Thursday, July 27, 2006


Knitting this...
earned me this...

Just wanted to thank Theresa and Rachel for organizing the Amazing Lace.

It's been a fun event.

Monday, July 24, 2006

"Wear-Your-FOs-to-Work Day"--And Dammit, Be Proud!

The other day, KnitandTonic wrote about how she never (or rarely) wears any of her finished items. When I read that, I felt really quite sad and disappointed. If her FOs aren't worthy of hitting the street, then whose are? Then many of you wrote into her comments section, noting that you too don't feel that you can wear your knitted garments out in public. Again, I felt that this was really too bad. Thankfully, many others wrote just the opposite--that you wear yours with pride. Certainly, I feel a real joy, for instance, when I notice that Carrieoke is wearing one of her FOs to work, and that she even takes the time to photograph herself in her office washroom. Or that she even wears them out in the evening. This is the type of moxie I like to see in the knitting community; not shame, but pride in what we do and what we create.

Pattern: Orangina, by Glampyre, XS

Yarn: Rowan 4-Ply Cotton (Ripple), 3 skeins

Needles: US 3 24' circular

Modifications: I cast on for the XS size, minus 18 stitches, so I could make an XSS. I'm not an XSS but as many have pointed out, this pattern knits up a bit loose otherwise. I took much of my modification advice from Domesticat, whose version of Orangina really inspired me to make this top.

So today, I broke out Orangina and wore her to work. All Day! And not one person looked at me in horror, or as though I were poor, or as though I were a "sad, old woman," or as though I were some freakish, bag lady. In fact, I thought I looked pretty good.

But I have to admit, had someone said, "Did you make that top?", I probably would have felt a mixture of embarrassment and pride, trying to figure out whether or not the question was a compliment or an insult. But just for a second would I care. And then I would get on with feeling good and enjoying what I can make with my own hands, a bit of string, and two good sticks (or in this case, a circ.). Oh, and of course, let's not forget Glampyre's great pattern, as well!

And for those of you who feel your knitted items just aren't beautiful enough to wear out of the house, I leave you with this little beauty, found outside my door today. I once thought portulaca plants were ugly, and despaired when my mother would plant them in mass quantities about the yard. Guess what? I now love them and think they're just so pretty.

Just like I've come to feel about my FOs.

So hey, when should we declare the International "Wear-Your-FOs-To-Work" Day?

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Hot Town, Summer in the City

Sadly, on a Saturday, I'm in my office, trying to write; instead of focusing on the task at hand, I find my mind constantly wandering towards memories of my recent vacation, of times spent just lying about here:
A beach, a lake, a full moon, a family barbeque, all back near my hometown in Canada. Instead of being there, I'm back in the Southwest, sweltering, trying to get work done. But how can a girl--especially a Northern girl, like me--work in these conditions. Look at what my office thermometer is currently reading:

For those who, like me, prefer a much saner system of measurement, I present you with the metric version of this Hades of an office:

What's a girl to do but to pause, periodically, to wipe the sweat from her brow, to dream myself back to Canada and that evening at the lake, to knit on the second sock of the Friday Harbour Socks just for a wee break, pretending that the lake, the family, the love ain't so far away after all.
For surely, within me, I hold forever this frozen landscape, carry it with me where ever I go, much like I now find myself doing with my knitting and my Nikon camera.

And just to make sure I can make it through until the evening, when my partner swings by to rescue me from this hellish ivory tower of heat, I'll also dream of the mojitos that will follow this evening, using our garden's mint picked fresh.

Enjoy--and stay cool, my friends.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Amazing Lace: Crossing the Finish Line!

I present my version of Eunny Lang's Print O' The Wave Stole, which was my team-partner in this summer's Amazing Lace KAL.

My Amazing Lace teammate and I lost no time in getting right to our travel-race plans. On June 11th, my yarn arrived from Elann (colour: SeaShell Pink). On June 12th, my partner and I hopped in the car and headed east, travelling through Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, to northern Indiana. The stole itself began on the morning of June 16th, on the lovely porch of my partner's aunt and uncle's home in Indiana.

That same day, from Indiana, the stole and I then travelled on through Detroit, MI on route to Southern Ontario. I knit while my partner drove on a scenic, winding, road alongside the interstate. It was quiet and scenic until we hit the NASCAR road traffic with fanatics in RVs everywhere. Despite the increase in traffic (and weirdness, for lack of a better word), we had a good day. My partner (Guido) cheered on his favourite baseball team thanks to our beloved XM Satellite Radio while I continued to YO and SSK.

It was in Southern Ontario where the Stole and I found ourselves in turmoil: trying to finish it before a friend's wedding while trying to write a disseration while trying to visit with my partner's family and many childhood friends. Something had to give, but what? Well, the border of the stole for one. And the grafting for another. (As you can see, my waves roll only one way but really who can be bothered to make sure waves are rolling down each arm in two different directions? Well, besides the perfectionist, the intelligent, the diligent, the delightful Eunny Lang, herself? Not me, that's for sure!)

So Print O' the Wave, with minutes to spare, made her debut at the wedding on June 26. Seriously, minutes to spare. I cast off while my partner drove us to the wedding, and then while sitting in the parking lot, I sewed in the loose ends. Though not blocked (to my great disappointment), she kept me warm in the frigid (air-conditioned) hall while we boogied all night to bad, but fun and necessary, wedding songs. The blocking came the next day.


Pattern: Eunny Lang's Print O' the Wave Stole (modified: see narrative above, and comments below)

Yarn: Peruvian Collection Baby Silk from Elann (3 skeins and a bit)

Needles: US 5 circulars

Modifications: I left off the border because I was pressed for time, and did 3 repeats of the wave pattern instead of 4. Also, I didn't do the pattern wave motif in two sections (which you are to graft together). Instead, I simply cast on, knit until I ran out of time, and then did the eyelet border pattern to complete it.

Views: I loved this pattern and the yarn (though I do find the Alpaca a bit scratchy on my bare skin). My only wish is that I would have had more time so that I could have made the stole longer and wider. I would, if doing this again, do 4 wave repeats so that the stole is wider, and I would make it at least another 12" in length. I'm not sure I would do the border, and I don't think I would bother with the grafting because the waves going in one direction do not bother me at all. I don't think it makes much difference, and in fact, I wouldn't want a graft line, no matter how invisible, going down my backside!)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

FO...Partially Revealed

Here's my version of Eunny Lang's Print O' the Wave Stole, from WIP to blocking to.... FO photo to be published with all of the key details tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Still Cross-Posting

Until things settle down here a bit (i.e. dissertation is done), I'm going to keep cross-posting between blogspot and blogspirit:

I intend, in the end, to use blogger and keep this one blog here; however, I just don't have the time right now to do the necessary housekeeping and transfering of files/photos, and so, it is easier, for now, to go back and forth between the two blogs.

And, of course, simply one photo of Zebra Jaywalker will not do so here's another-- :)

PS: The River Stole has been completed. FO photos to come!

Jaywalker Number 400??

Dear Grumperina,

I've been away on vacation for a long, long time; upon returning home late last night, I immediately checked in on all of my favourite blogs. Much to my surprise (followed by delight), I discovered that I have been missing out on quite an event going on at "Chez Grumperina".

So, without further ado, here's my version of Jaywalker, which I permit you to publish in your readers' gallery.

I like to think of this photo shoot as: "Zebra Jaywalker goes awalkin' in the garden..."

And because this is the first time I've ever contacted you (yes, yet another lurker in the weeds...), I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for the savy pattern, for the insightful, intelligent blog, and for bringing "pleasurable grumpiness" into the knitting-blog community.

Warm regards,