Saturday, September 28, 2013

Reds' Trolley Dodger

Friday, Andrew and I made the two-hour drive to Cincinnati to watch one more Reds game from somewhere other than our couch.

The game itself wasn't great. We were playing the Pirates, and they quite simply outpitched us. This would have been much easier to take if we weren't sitting directly in front of morons who nearly drove me to physical violence on numerous occasions. My very favorite quote from their row came when a rather drunk man tried to justify why he and his partner were spending their 5th anniversary doing something he loved rather than something they loved. "She's a social worker, so she loves anything that's social."
I weep for our species.
Morons aside, I love baseball and any chance to see a game when it isn't 100 degrees and humid is welcome. I wore my completed Trolley Dodger and was really grateful for it by the end of the game. It was in the 50s when we left after the fireworks around 11:00 p.m.
Originally, I duplicate stitched the Reds logo on the sweater. I decided I didn't love it, so I took it out, rewashed that section to plump the stitches back up, and used a patch instead. I like it better.

The Reds have four mascots. (This seems excessive, but who am I to judge?) There's Mr. Redlegs, Mr. Red, Rosie Red, and Gapper. Mr. Redlegs is on my sweater.

Trolley Dodger sweater (mine raveled here),
knit in Knitpicks Capra in Scarlet and Black
This design has pockets, which I think are adorable as well as useful.

While looking through one of the team shops in the stadium, I saw this sweater.

This sweater is similar to the Trolley Dodger, yet inferior in every single way. It's shapeless, has droopy pockets, and costs $100.

It's a good thing I knit.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Filling the Shelves

Back in June, I redid a set of shelves that used to be in the parts department of my grandparents' store that I rescued from their garage after my grandfather died. (I chatted about it here.) For over three months, it sat in our bedroom empty.
Saturday, I filled it.*

The dividers are filled with handknit socks, both mine and Andrew's. (The vast majority are mine, if I'm honest.)

The shelf under the dividers and part of the top shelf houses my knitting books. The magazines, binders with loose patterns, and Vogue Stitchionaries I kept in the guest room where they were. All the other books I moved to this shelf.

On the floor at the very bottom is a stuffed sheep I bought in Israel on a trip in college. I wasn't a knitter then, and I'm not sure what drew me to this stuffed sheep. Maybe a touch of prescience? The basket is one Andrew's aunt helped me make. It was on the gift table at our wedding to hold cards. Now it holds leftover cotton yarn.

On the very top, I put a set of rainbow-colored test tubes given to me by a friend. In the test tubes are knitting needles that belonged to my grandma.

I miss my grandparents a lot. I dreamed about being in their house last night. It's been nearly nine months since Grandfather died. I know it's getting easier, but it's in no way easy yet. Maybe this is as easy as it gets.

*Let's take a moment to recognize how awesome Andrew is for not minding that there's now a set of shelves filled with yarn and knitting related stuff in our bedroom.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Yay for Good Customer Service

On my first trip to Simply Socks, I bought a pair of 2.25mm Kollage square double-pointed needles. The first time I used them, they bent.

Significantly bent.

I was a little bummed about it, but just figured it wasn't going to be a good needle for me and moved on. Simply Socks is two hours away, so I wasn't going to pop over and return them.

On my second trip, over a year later, I was chatting with someone who worked there while looking at the Karbonz needles. They brought up the Kollage brand, and I told them that mine had bent so I didn't want to try another set.

Miles away, people heard the screech the employee made as she stopped in her tracks and stared at me. "They bent? Those don't bend. People who are especially hard on their needles buy those because they don't bend."

Oh. Mine bent.

They told me I should contact Kollage's customer service. I came across the needles in a drawer earlier this week* and called Kollage yesterday. I told them that it had been well over a year (the limit of their warranty) but that I had used them once, blah blah blah.

They asked me what color the needles were. They're bronze-ish. They were made in China, and Kollage has recently brought their needle manufacturing back to the States from China because of quality issues.

They're putting another set in the mail to me, this time American-made and, hopefully, unbendable.

Knitters are nice folks.

*Let's not pause to wonder why I kept dpns that were bent beyond usability. That's not the point of this story.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Stripy Magic

I have a very good friend, Lynn. She's magic, as I've already mentioned. In February, I made her some special socks.

Linaria Bipartita, blogged here
It was special yarn, and I had some left over. I asked if she'd like stripy fingerless gloves, and she said she would. I weighed the yarn, split it into two parts, and started knitting. I paired it with a sparkly black since she's magic. Magic sparkles.
In a Hanukah-like miracle, I had enough yarn to continue the striping all the way up each mitt.

Elphaba Mitts (mine raveled here),
knit in Juno Fiber Arts Buffy Sock, Wistful colorway
and Knit Picks Stroll Glimmer, Black colorway
This pattern reminds me of the Jaywalker sock pattern, which I like a lot. I like the way it makes the edging interesting, and it gets more pronounced with a bit of blocking.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Waterlily Impression Sweater

I bought nine balls of Classic Elite Yarns Waterlily in a nice purple at a yarn store that was going out of business. Nine balls is only 900 yards. That's not enough for me to make a long-sleeved cardigan, my sweater of choice.*

Then I looked through Knitscene's Fall magazine and saw the Impression Vest. It's only supposed to take 600 yards, but mine took nearly 800 yards. I added a little bit of length and added short sleeves. I put details on my Ravelry page about the sleeves.

Impression Vest (mine raveled here),
knit in Classic Elite Yarns Waterlily, colorway 1979

I'm not sure what to wear with it. I put on a black camisole under it for the pictures. Is that right? Should the underneath layer be showing? I have no idea.

I like the mock cables a lot. I did another repeat of the double raindrop chart so I wouldn't have a ton of plain reverse stockinette in that panel. It worked out just fine.

Yesterday, the high temperature was 94 degrees. Today is cooler. I'm still having trouble believing I'll ever need a sweater again, but in case I do, I've got a short-sleeved option!

*Some of you may remember my issues with pullovers. I need an escape plan from my sweaters.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Embarrassment of Choice

I'm knitting. I promise.

I have one sweater finished and one sweater that just needs buttons. But it's HOT. Soon I will take pictures.

Also, I'm doing Christmas knitting, which can't go on the blog. Christmas is less than three months away. Knitting takes a long time. End of Public Service Announcement.

So, anyway, let's talk about something else today. Let's talk about one of the downsides of the Internet: the Embarrassment of Choice.

Let's say that I decide I want to do some flower embroidery. I would feel more confident if I had a template, so I go online.

image from here

Great. But maybe there's something greater

image from here

Ooh, that's pretty. If I'm thinking about buttons...

image from here

Stop getting distracted. I don't want buttons, I just want a simple, colorful flower to embroider.

Do you know who knows color? Kaffe Fassett.

image from here

And on and on it goes until days have passed and now I'm looking at pictures of bunnies sniffing flowers in Mongolia and I've completely forgotten that I ever wanted to embroider a flower at all.

Sometimes, there's just too much choice.