Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Mind on Minneapolis

I am moving!! I will be leaving Lawrence on June 17th to start a new job in Minneapolis. I've got housing (mostly) figured out and am already checking out the local scene for knitting groups and yoga classes.

So, before I can go, I have some yarn to unload... Everything I own (and am moving) has to fit in my car. It seems like the perfect time to let go of some yarn that has travelled with me a few times, but never fulfilled itself in the project I originally envisioned for it. I have included pictures with descriptions below. Email me or leave comments below if you are interested in purchasing anything.

Buyer pays actual shipping costs. I prefer payment by PayPal but can discuss other options if needed.

Victorian Brushed Mohair, Halcyon Yarns

70% Mohair, 25% wool, 6% nylon

Worsted Weight, 1025 yards


1 - $30.00

I bought this to use for a first hand-painting project, but "never got around to it". I think I am just too intimidated by the dying process. I want it to be perfect -- so I'm better off buying someone else's handpainted items.


Laika, Bouton d’Or

100% Superwash Wool

Bulky weight, 54 yards

$4.00 each or $160 for the whole lot

14 skeins - Pink

18 skeins - Blue

13 skeins - Gray

I bought these three colors of yarn BEFORE I knew how to knit with the intention of learning and then making a BLANKET as a wedding gift for my best friend and her husband. They will be celebrating their third anniversary this month so I figure I should probably consider an alternate plan :) The yarn is from France. I purchased it during a trip to Marseille in the south of France. All of the balls are wound in to center pull "cakes" because I wanted them to travel back to the US easily.


Lush, Classic Elite Yarns

50% Angora, 50% Wool

Worsted weight, 125 yards

$7.00 /skein

5 skeins – Green

This is gorgeously soft angora/wool yarn. I have used this brand of yarn for baby hats and just love it.

1 cone of linen/rayon blend

I have no idea how much is on the cone but there is A LOT.


I used some of this to make a purse and am not sure what else I would do with it. It is a sportweight yarn that works great double-stranded. The color is more of a light-pink instead of the cream color it appears to be in the picture.


I can wind any of these yarns into center-pull cakes if you like and will ship using whatever method you prefer. Happy Knitting!

Monday, April 17, 2006


Is there anyone else out there who is less than impressed with the latest Knitty? Ew. I didn't see one pattern that I would even consider making. Is it because they are will with cotton and I'm used to wool? What happened?

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Assassination Vacation

I've been busy with the rest of my life that got pushed aside for the knitting olympics: cleaning, paperwork, and reading, mostly. And it seems as though my "I'm not cooking when I need to be knitting" philosophy lead to some pretty intense vitamin deficiencies during those two weeks. Recently, I went to the grocery store and bought this: a pound of brussel sprouts, a bag of spinach, green beans, sugar snap peas, snow peas, and bok choy. I apparently needed GREEN.

Despite my post-Games catching up, I did spend significant knitting time this past weekend working on my first ever glove (which I also designed). There are some details I want to work out still on it and I'll be writing down the pattern this time as I knit the second one, but I'm glad to say it has five fingers and it actually fits. Hooray! I'd like to submit it to Knitty for the summer collection, but April 1st is looking rather ambitious since I'd want to knit several more to get the pattern worked out perfectly and would also need snappy cool photos of the finished gloves. Good thing glove patterns aren't likely to go the way of ponchos. They're a classic pattern.

I've decided to name the pattern Cute. And I have some optional embellishments planned that would make the gloves Cuter. (Are you rolling your eyes yet? Good.... That's what I'm going for. :)

And for the part of my today's entry about which I am most excited, I am introducing a new element to the blog -- book reviews. As my good friends will attest, I am a library enthusiast and am constantly checking out books - fiction, books about science and metaphysics, yoga, knitting, cooking, and politics. So, in order to better document my reading, and to share some of my excitement over the books I'm enjoying, I am going to begin reviewing the books. I'll also post what the next book is going to be so that, by off chance, if you care to read along with me, you'll know where I'm headed next. I'd love your feedback and suggestions for future selections.

Assassination Vacation
, by Sarah Vowell

I was originally intrigued by this book because of an interview Sarah Vowell did on the Conan O'Brien show awhile back. She seemed smarter than your average late-night talk show guest. And she was funny (I was going through a comedy stage then). So I reserved her book and have just now, now that the socks are done, had the chance to read it.

Assassination Vacation, a travel essay, reads like a friend recounting her most recent trip. You’re sitting in a cafĂ© together downtown and, over coffee, she’s describing the places and people she’s seen in her travels. And just as an eloquent but easily distracted friend might do, she takes her stories on tangents, making delightful connections between events and coincidences. As an obvious enthusiast for American history, Vowell studied the assassinations of Presidents Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley and dedicated herself to visiting the physical evidence, obvious and obscure, of these events. While there is a pretext of connection between their deaths, that Lincoln’s son Robert Todd Lincoln, was nearby at the moment of each of their murders, this fact struck me more as another one of Vowell’s coincidences rather than a thread holding her story together. Indeed, as she traipsed around a Florida Keys prison island (now a national park) to see where Lincoln’s assassin’s possible accomplice, Dr. Samuel Mudd, served his sentence, I sometimes wondered what the descriptions of the 1867 yellow fever outbreak had to do with President Lincoln’s death. While rereading that section, I could find no detail describing how long Dr. Mudd was imprisoned. I know I read it somewhere, but Vowell’s style, though an engaging history lesson, does not lend itself so much to the fact-checking. I would argue, however, that Vowell’s entertaining but rambling prose always has a direction and even when the story seems to be veering way off subject it is more likely that the reader just doesn’t understand yet where she’s headed. For example, in perhaps my favorite passage, she ties Maryland’s state motto to John Wilkes Booth to Timothy McVeigh to a fringe magazine called Southern Partisan to John Ashcroft. And it works.

You don’t have to be a history buff to enjoy this book, and you don’t have to know anything about politics or presidential assassinations. Vowell’s knowledge of her subject is comprehensive and by tracking down every single landmark, museum, plaque on a building, and artifact related to these men’s stories, Vowell reconstitutes the complexity of their lives at the time of their deaths. Her intense curiosity reveals not only details like bullets on display at Ford’s Theater where Lincoln was shot, but also involves climbing the mountain President Roosevelt (then the VP) was hiking when he discovered that McKinley had been shot. Perhaps most refreshing, and this book’s most endearing quality, is Vowell’s patriotism. It fills the corners of this book and kept me reading through some of the passages that seemed a bit too tangential. There are references to current political events, comparing policies and word choice and outcomes, with a context we rarely get when reading news articles. I’ve certainly never encountered references to McKinley’s imperialistic policies in relation in recent news articles.

I probably enjoyed this book most because I am the sort of person who stops at historical markers and, in general, likes to know the significance of things. Vowell stops at all of the historical markers and gives the back story as well. Would I ever go visit the places she described now that I know their story? Probably not intentionally, but if I come to a plaque that mentions Leon Czolgosz, I’ll remember his claim to fame as McKinley’s murderer and appreciate the plaque even more. In the meantime, Assassination Vacation was an entertaining, mostly light-hearted read and I would, with enthusiasm, encourage you to check it out.

Next book: The Thin Place by Kathryn Davis. You can read about it here.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

I'm done!!!

Knitting Olympics 2006

I have a lot to say about the Olympics and what it meant to me to watch the Games this year. But tonight, I'm treating myself to some merlot and sitting back with toasty feet.

The last day

All I'm going to say is that I will be done by the end of closing ceremonies today. It's going to be tight, but I'll finish. If I spent anymore time writing about how the progress is going, I'd be wasting valuable knitting time. My final game day strategy: knit.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I'm going to be just fine

There are less than five days left. I did the math and there are approximately 13,816 stitches in the completed sock (I say approximately because I fudged a bit with the math around the gusset and toe decreases). So far, I have knitted 2,924 stitches, which is 21% of sock #2. Considering I have the whole rest of today free to knit still, I will be just fine. I can knock out another 4,170 stitches today. No problem. Maybe more.


Please tell me I'm right...

Monday, February 20, 2006

Now the race is on

I finished sock one last night in a marathon 4 hour knitting session.

I'm pretty sure this is the best sock I've ever produced. I wonder if that's because I'm more experienced or because I followed a pattern exactly as written. I think it's both. My gusset stitches are smooth and even and look identical on both sides. I've used this same technique for gusset stitches on previous socks and not gotten the same results.

Could be the yarn too. Anyway, it all came together and I'm quite pleased with myself. Inspired enough (hopefully) that the second sock won't be a drag.

I'm casting on during my lunch break today...

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Day Eight - Half Way

I WILL finish the first sock today.

I've been watching the Olympics all day and knitting (that was the point of this challenge, right?) and the most inspiring event I've seen since the start of this year's Games was the women's biathalon (sp?). They had to cross-country ski and shoot targets, which, honestly, seemed like a strange combination of talents at first. It's actually a very compelling sport. Kind of like when I watch a dance-related movie, I want to go out and dance -- well, I watched these women tough out a grueling 10km cross-country race with pitstops to shoot at silver dollar-sized targets and literally felt the need to move to Colorado so that I could give this sport a try.

Yeah, right, right? But that's how I felt while watching. When I was younger I watched the ice skating events with such anticipation. It was a sport that my mom and I followed and I knew how to be excited when someone was going to do a triple axle or some other difficult jump. Of course, I never did figure out how to tell the difference between the jumps -- I could only be impressed by the number of rotations they did. This biathalon was different though. Without knowing how to shoot a gun or any of the techniques involved in cross-country skiing, I could totally imagine the challenge of this event. It was endurance and strength. I am totally impressed.

My event requires endurance too. I WILL finish the sock today...