ETA: Read Sister Jane's account here. ps. seatbelts really *do* save lives, like mine.

Saturday, September 02, 2006


On my 22nd birthday, I received the best gift possible: I went into labor! Isaac was born the next morning just after 9:30 am at Silas B Hayes Army Community Hospital in Fort Ord, CA. How very cool is that?! Happy Birthday, son!

I remember another very special birthday, much longer ago. It was August 31, 1964 and in celebration of my third birthday, my mom let me hold Sister Jane, then almost three months old. Thanks Mom, for another awesome birthday gift!

And speaking of birthday gift babies, my dad's birthday is September 2nd. Happy Birthday, Daddy!

This year's wonderful gift arrived in the form of my August Birthday Swap package from the Fairygodknitter, Joan.

A lovely pile of tissue-wrapped goodies tumbled from the box.

I was frozen with indecision for all of about five seconds - which to open first? One at a time, I began unwrapping these delightful wonders - check out the loot!

Two set of KA bamboo double-points; size 0 (2.0mm) and size 1(2.25mm). Incidentally, the needles I received from Dave are 2.5mm, so how perfect is that? A very clever little pair of snips disguised as a pen, a booklet packed with helpful sock information, an inspirational magnet, a miniature sweater key-chain, a Fortune-Telling birthday book, three packages of toffee, and enough yarn for FOUR pair of socks! You say you want to see a closer view of the yarn?

Two balls of Cascade Fixation in shades of soft green, two skeins of Wildfoote in lovely lavender, Mega-Boots stretch in an autumn colorway, and two hanks of Koigu! I've knit several pairs of footies with Cascade, and am tickled to have more. The other three are all new to me, and are all yarns that I have coveted. Color me one lucky pal - thanks a million, Joan!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Don't Sweat the Bag, or I Heart Algebra

One of the rules in the Knit Sock Kit Swap was "Do not fear the bag." So, I didn't. What I did do, though, was think about it for a long time. See, here's what happened: when I initially signed up for the swap, I started planning a really cute bag, maybe bug-shaped, maybe with flowers, but definitely girly. Then I got my swap partner's name from Bev. Okay, time to re-think the bag, 'cuz Dave doesn't come across at all girly.

I asked myself what kind of bags men carry. My answer was briefcases, messenger bags, backpacks, and duffle bags. Aha! A duffle bag! That's what I would make. One with handles and zippers and pockets... Denim would be good, with a lining of soft striped flannel... sort of like jeans and a comfy flannel shirt. (That's maybe not quite as clever as it sounds; the blue and white striped flannel was near the top of the first box of my fabric stash I opened.)

No pattern, I just decided to wing it. First cut was the handles, then the outer pocket. I dug around for a template for the round pieces at the end, and came up with the lid of a plastic margarine container. The diameter was 6 1/4". Here's the really exciting part... I got to multiply by pi! Isn't that awesome!?! Since this wasn't rocket surgery, I did do some rounding, multiplying 6.25 by 3.14159. The measurement around the bag needed to be in the neighborhood of 19 3/4 inches. Adding some for seam allowances plus the fudge factor, I cut a rectangle as wide as I thought the bag should be by 22 inches. I used the outside pieces as a pattern to cut the lining and interfacing, then just started sewing stuff together. Here's the only in progress pic I managed to remember to take:

(like my fancy ironing board cover?)

Thanks to my years of working in fabric stores, and of just being a pack-rat in general, I have quite a collection of all sorts of sewing pieces-parts, including a nice assortment of zippers. I just dug into the zipper box and found a few likely-looking candidates and inserted them here and there for some pocket fun.

The lining was assembled the same way as the outer bag (well, except no handles), then hand-stitched to the zipper. A lick and a promise with my iron, a few lampwork bead zipper pulls, and there you have it!

Tomorrow: My birthday swap package is here!!!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

My KSKS Package Arrived!!

On Saturday Chuck the mailman knocked on my door and presented me with a lovely sight - a package from Canada! Because of a .ca email addy early on, I was pretty sure my pal was Canadian, and I was right. In fact, my pal was my pal, Dave, of Criminy Jickets. Shades of deja vu - Ruth was my pal both ways for Dye-O-Rama. If I'd had my thinking cap tied on tightly, I would have thought to ask Chuck to pose for a picture. Oh well, maybe next time.

Zach the Cat scored with this really cool toy. It's a springy wire with little thingies on the end, and drives him crazy when I wiggle it along the floor.

A few weeks ago Dave posted about his bag, and I remember thinking how very cool it was. It's the Fold of Function from Vicki Square's Folk Bags , based on a Korean jumeoni. His pictures are better than mine, so be sure to go take a look.

It's knit of silky soft cotton demin, with green embroidery and I-cord drawsting. Hey Dave, is that the same green as your Tiger Swallowtail Shawl? Dave's knitting is so nice and even, very professional-looking. He mentions being concerned about the looks of the inside of the bag, so of course I had to turn it inside out and perform a close inspection. Dave, it's perfect!

And the yarn. The yarn! There is enough for two pair of socks, both very luxurious. On the left is Auntie Marts Angora Sock Yarn, which is 45% wool, 25% angora and 30% viscose in the loveliest shades of green, blue and mauve. The other is Lucia, in the June Hothouse colorway, 30% cashmere and 70% merino. I may have already accidentally cast on with this yarn.

Also in my kit was a set of 6" bamboo double-points from Collection, with an ultra-smooth finish and just-right points. (The urge to test-drive these needles was a factor in the accidental cast-on.) Some very nifty spiral needle-holders, a bag of toffee (my favorite!!), and some Maple Syrup in a maple-leaf-shaped bottle rounded out the kit. Am I lucky, or what?! Thanks a million Dave, you're a swell pal.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

August Sock-A-Month - Done!

The thing about having umpty-'leven socks in progress is that it can take a long time to complete a pair. Here it is nearly the end of August and this is the first pair of socks I've completed.

Yarn is Kona 2-Ply Superwash Fingering from Sheila at Wool2Dye4, dyed with Dharma acid dyes. I used my Chiagoo bamboo 2.25mm double-points over 60 stitches with a short-row heel. The sock on top has been machine-washed and -dried, and has bloomed and softened. I. Love. This. Yarn. It's very pleasant to knit with, and even nicer to wear. The washing has softened the colors, but I think it's more a case of the yarn blooming as opposed to the colors fading.

Tomorrow: My KSKS package arrived!!

Friday, August 25, 2006

World-Class Contender

I'm pretty sure that I've managed, quite by accident, to create the world's ugliest hand-dyed sock yarn. I set out to dye this skein of Kona 2-ply Fingering Superwash pink with just a touch of brown. Okay, back up a little here..... last spring I participated in a cooperative buy for acid dyes from Dharma. There were many color choices, but budget constraints dictated I not choose one of everything. I specifically decided not to buy any brown dye. In fact, I remember thinking, "Well, that's just plain silly, buying brown dye. Anybody can mix up their own. It's a piece of cake. All I need to do is just mix complementary colors and I'll get brown." Heh. Pride goeth before a fall, eh?

Fast forward to August... I used my $50 gift certificate from Wool2Dye4 (Thanks again, Sheila!) to get two 1-pound cones of Kona 2-ply plus an eight-ounce hank of Kona DK. Except for a slight blue fingernails incident, I was fresh off the success of dyeing my KSKS pal's yarn (hi Dave!). I used the kettle-dye/ sprinkle dye/overdye method (patent pending) and came up with some pretty nifty wool, if I do say so myself. But enough of that - anybody can dye gorgeous yarn. This story's about the antithesis to gorgeous.

I started with an overall dye of pink of fairly light intensity. Next step was to blend turquoise and yellow (no green, see above) and dunk part of the pink skein into the pot. I checked on it after about ten minutes and started having some doubts about my master plan... it wasn't looking so good. An hour or so later when the dye was exhausted, I was sure of it. I was heading down the ugly highway.

Next I decided it needed to be pinker, so back into the pot with the whole skein along with a lot more pink dye. Wow - it's not getting any better. In fact, we're getting pretty close to hideous by now. What else could I do but add more dye to the pot? In went some turquoise and yellow and a pinch of black for good measure. I may have used more colors; I'm rather vague on the details by this time.

I really am an optimist. When the dye exhausted (again), I remember thinking, "Oh, it'll get better once it's dried. Surely it will. Won't it?" Clearly I was delusional. Are you ready for it? Can your stomach handle it? I had to take multiple shots, since none of these come near showing the true hideousness. If you think it looks pretty, then rest assured that's an accident of the light. Fair warning.....

My apologies to sheep everywhere.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Herringbone Rib

Lori in Michigan asked for the pattern, and since Blogger won't tell me how to contact Lori, you all get it! It's a very simple four-stitch, two-row repeat:

Row One: Knit
Row Two: *K2, Slip 1, K1, YO, PSSO* repeat from *

I found this pattern, along with Jill's recommendation, at Aloha & Oreos, although I can't find the specific entry right now. Thanks to Jill for sharing!

ETA: This stitch pattern as written above is for knitting in the round. If you are knitting flat, row one would be purl.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

KSKS Bag Sneak Preview

The kit for my KSKS pal is winging its way north. So, even though I'm very pleased with the bag and am dying to show it off, today there are only little bits and pieces so as not to give too much away.

The yarn is Wool2Dye4 Superwash Supersock, dyed with Dharma acid dyes. My fingernails were blue for almost a week after this!