snarky knitters

snark·y /ˈsnɑrki/ [snahr-kee]
–adjective, snark·i·er, snark·i·est. Chiefly British Slang.

testy or irritable; short.
[Origin: 1910–15; dial. snark to nag, find fault with (appar. identical with snark, snork to snort, snore, prob. D, LG snorken to snore) + -y1]

Since the Monday Night Knitters (aka Madame DeFarge’s Knitters) have been kicked out of our previous venue, Perugino’s, we’ve been a bit adrift. Many other venues were considered, but most have seating limitations, early hours, or other problems. This evening, we tried the 5th Street Market. Which turned out to be a bust, since everything closed at 7 pm. Joy. It was decided that we’d all move over to Cozmic Pizza, and try again there.

In all fairness, we had been warned that it was Open Mike Night at Cozmic Pizza. But, I think we were all expecting badly written (and performed) poetry, and not karaoke. At first, we were politely distasteful. Then we (well, about half of us, including St M and I) got really loud and really snarky. A couple of times we sang along, off-key, and others we critiqued the singers’ skills, etc. And we laughed. A lot. And loudly.

At the time it was funny. Right now I’m worried about the damage we might have done to some of the “performers” egos. At one point, A asked if St M and I were drunk because we were laughing so hard. But, really, who wouldn’t laugh when two teenagers are trying to since songs older than they are? (and not succeeding in the slightest, either)

We all left right about when the love songs started up. After getting home, I wound off last night’s Aurora into a skein and plied the other bobbin-full. As of tonight, I have 6 skeins done:

I’m getting closer and closer to have a sweater’s worth of yarn. Yay! Then I get to design a sweater… Hrm.

Well, that’s about it. Not really. But I don’t want to write any more. Quickly – I got some really gorgeous lace for the edge of “that Judaica thing” (rejoice!) and some matching blue braiding. It’s gonna rock, I think. Hopefully my karma isn’t in the negatives after tonight, and it’ll work out.

plying my way

“Writing is the most fun you can have by yourself.”
Terry Pratchett

My main achievements today? Plying 3 bobbins worth of yarn. If we ignore the fact that I managed a Costco run, and got some cleaning done. Anyway, back to the yarn.

1 bobbin-full of vegan yarn for my Handspun/ Handcrafted Swap partner:

(I sat and spun on the back porch this afternoon,
since it was so nice outside)

1 of baby alpaca/ silk waste for heaven knows who. (not pictured)

And 1 of Aurora (1/2 superwash, 1/2 baby alpaca), for myself:

I have another bobbin’s worth of Aurora left to ply, but my shoulders and knees are tired. So, that’s it for the night. As soon as there’s enough hot water again, I’m claiming the bathtub.

Tomorrow, err, this morning, the workmen return (heaven help me) to sand the oak floors. Oy. I’m planning on escaping to TKS to visit St M before we go to Mdme DeFarge’s. We’ve been kicked out of our long-standing venue, Perugino’s, for gathering too large a crowd. Uh huh.

So, now we’re trying another bar/ cafe. Should be cool. Maybe I’ll even remember to bring my camera.

(don’t count on it)

knotty knitters and a hat

I’ll buy my love some flannel, I’ll make my love a shroud
And every stitch I put in it, the tears they will pour down
With every stitch I put in it, how the tears will flow
Cruel fate has put an end to his growing

Anon/ traditional

I have no idea why, but this ballad appeals to me tonight.

Anyway. The Tea Cozy Hat is finished. TheBon kindly offered to photograph it for me, and the tiny bit of yarn that I had left once it was finished (eep!):

And, an “action” shot:See? I have been losing weight
(just… extremely slowly)

And here’re some shots of the Knotty Knitters girls (from tonight)…

Can you tell which one was taken by me and the other by TheBon? I bet you can, her’s doesn’t suck ;D

And back to business. Lemme see, lemme see. Quick update:

  • I still need to make that soup
  • La Primavera stole is coming along nicely. Alas, I might need more yarn… Oy.
  • An accord has been reached with the parents. The finally agree that the possibility of me not getting hired at MoC will not cause the Apocalypse. We have agreed that my tickets to SF WILL be bought tomorrow, come Hell or high water. Seriously. I don’t care if I have to stand down Satan himself at this point.
  • The Corset-A-Long starts tomorrow. We’ll see how that goes.
  • 22 participants in the Hogwarts Houses Swap
  • I am a bad organizer, or was, for the Handspun Swap. I’m not nagging enough, I admit it.
  • I just may have to strangle Bon’s MIL
  • Rome and Extras kick @ss this season
  • The Guild is going to start meeting at Starbucks now, instead of on campus.
  • And my foot is feeling much better now, thank you everyone, and hopefully I shall somehow manage to make it to 100 mi by April 1 despite my recent bipedal issues.


I have no idea, take 3

Blemishes are hid by night and every fault forgiven; darkness makes any woman fair.

Would that I could only show my face during the night, eh? I’m having an epic outbreak of just awful acne right now. It’s really NOT fair, I tell you, since I never had any skin problems through my teens. The moment I hit twenty, my skin decided to go on strike.



In happier news, I got my Winter Handspun Yarn Swap package from darlingbud today:


  • 140 yards fingering weight painted merino
  • 110 yards of mill ends plied with metallic thread (Mum laid claim to this one…)
  • 4 felted coasters

I’m madly in love with the merino (and would have loved to have kept the black, but that’s another story). I’m trying to figure out what to do with the 140 yards I have now. Oh, and look!, a closeup:

Also, I finally found out that Crimson got my extremely and embarassingly late Christmas package today (Damn you, Bloglines! They actually deleted several of my fav blogs from my blogroll… so if I haven’t commented in a while, that’s why). Here’s the pix, if you’re bored enough to look at my terrible sewing skills. And I WANT that Snape shirt, OMG.

No mileage today. My ankle’s still a little achy. But I have every confidence that I shall be able to start up on the challenge again tomorrow.

Umm, I’ve forgotten everything I was gonna write. Oops? Maybe I’ll remember tomorrow night…

roses and violets

How cunningly nature hides every wrinkle of her inconceivable antiquity under roses and violets and morning dew!
Ralph Waldo Emerson

It’s no secret that my favourite colour combination is pink and violet. Which might explain why I am completely pink and violet in the picture below:

I knit up a pair of mitts today, using some handspun yarn I’ve been battling ever since I started spinning it. It was too scratchy for a neck warmer, and I found out mid-hat that I didn’t have enough for a hat. Mitts seemed to be the easiest solution. Thus, I ignored housework, swap projects, family presents and even eating to knit these up and finish them.

Clearly, I need a break from something.

If only I could figure out what.

keeping busy

It is better to busy one’s self about the smallest thing in the world than to treat a half hour as worthless
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I’m staring at the screen currently, as I try and recall everything that has happened in the past 48 hours. Scanning back.

Oh, yes. At approximately 1400 hours Emmett arrived home. I went into the kitchen as he ran into his room to go onto WOW, and soon heard keening. Apparently his computer had died. He proceeded to rant and rave (and blame it on Dad) and try to convince me to help him fix it. I just stared at him, “Emm, you know I only work software.”

Didn’t matter. Somehow I ended up sitting under his desk pulling at wires and prodding sharp and shiny bits. He admitted that he might have short-circuited the harddrive when he cleaned it that morning. I sighed.

He went on ranting for a while, as I stared at the hopped-upped monstrosity that was his computer and wondered why he thought I could fix it. I never found that out.

I finally told him that I had errands to run and chores to complete.

So, at 16oo hours, I walked over to the post office (2 mi added onto my total) to mail Crimson‘s embarassingly late Christmas gifts, L’s surprise and a thank-you skein of handspun yarn for another L. By the time I got back, the sun was setting and I desperately wanted to rest my aching feet.

When I arrived home, I was informed that Emm had built another computer (don’t ask, just don’t) and wanted me to look at it. Right-O. I finally escaped the Gaming Lair, as I am now calling it.

I sat down and got a ton of spinning done. All of my yarn for the Winter Handspun Yarn Swap is finished (I need to dip-dye one skein and make one gift), so I started on a quicky project. The fiber that TheBon and I had dyed last Sunday. It had felted horribly, so rather than fight it I just let it spin up the way it wanted:

Super bulky and uneven. I actually really like it. It reminds me rather forcefully of Manos. Only, since it’s Navajo-Churro, it’s incredibly scratchy and hairy. Hopefully, it shall become a crochet rug soon enough. I have 180 yards of super-duper bulky yarn (seriously, I’d knit this on 13’s or 15’s) and want to use it. (I actually finished the last half of this skein tonight)

Right about when I’d had enough of scratchy, scratchy wool and finicky Rambouillet – Charlie started wheezing. He then proceeded to throw up 4 or 5 times, while I scrubbed the carpet twice (I got him into the kitchen for the latter half of the fun) and tried to get him to just sit down and drink some water (the last thing I needed was for him to get dehydrated).

He spent the rest of the evening whining at me and following me everywhere I went. I finally decided that I wasn’t going to get anything done and went to bed early. Because I am not as mean as I’d like to pretend I am, I actually went downstairs and slept in my parents’ bed so Charlie wouldn’t have to sleep alone (I have a loft-bed, remember). Thus proceeded one of the worst nights of sleep of my life.

How does a dog even snore??

Anyway. I was going to take Charlie on a loooong walk today, but it turns out that walking 2 mi in clogs isn’t too good for your feet. I couldn’t even put on my sneakers today and actually tried to apologize to the dog, who just gave me this look.

Bloody mongrel.

I took a nap at that point, got up and knit and spun a bit.

It is also worth mentioning that I have been battling WordPress for the past 48 hours (off and on) and have decided that we have inreconcilable differences. It won’t behave and I won’t compromise. So, oh well. Blogger seems to be the only server that doesn’t make me want tear my hair out.

pink panta! (& pattern)

Here’s the pink panta I made today! It’s my handspun – the Louet merino/ silk blend. I took the pattern I used yesterday and changed two of the ribs to cables. I really like this one! It’s really soft and fitted. I’m def’ly wearing it to weaving tmrw. I’ve started a trend on Craftster – well, sorta… handspun pantas! I must make more!

ETA, on 7/10/07:
Now with the pattern…

One of my knitting students asked me months ago to write down my panta pattern. I had found a panta pattern online and adapted it to suit my needs during the colder months of the year. I agreed and promptly forgot. But she asked me again, and several other knitters have asked for it as well. So, here it is. I apologize for any mistakes in the math, abbreviations, etc.

Pantas are a traditional Finnish head covering and quite comfy to wear when it gets cold out. Over the past year, I have adapted the following pattern in many ways, but here are my 3 most popular (and easy to knit) versions. Please email me at if you have any problems or questions. Happy knitting!


  • 50 grams of DK – worsted weight yarn
  • size 6 – 9 US needles, tapestry needle
  • stitch markers if necessary – I recommend placing stitch markers on edge stitches to mark increase and decrease rows.


4.5 – 5 sts/ inch

to fit 20 – 24” head (stretchy)

Basic Pattern (seen here)

  • CO 18 sts.
  • Row 1: Sl 1 kw, k1, *p2, k2* across
  • Row 2: Sl 1 pw, p1, *k2, p2* across
  • Repeat these two rows until piece measures 3”

1st Increase:

  • RS: Sl 1 kw, k1, *INC1, p2, k2* across
  • Continue working 22 sts for another 2” (piece measures 5”) as follows:
  • WS: Sl 1 pw, p1, *k3, p2 across
  • RS: Sl 1 kw, k1, *p3, k2 across

2nd Increase:

  • RS: Sl 1 kw, k1, *INC1, p3, k3* across
  • Continue working 26 sts for another 2” (piece measures 7”) as follows:
  • WS: Sl1 pw, p1, *K4, p2* across
  • RS: Sl1 kw, k1, *P4, k2* across

3rd Increase:

  • RS: Sl1 kw, kl, **INC1, p4, k2* across
  • Continue working 30 sts for another 2” (piece measures 9”) as follows:
  • WS: Sl1 pw, p1, *K5, p2* across
  • RS: Sl1 kw, k1, *P5, k2* across

4th Increase:

  • RS: Sl1 kw, kl, **INC1, p5, k2* across
  • Continue working 34 sts for another 2” (piece measures 11”) as follows:
  • WS: Sl1 pw, p1, *K6, p2* across
  • RS: Sl1 kw, k1, *P6, k2* across

1st Decrease:

  • RS: Sl1 kw, kl, **p2tog, p4, k2* across
  • Continue working 30 sts for another 2” (piece measures 13”) as follows:
  • WS: Sl1 pw, p1, *K5, p2* across
  • RS: Sl1 kw, k1, *P5, k2* across

2nd Decrease:

  • RS: Sl1 kw, kl, **p2tog, p3, k2* across
  • Continue working 26 sts for another 2” (piece measures 15”) as follows:
  • WS: Sl1 pw, p1, *K4, p2* across
  • RS: Sl1 kw, k1, *P4, k2* across

3rd Decrease:

  • RS: Sl1 kw, kl, **p2tog, p2, k2* across
  • Continue working 22 sts for another 2” (piece measures 17”) as follows:
  • WS: Sl1 pw, p1, *K3, p2* across
  • RS: Sl1 kw, k1, *P3, k2* across

4th Decrease:

  • RS: Sl1 kw, kl, **p2tog, p1, k2* across
  • Continue working 18 sts for another 3” (piece measures 20”) as follows:
  • WS: Sl1 pw, p1, *K2, p2* across
  • RS: Sl1 kw, k1, *P2, k2* across

Once the panta is 20” long BO remaining 18 sts.
Finishing: block or steam panta before sewing ends together. Weave in remaining ends.


Cables and Ribs Panta: (seen above)
*Extra materials: cable needle*

  • CO and work as for basic panta until 5th row:
  • Row 5: Sl 1 kw, k1, p2, FC1, p2, k2, p2, FC1, p2, k2
  • Row 6: Sl 1 pw, p1, *k2, p2* across
  • Row 7: Sl 1 kw, k1, *p2, k2* across
  • Row 8: Sl 1 pw, p1, *k2, p2* across
  • Repeat these same 8 rows, adapted to fit panta increases, throughout pattern. Continue to follow basic pattern increases and decreases. Finish the same.

Left-Twist Panta: (seen here)

  • CO and work as for basic panta until 3rd row:
  • Row 3: Sl 1 kw, k1, *p2, LT* across
  • Row 4: Sl 1 pw, p1, *k2, p2* across
  • Row 5: Sl 1 kw, k1, *p2, k2* across
  • Row 6: Sl 1 pw, p1, *k2, p2* across
  • Repeat these 4 rows, adapted to fit panta increases, throughout pattern. Continue to follow basic pattern increases and decreases. Finish the same.

CO: Cast on (I recommend the long-tail method)
FC1: Front cable 1; slip 1 stitch onto the cable needle, knit next stitch, knit stitch off of cable needle
INC: using right-hand needle, pick up the bar between stitches, twist it to the left before placing it on the needle, purl into front of stitch – creating a tight new stitch
K: Knit
KW: Knit-wise, see “Sl 1 kw”
LT: Left twist; of the next two stitches on the needle, knit the left/ second/ furthest-from-the-point stitch before the right/ first/ closer-to-needle-point stitch – creating a cable without a cable needle.
P: Purl
P2tog: Purl 2 together
PW: Purl-wise, see “Sl 1 pw”
RS: Right side of the piece
Sl 1 kw: Slip one stitch knit-wise; slip the “working” needle (right) into the st as if to knit, carrying the yarn in the back, and slide the st off of the “carrying” needle (left) without creating another st.
Sl 1 pw: Slip one stitch purl-wise; slip the working needle into the st as if to purl, carrying the yarn in the front, and slide the st off of the carrying needle w/o creating another st.
WS: Wrong side of the piece