Wednesday, July 27, 2011

White House Farmer Market This Week

Hey Everyone!

I am working at the DC White House Farmers Market this week.  Come visit me?

Day and time: Thursdays, 3 pm to 7 pm
Location: 810 Vermont Avenue, NW (between H St, NW and I St, NW).

I will be at the Chris' Marketplace booth selling crab cakes and empanadas.  Why wouldn't you wanna come?

Can you find me?  Chris took pictures of me guerrilla-stalker style when he came to visit.  Another fun activity to try if you come

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Harry Potter and the Order of the Knitters

I am not going to lie.  One of my summer goals was to re-read all the Harry Potter books before the newest and last movie came out in July.  I did.  And watched many of the old movies, too.  I totally admit to dragging ten pound books of children's lit on the metro with me.  And while I didn't see the movie THE DAY it came out, I was super excited to see it this weekend.

But maybe not quite as excited as all those knitters out there that have devoted themselves to making the most amazing HP-related knitting patterns and finished items I have ever seen.

The Leaky Cauldron ("the most trusted name in Potter") has a whole page devoted to HP crafts including an actual knit Harry Potter:
Pattern here

Pretend to be Dumbledore with your very own wizard beard

For the more sinister, there are Dark Mark Scarves:

And from LionBrand, you can make the three Deathly Hallows including this lovely Elder Wand:
Pattern here
I resisted making one to take with me, but just barely....

Monday, July 25, 2011

July BISIO Update

July is almost over and I haven't done a "Because I Said It Out Loud" Update in about a million years.  The thing is, I just looked at my first post on this blog and realized that I set myself a one year time frame on August 8th of last year to finish up all three of my goals: to get into grad school, get my doula certification, and knit a sweater from scratch.  That means I have a two weeks to get that stuff DONE!

Law School:  Obviously, I'm in.  I have an apartment (that I have never seen before).  I am moving down August 14th, moving into my apartment August 15th, orientation starts August 17th (although there are some unofficial activities the 15th/16th).  I don't get my class schedule or book list until I get there.  This would be scary except that not having my books or classes keeps me from panicking about all the other kids being more prepared than me.  I think they do this on purpose.  I did get one of the "if you MUST read something law related this summer, read this" books they mentioned but haven't read beyond the chapter on "Managing Stress in Law School."  I've decided to "manage stress" by going into denial about becoming a 1L in less than a month.  It is working well for me at the moment.

Also, after the Great Computer Fiasco of March 2011, I have another computer.  I have had it longer than 16 hours without being mugged.  I am trying not to tempt the fates by gloating about this too much.

Doula Certification:  I am sooooo close to doula certification!  I attended my last birth.  I am waiting on evaluations.  Assuming they are positive, all I have to do is write some essays and finish up a client resource guide.  I am very much NOT going to be done by August 8th.  My certifcation packet runs out in October (not August like I had feared), so I have a little extra time.  Still hope to get it done before school starts.

Sheep to Sweater:  My sweater is almost done.

I have finished the vast majority of the knitting, sewed a couple of bits on the hood and armpits together have blocked it out, and it is currently drying on the floor next to the air conditioner, pretending like it totally makes sense to try to dry a sweater on the most humid day of the year. 
Reminder of knitting terminology: blocking is laying your wet sweater out the way it is supposed to look.  You flatten out any rolled edges, lay the pockets flat, and pin it out to the right dimensions.  If it isn't the right dimensions, this is the point at which you start cussing and either find someone who is the size of the sweater to get a really nice Christmas present (my mom has volunteered if this particular adventure doesn't work out) or start ripping back your nicely made up sweater.

It grew a little during blocking as I hoped it would, so I think it is even going to fit me like it should.  I won't really know for sure until it is dry and I can put it on.  Then I pick up a button band on the front (right after figuring out just how exactly I am supposed to do that), sew on some buttons, and then rejoice in a new sweater at the hotest time of the year.  I think I can finish this in the next two weeks.  Easily.  Sure...

Now I am at the point where I have pretty much acheived all my goals for hte year.  Sure, I didn't ever actually shear a sheep, my sweater is knit from yarn that is distinctly not something I spun myself, and my doula cert is going to take three weeks to two months longer than I had hoped, but I'm pretty satisfied.

The real question is, do I continue this blog and if so, what new goals should I write about?  Are you all going to get sick of listening to me rant about law school?  Veer more towards a life blog?  More towards all-knitting/crafts, all the time?


Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Was in Seattle last week.  The weather was soooo nice after the 90+ weather in DC.
I scored some pepper jelly at the market.  Yummiest stuff ever.

I discovered the Gum Wall.
People have been sticking their gum up on this wall for almost 20 years.  They gave up trying to get the gum off the wall after the first couple.  It is ten inches deep in some places...

And a knitting store (of course....):

The store is hidden up in what looks like an apartment building.  Will show you the yarn I snagged later when I find my camera.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Summery Knits

People seem really skeptical of knitting in the summer.  As if it is a one season sport that can't be done in warm weather.  Sooooo not true.

Aside from the fact that I am addicted to it and so can't exactly put the kneedles down without the withdrawl twitching and sweats starting up, there are a few good reasons to knit through the warmer months:

1.  It has taken me two months of really solid knitting to finish only most of one sweater.  If I only knit in the winter, all I would ever finish is one sweater a year.  Not only would this be boring, but you wouldn't get a Christmas present.

2.  What the heck else would I do at the movie theatre while watching a movie to get out of the DC heat?

3.  This.
Leaf Paneled Sweater by Berta Karapetyan in Runway Knits.

I think this pattern is amazing and elegant.  And knit in fluffy Blue Sky Alpaca Worsted Cotton (color Honey Dew), it will be nice and cool for even the muggiest of summers.  Of course, mine only looks like this right now.
Not likely to be finished before this season is over...

Something to do on the airplane home.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Washington (State, not District)t

In Washington this week.  I lived in Seattle (well, Sammamish, which is near Redmond, which is near Bellevue, which is near Seattle) in junior high/first part of high school.  This is what I looked like when I lived there:
I'm the middle hottie.
Oooo, even better
I went through a yea-my-hair-makes-me-look-like-a-my-little-pony-so-what phase for a while there.  I think the precisely matching sweater really rounds out the ManicPanic look.

I am told by the Seattle Knitters Guild that there are 12 yarn/fiber stores in Seattle alone.  Just sayin'

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

More Knitting Ads

I am constantly amused by how people use knitting/sheep/wool in advertising for completely unrelated items.  Here are some more ads that feature knitting:
Advertising a radio station, I think...right?  Via
Apparently music and knitting go hand-in-hand.  Although, this one seems to imply that there is something wrong with Kiss/men/rock stars/male rock stars wearing Kiss-style make-up knitting.  Shows what they know.  Via

For a mattress:
This one would make sense if there was ANY reference to a mattress in the ad and if the sheep weren't inexplicable knitting what appears to be toilet paper....Via

And on the cover of a 1952 American Weekly.
Saying what, exactly?  Via

Almost as interesting as the ads that use knitting or knitted items to sell something else, are the ads for knitting or yarn themselves.  For example, here is one for machine-washable wool
via  Cute, right?
There are a whole ton of vintage knitting ads at Oh Shoot

And the latest in men's knitwear:
Love it.  Via

Monday, July 11, 2011

Wait Wait, Do Tell

Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me is my favorite NPR show ever.  Having a favorite NPR show is like having a favorite stamp in your stamp collection...a legitimate thing to have, but not something you share with the world without the expectation of a few eye rolls and a request that you leave your yippie name checking at the door.

However, there were two bits of joy I discovered when I was catching up on WWDTM this week.

Carl Kasell Limerick May 28th:
My new sweater is nothing to flog.  It's from yarn that leaves most couches clogged. My pet I do brush. For his hair is quite plush. I make wool from the hair of my...
Yup....talking about people who knit stuff out of pet fur (note: I am super sad by the misuse of fiber art terminology here.  For example, you don't make "wool" from dog hair.  Wool comes from sheep.  And this New York Times article refers to "yarn weaved from dog hair."  You weave yarn into fabric, but you spin fiber into yarn....anyhoo...)

And then there was this exchange between WWDTM panelists on June 18th:
SAGAL: Faith, this week we read about a growing trend among expectant fathers. They're having what?
Ms. SALIE: A shower, a baby shower...Well, they're not called baby showers for expectant dads, they're called dadchelor parties...Well, you know, it's where you get stuff for the baby. It's all about preparing to have a baby. Dadchelor parties are about getting ready to lose your freedom. So there's lots of drinking and gambling and carousing.
Mr. ROCCA: And the doula gives you a lap dance.
SAGAL: Exactly.
Mr. ROCCA: I was just in Hawaii.
Mr. ROCCA: And I was watching hula dancers and it's so relaxing just to watch them. And I kept thinking, I bet, like, if you were a lady and you were going into labor and a hula dancer came in, it would be so relaxing that the baby would just kind of come out really easily.
(Soundbite of laughter)
Mr. ROCCA: I don't know, I bet a hula dancer could get the baby out of you like just so easily...It's just amazing. Like a hula doula would be incredible.

Yup, hula doulas.  I totally agree that wiggling your hips around would help the baby come out.  I know of pregnancy yoga, but is anyone out there doing pregnancy hula?  Not sure, but apparently hula-hooping works for some moms.

(P.S.  The doula does NOT give you a lap dance....)

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Never-Ending Sweater...Ended

I feel like a friggin' genius.  This is a ridiculous feeling because the basic skills needed to knit forty-four inches of straight stockinette stitch are less difficult than to, say, ride a bike.  But then again, I fell off my bike the other day...three times in ten minutes, actually...

You've been hearing me complain about my Never-Ending Sweater (also known as the Lion Brand Speckled Shrug) here and here and here and here.

In fact, Ravelry tells me that I started this project in September, meaning that I worked on this thing for nine months before I was finally able to weave in the ends.  Holy crap.  It's been to two births, four concerts, to Atlanta, Indiana, DC, Marland, Virgina, and New York, to I-don't-know-how-many movies and get-togethers and countless bars and restaurants.  Basically, this sweater had a long and interesting life before it even became a sweater.

So now, please appreciate the following gratuitous chest shots (middle picture is closer to what the real colors are like):

It is a little baggy in the back (a shawl pin will fix that right up), but I really like the way I took a big rectangle and just sewed two edges together to make the sleeves.
Like this.  Schematic borrowed from

REALLY warm wool, and it is, you know, 92 degrees out.  So, I am going to go take it off and drink a bottle of water now.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

What Does it Take to Make a Sweater: Knitting Edition

 Here is the sweater I have been working on.  
This is my "sweater from scratch" even though I didn't actually shear/spin/dye the yarn I am knitting this out of.  The pattern is "Grown Up Hoodie" by Kira Dulaney (Rav Link here)
I should have been showing my sweater progress in stages.  I showed you the swatches here and one sleeve here.

But then I knit the waist band, the body, the other sleeve, the shoulders and now I am on the hood.  And this is what it looks like.
Still a lot of strings attached.  And the hood is only partially done so it looks like I have a pin head.

Here it is from the back
See the cool pattern on the back?  If you can't, that's because I was supposed to knit the whole thing purl-side-out so you could see the cabling better.  But I didn't.  Oops.

If you think it looks a little small, you are, regrettably, partially correct.  It still needs the rest of the hood and the button band down the length of the whole front on both sides.  But yes, it is still about a half inch too tight and an inch and a half shorter than I would really like.  
I am going to wash and block in before picking up stitches for the button band to see if that does anything helpful (I think I remember from swatching that it will grow a little bit), but may still unpick the cast on edge to add a couple of inches.  And never, ever wear a bra with this sweater so that it will fit across my chest.  Because I am damn well going to wear this first-knit sweater.

Friday, July 1, 2011

I Only Sort of Knit My Way Through Europe

I have been doing a poor job of blogging lately (I would blame my crappy internet connection, but it is mostly just pure laziness on my part).  I promise to get back on the bandwagon starting with a couple posts on my travels in Europe and a recap of my various summer knitting projects (all of which are WAY too hot to be knitting in this 90 degree weather).

I did a pretty good job of knitting my way through Europe.  I got the vast majority of my sweater done on the airplane (helped along by the fact that we circled around for an extra hour on the way home....)

I also knit my way through a ridiculously long line outside the Musee d'Orsay in Paris.  We had skipped the Louvre because there was a FOUR HOUR LONG line just to get in there and opted for the one hour line to see the Impressionists instead.  Worth it.
Porpoise took me to a yarn store in London which was quaint and lovely. 
But I scored in Dublin at This is Knit.
Acquired some British wool that was promptly wound into a ball to become a shawl.
 Again in Dublin was the findings at the Museum of Ireland. 
They apparently keep finding perfectly preserved things in the bog like this hat from the late 16th century (also saw some creepy looking bog bodies in the British Museum that I avoided taking pictures of).  It is old and yet perfect.
And these mud-avoiding shoes that Johanna says must have been the inspiration for much of Lady Gaga's footwear choices.

Successful fiber-related travel, I would say.