Showing posts from 2012

Goodbye 2012. Don't Let the Door Hit You!!

Despite the speed with which the year has flown, I can't say I'm sorry that we're looking at the tail end of 2012. While there have been a number of very good things this year: several friends got married, the last cousin whose wedding I expect to be invited to got married, my mom and brother both graduated in May with their Bachelors degrees, the Philosopher and I have a beautiful apartment; it's also been one of the more stressful years in memory and I'm ready to close the chapter and open on a new calendar.

In the logical portion of my brain, I know that there is nothing that is changing between December 31 and January 1. I won't wake up and the world will be fresh and new, except for on the squares where we mark our commitments. And I'm already well booked into the first couple of weeks of the new year, so I can't say that there's nothing ahead but possibility.  But it feels fresh and gives me something to hang my hat on.

On Ravelry, most of the…

I *was* buying less yarn this year....

Compared to years past, 2012 has been a light yarn buying year. An exquisite level of work and life frustration recently has left me stalking wool shop websites, planning to knit everything right here and now and being moderately annoyed at the cost of overnight shipping. There's nothing like aggressive pursuance of a tangible craft when one is incredibly frustrated with the intangibles of knowledge work.

Recently, I remembered Lisa Souza and her beautiful colors. She does such lovely things as dyes silk yarn that Franklin turned into a beautiful pineapple bag. I'd picked up a skein of her Polwarth/Silk in the Styx colorway at Stitches Midwest in 2011 and it's lounging in the stash.  As I started to look for yarn that I could use for a project the Philosopher had requested (more on that later), I recalled that originally said yarn was intended for him and went looking to see what else I could find on her website.

While I ended up going a different way for the Philosopher&#…

Miscellaneous Pyewacket Picture

I have *so much* to show and tell you about! I spent the better part of four days knitting.  My hands are a little sore but there was progress. Also, there were some things already gifted that unfortunately you'll not see.

But for now, a feline to tide you through the day.

Pye doesn't especially like sleeping under blankets, but she agreed to pose for you.

She's under my giant log cabin squares blanket, which I need to photograph on the bed, because the couch cover is totally borking up my camera--it being far lighter in color than any of the afghan squares.

I still need to crochet around the edge of the blanket to give it some firmness but it was in heavy rotation for a year before I got ends woven in (that's now done), so I'm not in too much rush.

Wherein I am invisible (at least the yarn is shiny)

I managed to get caught on pictures with everything except the slippers I mentioned last post. And since I've already gone through all the pictures that I took this evening, I'll just have to show them to you next time. Trust me that knitting up a bulky weight slipper sock in a matter of a very few hours feels oddly indulgent.

There have been some weird internet issues at Chez Hedgehog, hopefully that's short rather than long-term.  Of course, I've been having some odd internet issues at work for a few days too. Computers that randomly decide they don't see our network, email that doesn't want to copy to the send folder so I have no idea if it sent or not (I think I sent one email four times Monday and then had to resend it on Tuesday because it still wasn't clear if the recipients had gotten it), etc etc. I'll let someone more astrological than I tell me if Mercury is indeed in retrograde, at least insofar where computers are concerned.

Also, I've …

Inspirations Always Strike Late

Why is it that every time I think I'm not going to be knitting until Christmas Eve, I'm suddenly struck with inspiration? It's not a horrible thing. I've been struggling to find ideas for M. She has wonderful taste and periodically I've been able to surprise her with things but this year I find myself tired and rather anti-buying things just for the sake of buying things. Fortunately, she mentioned recently that she needs some new slippers and that got me thinking about bulky weight slipper-socks. They knit up far faster than your usual pair of socks and would be very toasty. Started one pair (I'm past the gusset, let me see if I can find my camera) and wouldn't you know that I've come up with at least two other people that need a pair?

As I discussed these with AudioGirl, she requested for some worsted weight slipper socks, and she'd like taller ones that she can wear with her winter boots. I agreed, though said they might not be available until a…

A Smidge of New Wool

If you were reading closely this week, you'll notice that I said I didn't buy any new yarn on Sunday. That's true. Despite the temptation to click over to BMFA and whisk through all the money I'd allotted for Vogue Knitting live, I instead went to the stash.  I did remember, though, that there have been a couple of yarn purchases that we've not discussed.

First is the last Blue Moon Fiber Arts purchase that I did make.  When Tina posted in August about the online barn sale, I may have been first in line at the check out. Certainly I was trying to be.  3 skeins of mediumweight at $13/skein? That was a price I could not resist.  I was momentarily hesitant--what if the bag that Tina selected for me just wasn't in my palette? What if it was all yellow? But the price point won over my concern and, as most of my socks are gifts anyway, colors outside my usual palette would go nicely into the gift bin.

I shouldn't have worried. I don't know if Tina or anyone…

Proof is in the Bindoff

The biggest thing I finished recently was a pair of flip-top mittens for a very patient brewer. Last year he swapped me for some homemade mead and I have been woefully behind. The mittens were delivered to him on Saturday but third hand and so I do not have photos. Suffice to say that I heavily modified a pattern, made up a lot of things, and never ever want to knit fingering weight mittens for someone not in my immediate family ever again.

I do have proof, however, of the socks that have come off the needles. 

We have three pair, two that are entirely done but for the end weaving and one that needs a toe but I'm calling it close enough. 
First up are the Windsor Socks:

These were knit on size 1 (2.25mm) needles out of Miss Babs Windsor Monochrome. I think this was my first experience with Miss Babs' yarn. I sincerely hope it won't be my last. It's a pretty, squishy blue-gray yarn.  
Next we have the Ground Up Muppet Socks. Yes, that's what I think this looks like,…

Next Up On the Needles...

With last week's storming, Chicago saw the temperatures drop from an abnormal high in the upper 60s to lower 70s to it's much more normal late October temperatures. Saturday night I wenched around the apartment, wondering why our radiator heat wasn't percolating along. I know it's been turned on for the season, it has kicked in before. Finally, sometime after 2 a.m., we got steaming clicks and rattles and the apartment warmed up.

It's been a quiet weekend at Chez Hedgehog. The Philosopher, just finally at about 80% after a nasty bout of food poisoning, is presently laid low by something new gastrointestinal. A couple of hours ago he finally fell asleep for longer than 20-30 minutes, so I think we've come over the worst of it. Dinner has not revisited either (chicken and rice soup and a loaf of sourdough bread, thank you Campbell's for making this evening easy), which is an even better sign. I'm still chomping my way through the sourdough, one slice has …

Shed Leaves: Sock Sized

You didn't think I'd really given up sock knitting, even when hurting, did you?  Sure, it slowed me down a little but you can't keep a frustrated woman from the needles.  I've also come to the not especially brilliant conclusion that I should only do one pair of socks on size 0 (2mm) needles at a time. I'd been wading through more than that and was definitely at the point of disparaging all sock knitting ever. Switching to a size 1 needle (2.25 mm) made an enormous difference.

As proof that they are done, I present to you three pairs off the needles.

Black No. 6  was the sixth pair I'd started in 2012. I think I'm officially out of Black Cascade Heritage yarn now.

This is not a particularly exciting picture but they aren't particularly exciting socks. Squishy, sure. But not festive.  They're in the gift basket.

The Tiny Teal Socks seemed never ending. These were on size 0 (2mm) needles, out of Berroco Sox. The yarn is not the softest, though I expe…

Shed Leaves: A Large Fall Leaf

In the fall trees shed leaves. Their bright colors and stemmy ends clutter the walk to the train and float down to get fixed in my hair when I'm not looking.

At Chez Hedgehog, I'm attempting to shed unfinished objects. Looking back through the past couple of months of posts I see I haven't kept you up to date on the things that have fallen off the needles. I'll note, none of these things have been properly blocked nor ends woven in but with the needles reclaimed, I'm calling them done enough for now.  Here's the first of what I've found piled up.

I did finally finish the Phoenix Fall Tree Color Affection (Affliction).  I ended up using around 1100 yards and I needed at least 150 more.

This was knit, for those just tuning in, out of three skeins of Colinette and one skein of Louet Gems. The Gems was the closest that I could find in a chocolate brown.

I modified the pattern in that I started with the brown and introduced the green in the first section. I di…

Slightly Broken...

There hasn't been a whole lot of knitting at Chez Hedgehog of late due to a string of being slightly broken.  Nothing is seriously wrong, but I've had some aches and pains that don't seem to be caused by knitting but are being aggravated by knitting. First it was some shoulder issues of unknown origin, with a dull/sharp ache that lasted a couple of weeks.  And then last night I managed to jam my right hand pinky (a.k.a. the finger I use to tension yarn)  so it's puffy and sore today and promises to be uncomfortable for a few more days. 
I'm carrying the same pair of socks around that I've been working on for the past month, the Windsor blue ones. I'm working on the heel flap for sock 2, which I know is dreadfully exciting. The navy blue socks sit in a Piddleloop bag on my desk at work, wistfully hoping to be worked on again some day. Of course, that would mean needing to buy yet another set of size 0 dpns. Mine are all still missing. I have an entire cuff b…

Sock Show Thursday: Wishful Water Thinking

I think I've figured out part of the problem I was having with my knitting mojo, which had gone down to sporadic and minimal at best. It appears mostly to have been an episode of "I've been knitting the same pairs of socks on size 0 needles forever and ever and I'm bored with the yarn and they are size 0 needles and tiny yarn..."

Fortunately, a recent trip to Loopy remedied this problem. I picked up a skein of Baah! La Jolla in Brazilian Emerald and yet another pair of size 1 DPNs. Hey, the yarn stash still isn't unpacked (though maybe I could do that tonight). Anyway, add a week or so of time to that, finally loading some audiobooks on my mp3 player for the commute and tada: 1.5 new socks. 

Also, the blue in this is much more teal but the camera on my phone is convinced otherwise and so far I haven't been able to talk it into anything else. See The Loopy Ewe for a truer color. 

I'm working out the gusset on the second sock.  This is, as per usual, my…



You. Yeah, you. C'mere.

I got some new stuff.  And it's good.

I *might* have gotten out of a last meeting for the day a few minutes early recently and perhaps I took the time to swing past Loopy Yarns on the way home. I really just went for some needles--the 40" size 6 needles so I can spread out the Color Affection shawl a little bit (little being operative word there) and another set of size 0 dpns so that I can get the blue sock off the needles before December. From what I can tell I've lost two full sets of size 0 dpns in the past month. They're not in project bags, they aren't in suitcases. I can't imagine the TSA was really that interested in my long wooden toothpicks...

Did you really think I could get out of the shop without perusing everything they had, exploring the sale bins, and remembering belatedly that there's a whole WALL of Miss Babs to be had?

Apparently I continue to be weak in the face of sock wool.

Meet Windsor, a skein of mon…

Permission to Weed

I've actually gotten a fair amount of knitting done! But it's all socks, so I'm waiting until Thursday to show it off.  Last weekend I traveled to Cincinnati to see my last unwedded cousin* off into matrimony. As Sibling-the-Elder handled the driving from the west side of Indianapolis down and back again, I got to spend that time with needles in hand.  
I find it interesting how people react to my knitting when I knit on public transportation. Inevitably, someone nudges the person next to them and tries to surreptitiously point out what I'm doing. A surprising number of people avoid sitting next to me but will sit close enough that they can still watch. Recently, an older woman spent the entire ten minutes we were seated next to each other scooting as far away as possible, as though I was going to contaminate her by moving a 9" circular and blue yarn. I find it particularly amusing when I've let my mind wander and I'm gazing blankly out the window, only to…

Someday Repeats Will be Done

I got about 33 minutes of knitting time in last night. I say 33 because that's how long the most recent Knitgirllls episode was.

But, wait, I have that long commute every day now! Surely I'm knitting all the way to and from Chez Hedgehog to the Library? (It's an 80 minute commute if all the timing works perfectly.) I'm not really sure why I haven't been knitting as much. Certainly the train has been air conditioned, for which we're all very grateful. Mostly I've been reading. Part of that is not having my mp3 player charged and loaded, which is my own fault but has something to do with not being able to find the charger. As much as I enjoy working on the plain black sock that is my current purse knitting, it's really intended to be done simultaneously with something else. Having just replaced a phone* I'm a little hesitant to set up my phone on my purse to read.

I also am usually standing for about half of the commute home, which doesn't reall…

Has Anyone Seen My Wool?

Greetings from the oven currently posing as the Midwestern United States, where we're volleying between instant perspiration upon stepping out of doors and the damp clammy feeling over too much humidity and air conditioners attempting to keep up.

During this wonderfully pleasant heat wave, I'm happy to report that the Philosopher and I are 95% moved! We're not quite at 100% because we just haven't had time to get that last car load out of my old apartment and clean it up. The move, which was supposed to be three very long days of packing up two adult apartments and then moving them on Monday, has turned into a week long epic story--the kind where you have to have reminders and circle back around and verbal cues to remember what came next.  The highlights include: Movers who didn't bother to show up for workNew movers who arrived six hours after originally scheduled timeHigh 90s/Low 100s tempsA broken elevator for a 7th floor move out (did not happen, waited til fixe…

Moving the Stash and Going to the Sox

I'm going to have to admit the stash again. I'm moving in July.  It's not a long move, just about 10 miles to a new apartment, but it comes with a Philosopher roommate and the knowledge that the stash has to be drug out of all of it's various spots and relocated. I'm a little terrified by that.

I was chatting with a friend recently who commented that he almost always sees me knitting socks.  I countered that while being in class, being short staffed at work (even more so than usual--coworker is gone for a month doing a practicum), packing, and trying to get ready for a major conference in just over a  week, socks are about the only thing I have the brain power for. In theory I'd love to dive into sweaters, work on the giant afghans, etc etc.  But I find that it's easier to let my hands just process the wool and if I happen to end up with a lot more pairs of 2x2 ribbed socks at the end of it, that's okay.

The Philosopher knows how much yarn I own. In th…

Sock Show Thursday: Natty Navy

I've been dealing with a pinched nerve this week that has meant a whole lot of strangeness when it comes to knitting. Everything appears to be healing and fine, yes I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow, yes I've already ruled out heart attack symptoms that show up in women but not men.  And I've been able to knit, I've just been incredibly whiny while doing so. The Philosopher has had to listen to a lot of complaints about my arm not feeling right.

Right now there are three pair of socks on the needles and you've seen absolutely none of them. Sorry about that.  Close your eyes and imagine the leg of a black 2x2 rib sock, just about ready for the heel turn, on size 1.5 (2.5mm) needles. That's the first pair. The second pair is out of Berroco Sox that I picked up at the now-closed Knitter's Niche.

I'm working that up on size 0 (2.0) needles. It's also nearing a heel turn.  Neither of those have gotten much play because they are at that heel turn…

Off-topic: Open Access Research

I don't write a lot about my library job of here, I'd much rather tell you about my spider plant (which is looking quite healthy now, thanks) or the endless rounds of 2x2 rib socks that are falling off the needles (I started two more pair over the weekend).

One of the major challenges for academic libraries, with much broader impact for the public and world, is that the vast majority of research gets locked away in paywalled journals. Even when the research is federally funded, the researchers are expected, usually required, to sign away all rights to their articles to publishers--corporations or societies--that then charge academic libraries really large amounts of money to provide access to the research. We regularly have to explain to faculty and students that no, we can't purchase everything, and no, we don't own the journal that you published in so you can't even see your own work. One of the major goals of librarianship is to help people access information, s…

Bring on Summer

Summer has a different rhythm. School will soon be out for many, if it isn't already. There are graduations every weekend for a while. People seem a little more relaxed in the summer. While there's plenty to do, the long days give you hope that everything can get done and you can still enjoy the day, rather than feeling like there's nothing on either end of work but darkness and wanting to sleep. Restaurants and pubs have patios open and eating outside becomes a familiar part of the routine. Grilling is foregone conclusion, with recipes moving away from crockpots and hot stews to sweet corn and burgers.

Today my calendar didn't have anything on it. Oh sure, there are a thousand things to do, not the least of which is tackle this disaster of an apartment that waits hopefully for me to come home and spend a couple of hours eradicating the cat fur. I have a piece to copy edit that I would like to get back to the writer before tomorrow morning and there's some wardrobe…

Sock Show Thursday: When Last We Left Our Intrepid Hedgehog

When we last left our intrepid heroine, she was facing down ENDLESS obligation knitting. It was a good obligation and mostly her own fault that she's past deadline and wasn't done. That went to the post office on Tuesday evening and hopefully will never have to be thought of again.  If I get a finished object image, I'll post that but otherwise, know that it was way too much fussing with gauge and ended with me knitting worsted weight on size 2 needles--which only works for about an hour before my hands start cramping badly.

As I write this evening, Pye is curled up on the log cabin afghan that I made in La Crosse, which still needs it's ends woven in and a border. It's her favorite place to sleep, she's purring up a storm, all by herself. I catch her licking the afghan occasionally, apparently she has a special affinity for the flavor of sheep. She's recuperating from her spaying. I was happy to get her as a kitten but there need be no more kittens in the …

Plant Rescue

One of the joys of feline ownership is, of course, that they'll chew on the plants and you can't have anything that's poisonous to them in the house.

This wasn't a huge problem when I got Gypsy. I was living in La Crosse and had close to twenty plants. There were jokes about the mammal:plant ratio. To give you an idea, I refer you to the following evidence:

(there were two more shelves to that structure behind Gypsy)

(There were two more bookcases with plants on them to the right--this is actually supposed to be a picture of the cat under blanket)

(I had a really healthy boston fern than had to be left behind at the last minute. I was sad. The Incredibly Patient Mother has promised me a new one--I'd grown that one from a frond she'd given me before. Fortunately the parent plant is ENORMOUS)

(The apartment faced south. My philodendron plants were huge. I have a nine inch span.)

I moved with a couple of plants, most of which did not survive the transition to the …