Monthly Archives: March 2007

T, A and Naval Lint

That’s right. I’ve progressed so far on the Mud Flap tank that you can see all her goodies! Check it ouuuut . . .

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It looks pretty good for my first attempt at intarsia but since I modified the pattern to do it in the round, it was interesting figuring out. I’ve since switched to back and forth to do the armholes, working the girl at the same time.

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But as you can see, there’s some tension issues. I’m hoping to loosen her up a bit after by patiently tugging here and there. I s’poz it’s good ‘nuf but I’m not thrilled. Just take a look at her foot.

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It’s pulled so far in that you can barely see it. I think I managed to loosen up a little as I went along but that foot . . .

The other thing that has me slightly worried is that the recipient is a teensy tinsy little woman. She so teensy she has to shop in the young boys department for jeans! I worked the XS size but look at the curves on that top. I’m pretty sure my friend is fairly straight up and down. And I couldn’t measure her because 1) it’s a surprise but more importantly, 2) she’s in Mexico! Grrr.

Hope to finish in a couple days – BEFORE we haul out Tess for a paintjob.

OOH! On another, very weird, slightly New Age note, while we were at the boater’s swap meet this weekend, I shelled out $10 for a bracelet.

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But it’s not just a bracelet . . . it’s a magnetic bracelet. We all know magnets perform all sorts of crazy miracles – ah hem – and one of the ailments they ‘cure’ is carpal tunnel.

Now I have a titch of the ol’ CTS from years of mousing sans wrist brace. It’s not really bad, but I do wear a brace for any computer work now and sometimes, especially when I’m on the mouse a ton, it acts up. For the last few weeks have been particularly irksome, to the point that knitting compounds it. (Strangely, knitting seems to make it feel better, most of the time.)

So when something professes to cure it — and all for $10! — I’ll give it a shot. So I bought the silly thing, wore it all day and night and — I swear to his holiness the Flying Spaghetti Monster — that I woke up the next morning with NO pain. None. Not even a dull ache. I’m just flabbergasted because I didn’t seriously think it would do anything.

Unfortunately, a controlled study showed that placebo magnets had the same positive effect as real magnets. Eh, who cares! I’ll keep wearing it if my brain will tell my arm to stop hurting. Plus, the entertainment factor with the magnets alone was worth the $10!

This ends today’s segment of “Weird, Even For Her”. Thanks for tuning in! Next week, we’ll explore the possible theraputic uses for naval lint.

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Scarf Envy

Plugging away on Mud Flap girl – I’ve made all the decreases and tonight will get to the increases and maybe even the intarsia. Eeek!

Yesterday we went to a boaters swap meet – a bunch of sailors lay out all their junk in hopes some other sailor wants said junk. They usually start pretty early and it was chilly yesterday morning so I wore this scarf:

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I bought the cheap-ass yarn on impulse while shopping with my sister at Joann’s or Ben Franklin’s or Michaels for under $5. I can’t recall what the yarn is – some ‘pebble’ junk with thin red fuzzy acrylic and slubs of pink, grey and yellow wool mixed in.

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I whipped the scarf out in an evening in garter stitch on size 11s with the intention of it just being a ‘kick around’ scarf.

Around the same time, I knit up this baby:

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It’s from Stitch N Bitch Nation – the lovely basketweave scarf. It took a couple months and two skeins of $17 yarn. I love the colors but I have to say, if I were to do it again, I would have chosen a different pattern. The varigated colorway gets in the way of the pattern, IMHO.

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But I do love it. I love the colors, I love the length (SUPER long) and wide. Plus it’s toasty cozy warm.

The funny thing about these scarves is that I get 20 times more compliments when I wear the cheap, red scarf. I love the kudos, don’t get me wrong, but no one even notices the other scarf that cost a jillion times more in cash, time and frustration. Yesterday, nearly every woman I saw said “Oooh, I love your scarf!” I even got a good deal on a tiller extension because the seller liked the scarf. Kuh-raaaaaaaaazy!

Because of the swap meet, I missed the Sunday U-Knitty meet up – and ‘missed’ is the correct word. It would have been a wonderful way to unwind from deadline but yagottadowhatyagottado. Wonder if they got yelled at by over-caffeinated psychos again . . .

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Ribbit

Progress is slow on Betty Lou’s Mud Flap Girl Tank. I started it a week or more ago as instructed in the pattern – on straights with 80 Cotton/20 Merino yarn. I took it to U-Knitty on Sunday and whipped out about 5″ of stockinette, back and forth, knit and purl. When I got home, I realized I was supposed to start decreasing at Inch Two! Crap.

Frog frog frog.

That night we ‘jammed’ with some friends (Rob’s the musician, I just make music with my clicking needles) and the wife of one is a lifelong knitter. She was very encouraging and kind about my simple tank, and suggested that next time I should knit it on circulars. “Oh, right! Easy for you to say!” I balked. Just the thought of converting the pattern was scary enough but just how the heck do I knit up the front & back? “Just put one side on another needle. That way you only have seams on the straps.” Hmmm. Still sounded pretty scary.

As I continued clicking to the beat, I thought about just how to convert the pattern. Hey, that wouldn’t be so hard. And, of course! I just put one side on a great big stitch holder and pick it up later. Easy peasy!

Frog frog frog.

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Aside from a couple purl rows in the round to make sure the bottom doesn’t roll, I’m done purling! I’m looking forward to the challenge of doing the intarsia babe. She’s totally cool. Keep in mind, this tank is for a friend who is well into her 50s!

My other project was a hat that has now morphed into a scarf . . . I think. I hated my hat design and frogged that too. This fun yarn was a gift so I have no idea what it is, other than superduper bulky wool (look how tight it knits up on #19s). Love the colors!

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(Ed: How silly am I? They’re #19s not 35s. Doh!) 

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New Credit Card Scam

This one is pretty slick since they provide YOU with all the information, except the one piece they want.

Note, the callers do not ask for your card number; they already have it. This information is worth reading. By understanding how the VISA & MasterCard Telephone Credit Card Scam works, you’ll be better prepared to protect yourself.

The scam works like this: Peson calling says, “This is (name), and I’m calling from the Security and Fraud Department at VISA. My Badge number is 12460. Your card has been flagged for an unusual purchase pattern, and I’m calling to verify.

This would be on your VISA card which was issued by (name of bank). Did you purchase an Anti-Telemarketing Device for $497.99 from a Marketing company based in Arizona?”

When you say “No”, the caller continues with, “Then we will be issuing a credit to your account. This is a company we have been watching and the charges range from $297 to $497, just under the $500 purchase pattern that flags most cards. Before your next statement, the credit will be sent to (gives you your address), is that correct?”

You say “yes”. The caller continues – “I will be starting a Fraud investigation. If you have any questions, you should call the 1- 800 number listed on the back of your card (1-800-VISA) and ask for Security. You will need to refer to this Control Number. The caller then gives you a 6 digit number. “Do you need me to read it again?”

Here’s the IMPORTANT part on how the scam works. The caller then says, “I need to verify you are in possession of your card”. He’ll ask you to “turn your card over and look for some numbers”. There are 7 numbers; the first 4 are part of your card number, the next 3 are the security Numbers’ that verify you are the possessor of the card. These are the numbers you sometimes use to make Internet purchases to prove you have the card.

The caller will ask you to read the 3 numbers to him. After you tell the caller the 3 numbers, he’ll say, “That is correct, I just needed to verify that the card has not been lost or stolen, and that you still have your card. Do you have any other questions?” After you say No, the caller then thanks you and sates, “Don’t hesitate to call back if you do”, and hangs up. Within minutes there will be a charge just under five hundred dollars on your card!

The real VISA told us that they will never ask for anything on the card as they already know that information!

Please pass this on to all your family and friends. By informing each other, we protect each other.

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Looming Deadline

I’m on deadline so I can’t write much but I did get the Uruguaian yarn yesterday.

Pearl Ten, Velvet Grapes & Misty Morning (or something like that):

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Pearl Ten (my new sweater):

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Velvet Grapes:

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Misty Morn (or whatever it’s called):

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Once I’m off deadline (next week), I’ll do a full report on the yarns with swatches and comparisons to Malabrigo.

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Creepazoids

I just got back from our weekly SnB at a local Starbucks. What a horrible start to the day! We meet every Sunday from 10-12 and it’s usually fairly quiet during that time. After the morning rush, before the lunch rush. There are several tables and one couch w/ a couple soft chairs available, which we never get because they’re usually full. Today, there was one guy finishing up his paper – his Grande whatever was already finished – and only two of us at the time so we sat down there. In the meantime, another gal showed up and we sat there quietly chatting. We weren’t loud but we weren’t whispering either – normal coffee house volume, perhaps even quieter.

Suddenly, the guy jumps up, throws down the paper and says with all the venom he could muster “I’d like you to know the only way I can read is if I do it aloud” as he stomped away! We all sat there stunned! So, Little Miss Smartmouth (me) said “This isn’t a library.” He said “Ok, fine,” sat back down and began to read out loud. So we ignored this fool making a total ass out of himself and continued chatting about Laura’s felted entrelac bag (maybe THIS is what set him off – it certainly blows MY mind!). He finally realized that he’s not bothering us at all and stomped out. We were totally flabbergasted!

But it’s not over. After Guy #1 stomped out, Guy #2 stomps up and told us, also in a particularly venomous voice, that we were totally rude for “hogging” the couch area and that we should stick to a table. Little Miss Smartmouth says “Thanks for sharing. We value your opinion.”

Of course this was the topic of conversation for quite awhile. Guy #1 could have just as easily told us nicely that we were being too loud or bothering him but he chose to be an a-hole. #2 was clearly just irritated that he didn’t get there before us. We certainly don’t want to alienate anyone there because, for most of us, that’s our daily Starbucks.

Is it just us? I talked to a couple other people about it and they too felt that we had just as much right to sit in the comfy chairs as anyone else. We buy the coffee and food, usually more than once. Plus, if we’re at a table in the center of the room, we’re closer to more people (thus ‘disturbing’ more people) than over in the couch area.

I want to know what those guys would have done if a family of three had come in and sat down and chatted. Nothin. But chicks with sticks come in and ‘hog’ the couch? How dare they?! Don’t they know that I – a MAN – gets priority over a bunch of hens?! Sorry to sound so bitter, but that’s really how it seemed.

After all the hubbub died down, we got back to the good stuff – knitting! A couple more gals joined us and the horrible beginning faded a bit (though not entirely). Just look what Laura finished!
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Toe up, two at a time on a magic loop. (In the background you can see her to-be-felted entrelac bag on the needles.) Just take a gander at this heel!

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We marvel that she and Sushama are such prolific sock knitters. I can barely get the gumption to finish mine that have been a WIP since September.

In a polar switch from the two assholes at the beginning of our meeting, these three munchkins were fascinated with our knitting. The boy in the middle knows how! The one on the left asked some very intelligent questions and was particularly interested in my felted bag. Susan did a wonderful job explaining everything.

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I don’t know where we’ll sit next week but I’ve told the story and asked opinions on two separate knitting boards. If you want to see what others have said click here and here.

In the meantime, I’m going to get me some kitty-love!

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Monster Bobble

Jody from the U-Knitty group gave me a great big cake of the most colorful uber-bulky yarn a few weeks ago. I’ve been looking at it and looking at it, trying to decide what its destiny is. I finally decided to it was meant to be a hat. It could could also just as easily have become slipper socks but I wanted to dabble in designing a hat.

I don’t have dpns big enough for this yarn and I didn’t really want to invest in any so I’m knitting this flat and will seam it at the end. It’s so multicolored that hopefully it will just look like a ‘design element’. Last night the boys (our friend Little Aaron is visiting again) watched as I patiently tried and frogged several different stitches until I came upon a look I liked: 1 x 1 rib for the first 2 rows. Then on to stockinette.

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I want to incorporate bobbles in the hat so I knit 3 sts into 1 st every 5 sts and then p3tog on the way back. I’m not thrilled with the effect. The bobble is way to small and flat. I want a hurkin’ blob popping out of this thing! I think I’ll try k3 into 1 st, return to left needle and k3tog. If that’s still too flat, I’ll k3 into 1 st, turn, p3, turn, k3, turn p3tog. That’ll be a MONSTER bobble (heh heh, that sounds like that depressing Halle Berry movie!).

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I sorta feel like Eunny Jang with my mad design skilz!

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Perfecto

As I mentioned previously, the gauge swatch for the Mud Flap Girl Tank was off so last night I reknit it using #5s. Perfecto! I really wish I’d taken pix of the swatches to show the difference. Oh well.

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I managed to crank out a few rows last night after working late and having dinner out with Aaron (who’s came back last night). I also realized that I have actually knit a sweater before. The painfully cute Mason & Dixon baby kimono!

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Good thing the kid wasn’t sentient, as one sleeve was considerably longer than the other, as you can clearly see in this pic. At least the booties were perfect . . .

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Purl Ten

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Here’s my new sweater. Thanks to Tina’s mad math skills, I ordered the correct yardage from Serendipity in South America, a co-op in Uruguay that sells on eBay and, according to Knitter’s Review, wholesales Malabrigo. In essence, this is Malabrigo, without the label. For a fraction of the cost – say about half. The color names are even the same: Pearl Ten. I’ll have a full report on its lusciousness when it arrives in a few days.

In the meantime, I’ve been itching to start the Mud Flap Girl Tank out of Stitch N’ Bitch Nation.

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It’s a gift for a good friend who’d expressed interest in it when I first started knitting but I was uncomfortable trying my hand at something so ‘big’ at the point. Now I feel confident it will come out as cute as my friend, plus I want to try my hand at intarsia.

Unfortunately, our LYS closed so I have to run into San Rafael to visit a store now. Dharma Trading is where I first fondled Malabrigo but they don’t carry anything similar to Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece (80% cotton, 20% wool). So off to Marin Fiber Arts I went. They didn’t carry it either but they do have Cascade’s version. I knit up a gauge swatch (can you believe it?!) and found, as I had suspected, that I need to use smaller needles. I’m a loose knitter. Wonder if there’s a support group . . .

Wow, all these WIPs makes me finally feel like a ‘real’ knitter. Up till now, I’ve had, at most, two WIPs. I now have FOUR, soon to be FIVE! I may have to start a WIP list on my sidebar. Or I could just finish up a couple. Naaaaaah . . .

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Who? Meme?

I found this meme on someone else’s blog and thought I’d fill it out so my new Secret Pal could get to know me a little better.

I’ve been hooked on the needles since…
February 2005. I took a one hour “how to knit” class and have been addicted ever since.

I’m still a virgin, but not for long…
Sweaters and cables. I’m planning my first sweater, with the help of a more experienced friend, and will soon make some Fetching gloves for my first cables.

She’s crafty – she gets around to….
I go in phases and like to try odd projects. Last summer I made a solar oven out of some boxes and foil. It worked ok but it’s too windy here in Sausalito during the summer for things to really heat up. I’ve made paper, journals, and other stuff like that. I hate photo albuming! I learned that after buying a million dollars worth of the paraphenalia. I also dabble in watercolors but it’s infrequent and not very good.

she’s always down for…
Ice cream and a DVD.

she’s always got a gripe about…
Other people’s driving. Me? I’m a perfect driver!

What type of knitter are you?
Advanced beginner, I’d say. Once I master a sweater and cables, I’ll consider myself a novice intermediate.

I’m dying to try…
Malabrigo yarn

I gravitate towards colors like…
Rich red (more like cherries, less like burgundy), rich brown, rich purple

My most cherished possession (kids, pets, family doesn’t count)…
The Fuzzy – a fake fur throw my grandma made me a million years ago. I love it!

I’m stuck on a deserted island, what am I reading?
A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

If I was offered a last meal, it would be…
Seafood bisque, baked brie with hot french bread, shrimp scampi or beef tenderloin, cheesecake and creme brulee (it’s my last meal, what the heck!)

Music to knit by
I don’t usually knit to music. I usually pick up my knitting when we sit down to watch TV. But as far as music goes, I grew up in the 80s so that’s always a good bet.

I have a crush on…
My cat Fred. I think he would make the best boyfriend ever!

Least favorite celebrity…
Oh, there’s so many. James Woods really creeps me out.

Choose: Brad Pitt or Johnny Depp…
Johnny Depp – he makes me swoon. Brad Pitt has a hot bod but he makes me a little sick.

Madonna or Janet Jackson
Janet!

June Cleaver or Peg Bundy
Eh.

Jackie or Marilyn
Marilyn

Love or money
Love

Brains or looks
Hmmm….that’s a trick question. I don’t think you can have a relationship with someone unless you’re physically attracted to them but you can grow to find someone attractive who may not be conventionally handsome.

Math or English
English – I’m a sailing journalist.

Cat or dog
Both. I have a cat because they’re much easier to have on a boat but I grew up with a dog. I love both!

Leader or follower
I believe everyone likes to think of themselves as leaders but there has to be followers too. In reality, we all have a little of both in us. I’m very opinionated and can be pushy but I’m not what I consider to be innovative.

Beer or champagne
Beer or Pinot Grigio

My favorite smell…
Freshly ground coffee, frying bacon, wisteria, a fresh sea breeze

My hidden talent is…
Archery. I took up archery after watching a Survivor episode that featured it. I went on to compete and win a couple trophies. I quit when I moved aboard (no room for all the gear) and am glad I did because it caused bursitis in my left shoulder.

Not many people know this about me…
I can’t tell you that – it’s a secret! Ok, um . . . ooh, this is juicy. I kissed a girl in grade school while we play acted that she was Shaun Cassidy. My one and only lesbian experience. I’m so hot!

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