Monday, December 31, 2007

What I Eat

It may be worth while to start posting what I eat again because, well, my habits have changed now that I am single.

Today I:
  • drank half a cup of reheated coffee;
  • ate a small cheese quesadilla;
  • and a small bowl of white rice with canned roasted eel and green olives (the kind put in martinis).

Conned again by the weak and aged

I spent Xmas visiting my grandpa at the hospital. He's 88, and apparently has very ironic luck, because he was speeding down the hall at my mom's and tripped on a carpet he made and broke his leg. A case of the revenge of the handicraft? Perhaps. (I can only hope that I live to be old enough for my knitting to attack me.)

So I'm visiting, hearing about his bladder and his violin making and his leg, just shooting the breeze, so to speak, when other relatives start talking about my knitting. (I guess it's hard not to, because I am covered in it.) Grandpa mentions the beautiful sweater I made him. (His adjective - I should have felt some kind of warning right then, but I was still unsuspecting. I've haven't been around Grandpa for about eight years, so I'd forgotten that he was wily.) My oldest brother immediately began angling for sweater, which I guess was a further distraction, because he's a big guy and that's a lot of knitting for me to think about. I managed to talk it down to some fingerless gloves, but while I was in the middle of doing that, my grandpa managed to get me to agree to make him another sweater out of some yarn he has. I was in the car already before it really sunk in.

Somehow, I had managed to agree to make an Aran sweater with a 48" chest out of unknown and unseen yarn that my grandpa has been hoarding for 25 years. (Do you see that "hoarding" link? That's worth a look.) Yesterday I was out at his house, trying to find the yarn. It wasn't easy. It wasn't easy even to find the bathroom. (Did I mention my family is a bit eccentric? Take a look at that "hoarding" link again, and then think about what happens if the person is crafty. Because Grandpa is crafty, in more ways than one.) I found a lot of yarn. Some of it dates back to the fifties or earlier. And I found the yarn in question.
I don't know what kind of wool this is. I'll have to ask Grandpa. But it was from a sheep he owned, and it was hand spun and plied. I think it's about Aran weight, fortunately, and frankly, it is awesome yarn. I hope it's enough.

Here's a blurry close-up:
I also scored a lot of other yarn, a ball winder, a rice cooker, vegetable steamer, vegetable chopper, hand held drink mixer, and a jar of olives. Because I was just skimming the surface of the Hoard. (Grandpa is a compulsive small appliance buyer.) I was a bit surprised there wasn't an airplane or something. (Do you think I'm kidding? Grandpa has a pilot's license. The last time we cleaned his house, my oldest brother scored a half-assembled ultralight.)

So stay tuned. I'm supposed to bring him the test swatch next weekend.

Hardly a surprise

You Are 80% Non Conformist

You are a pretty serious non conformist. You live a life hardly anyone understands.
And while some may call you a freak, you're happy with who you are.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Skull and Hearts Sweater

I made this sweater over a moth ago, but I have never gotten so many comments on a sweater as I have on it. I'm finally getting around to showing it to you. (Of course, most of you have already seen it in person. Hello!) I have this nasty habit of knitting and crocheting for other people, which means that after a long bought of knitting I still have nothing to wear. I came up with the idea for this sweater when I was trying to think of something cute I could make for myself that would be quick. Hearts would have been a little TOO cute, so I threw in some Jolly Rogers I pirated from Hello Yarn.
It's knit top-down, with a yoke that turns into inset sleeves halfway down the armhole. Then it's just a basic hourglass-shaped sweater. Easy peasy. And cheap. It's Wool-Ease.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Camera phone to the rescue

So I am still missing my camera charger. But have no fear!I do still have the cat.
And some knitting. This is an afghan I'm making from a bag of acrylic odd-balls my grandma gave me a week ago when I was back home yet again. (It's so nearby!) Pretty virulent so far, eh? I kind of like it.
Fingerless mittens for one of my Philippina sisters. For the life of me, I can't figure out how to turn this picture around. Just turn your head 90 degrees to the right.
Yet another seaman's cap. This one is part of an insidious scheme of mine. Yes! This FO is an object of seduction. Or at least I hope it will be. (Does knitting get the guys? Maybe. It is merino, after all.)
And then here's me. I cut my hair.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


...the cord for charging my camera battery is in a box near Sacramento, in my brother's garage, along with my boxes of books and memorabilia and, yes, a whole lot of yarn. This of course means that although I have a lot to show... I have no pictures.

This is a disturbingly consistent, recurring theme here at Crisis of Praxis, which just goes to show you should be careful what you name your blog.

Knitting, crocheting, what-have-you
I've pirated the Jolly Roger from Hello Yarn and designed myself a pullover, knit up a headband from Vanna's Choice, made numerous scarves and fingerless mittens, and even crocheted a pair of slippers for an invalid friend that reproduce the slippers her grandmother made her. I also made a cosy for a personal massager, if you know what I mean. (And I think you do.)

Geography and chance has thrown me into the midst of the knitters from Knit One One. I have bumped into them in a coffeehouse, encountered them at the book signing for Knit Knit, and then finally sat down with them at yet another coffeehouse to do some actual knitting. They're a lively and mixed bunch, but they have yet to prove to me their prowess in knitting while intoxicated like the North End Knitters. Time will tell if they measure up, or at least can fix their mistakes the next morning after a cup of strong coffee and some aspirin. In the meantime, they sure can knit while sober.

Which reminds me. I have gotten my greedy little hands on a pattern from Emily Jan - the Blooming Bobble Bag. I saw this in a display case they have at a bakery and found it irresistible, despite the fact that I don't actually do clutch bags. I have yet to decide whether I will do a yarn substitution, what color I will use, etc.

I am going to try to abscond with a friend's camera, so hopefully there will be photo evidence of my activities before the year is out. (The non-incriminating ones, that is.)

Monday, December 10, 2007

I got your post right here, baby

Jeanette from the Purly Gate (A Knitter's Cult) has pointed out that the post I was promising her on Sunday did not in fact happen.

Well, woman, I am busy. I am in California. There are places to go, people to see, health food stores to get lost in, and long, sunny bike rides to take. I'm sure you'll understand. By the way, how's that snow in Boston?

Here's my home town about three weeks ago. This is one of the busy streets. Bungalows, oh how I have missed you! Inside of my grandma's house. Hi, Grandma!
The crocheted blanket on the bed in my grandma's guest room. She made it.

This is Cat, the Living Cat Mummy. Petting this cat is like petting a sticky muppet stuffed with bones. (What was that, Grandma? The cat's in the house? Yeah, well, this was before you woke up. I didn't know better. She acted like she came in the house every day.)
A view. Not as cold as it looks.
Another view. They've got a lot of it there.
And another view.
Sibling #6, slightly wet, at our mom's house.
Sibling #7, in a coffeehouse. It's the same one I went to.
Sibling #5? (Oh, no, I've lost count!) Well, anway, this is a sibling. And her baby, the one I have been knitting like a fiend for. He's actually a lot happier than he looks - he's not quite used to maniacal aunts pointing cameras at him.
Another sibling. She's feigning surprise. That camera doesn't have quick flash action, dammit.
And that's it for now.

Friday, November 30, 2007

First California Post

I have a lot of photos to show you, but I don't have them with me. This photo, however, I do have, because I took it with my cellphone last night. You are looking across the Bay to San Francisco. All in all, it could be worse.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Jeanette from over at the Purly Gates (A Knitting Cult) clued me in tonight on how to get my computer to upload pictures without going kaboom on me. So, now I have pictures for you!

My maternal grandfather has been diagnosed with prostrate cancer. There's not much I can do about that. However, I can knit him a sweater, since I think he's still got a winter left in which to wear it. Pattern: My own, largely helped along by the Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns.

Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease worsted in Chestnut Heather

Gauge: 20s = 4"/10 cm on size US 8/5 mm straight needles

Size: 46"-48" chest

I wanted to make my grandpa a basic pullover that would be easy to care for since he's sick. I added Horseshoe Cables because 1) it's more interesting for me to knit, 2) it impresses more than stockingette, and 3) I think Horseshoe Cables are the cat's meow. But let me tell you, after a month and half of making them, I am about Horseshoed out. Did you see the size on that thing? My grandpa wears and extra large - that was all the information I was given, so who knows if the thing will fit - but I found a chart for American Standard Clothing Sizes for men's sweaters and worked from that. This sweater has a 46"-48" chest, depending on how you pull on it. I have a 33" chest. It was like making two sweaters. (I am sooo not dating a big man when I move to California.)
I like how my ribbing lined up at the center front of the collar:
But this isn't all I've been making. Here's the jacket that goes with the garter stitch hat I made for my nephew:

Pattern: Garter Stitch Jacket from Debbie Bliss' The Baby Knits Book

Yarn: KnitPicks Swish Superwash in "Sand Dune"

I really like how this turned out. However, I can't help wondering how much use a 6 month old baby can get out of pockets...

There's a lot more, but I can't remember how to link to the sites where I got the patterns, so it'll have to wait a bit.

STILL not dead, folks!

I admit, however, that I have been somewhat lax as of late in regards to posting in a timely manner. Hmmm.

Well, here I am. But not for long. I am intending to keep this blog up - that is, I actually intend to post more than once every four months from now on - but I am moving. Far, far, away from Boston, to that distant land called California, where, as far as I'm concerned (due to my upbringing, I'm afraid) the only relatively normal people on the planet live.

That's right - I am returning to the bossom of my family! Where I can get a latte nearly anywhere, experience some serious fog, and get my bus delayed by gay rights parades! I can't wait! Home, home, home! Cheap artichokes and French bread, here I come!

My new computer won't let me upload photos onto Blogger, so although I have plenty for you, I can't post them. But stay tuned! Before November is through, I will be in California, where I am use somebody else's computer for my nefarious knitblogging activities.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

...and more photos.

I feel like I have a neverending stream of photos to upload. I did say I've been busy, didn't I?

Pictured below is the Garter Stitch Hat from The Baby Knits Book by Debbie Bliss in "Sand Dune" Knit Picks Swish Superwash. I'm told this yarn pills, but it washed up beautifully. Anyway, the baby will probably outgrow it before pilling becomes an issue.
This is a knit bunny made from leftover Baby Soft, the yarn I used for the aquaduct edging afghan. It's yet another knit from Lousia Harding's Naturals Knits for Babies and Moms. I have to say that this book was a damn good purchase. It has alot a basic baby patterns, clevery executed, and evenly divided by the sexes. I knew this baby was going to be a boy, so I wanted a book with plenty of boy patterns, but (go figure) a majority of baby and kid knitting books are angled towards girls. Also, Natural Knits has a pregnancy sweater, two nursing sweaters, a shawl, a baby blankie and stuffed animal patterns as well. Are you sold yet on it? :P
I have a high school friend who has five year old girly-girl. As in, she likes pink. When I was a little girl, pink was the enemy of being taken seriously, a task that was already made difficult enough by being knee-high to a gnome with curly blond hair... But I digress. This kid will love this sweater, which happens to be in violet Cotton Ease. The pattern is from Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns, size aged 6. The collar is my doing - it's not in the book - as well as the pockets. Check out the flower buttons!
Okay, I admit the photos are a bit blurry, but you can probably see them better in this close-up.

And lest you think I only have FO's - (I wish!) - here's an afghan-in-progress. This is me trying to use up a lot of Cotton Ease. If you're thinking it's a baby afghan, well, then, all I have to say to that is you're dead on. Sorry. I swear I am knitting some for myself, and soon I will have proof! (Which reminds me - today my grandmother emailed me out of the blue to say she's enjoying the socks I knit her. I knit those socks quite some time back. Months and months ago, actually. Do you think she's giving me a subtle clue of some kind?)
Gratutitous cat shot!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

More Photos!

Baby Afghan

I crocheted this baby afghan in March out of cream sportweight acrylic/nylon yarn. (I think it was "Baby Soft.") All it is is a square of double crochet with "aquaduct" edging.
I think it has a pleasing simplicity about it. unfortunately, I washed it with my Artyarns Supermerino cream/black/lime socks... which turned everything in my laundry light gray. Lesson learned. I mailed the baby afghan out to Sibling #5 anyway. I don't know if she's using it.

Cropped Cardi

This cardigan is obviously "#21: Short Cardigan" from Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2006. Isn't it?

Okay, I admit I made a few changes. I substituted black KnitPicks Merino Style for cotton yarn, and I used only one color throughout instead of striping. And then I totaly redesigned the sleeves.

My buttons are square!

Nursing Sweater

At the end of February I knit Sibling #5 a nursing sweater, the "Queen of Hearts Nursing Sweater" from Lousia Harding's Natural Knits for Babies and Moms in, well, burgundy Encore (75% acrylic, 25% wool), which is not exactly the natural option. I knit it in under two weeks, which frankly impressed me. Sibling #5 wears a 12 and I wear a 4, so it's much larger than anything I would make for myself. Fortunately it was on US #8 needles. The pattern called for a pattern of hearts in the lower panels in purl stitches, but I left them out because I thought they'd be cheesy.
Here is a detail of one of the button flaps. I think I used 16 buttons. I lucked out and got them not only to perfectly match the yarn but cheaply.

Sibling #5 loved the sweater, apparently. It was still coldish in California when she got it so she was sleeping in it. Strangely enough, her favorite thing about it is the yarn. Encore does wash up well - it becomes even, soft, and drapey - but it's also incredibly cheap. I think this sweater cost me a total of US$30. ($10 of it being the buttons!) I still have more than a skein left over that I need to use up somehow.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

And now for something completely different...

I'm still trying to learn to paint. Being the way I am, I naturally think the way to go about this is a self-portrait. Why? Because I photograph badly, of course.

Lissy from the North End knitting circle asked me to post the progress shots I've been taking, so here they are. They photographed more yellow than they really are. Remember, I'm still learning! Be sure to cut me some artistic slack.

Day 1: I did an underpainting, and forgot to photograph it.
Day 2: Adding color to my underpainting. It doesn't look much like me, I admit, but I wasn't ready to slit my wrists just yet.
Day 3: More color, fleshing in the background and my clothes. Doesn't look like me, but whoever it is, they're angry. It's probably because the mirror I'm holding is heavy. (Hey, maybe that's why my wrist hurts, not the knitting?!?)
Day 4: Looks a bit more like me, as in, how I wish I looked. The neck and body is a major problem, esp. since I've decided to put my brown sweater in the painting. My hair is not really present - I'm saving it for later - so the head is not balanced. There's still a way to go.

And that's it for now. Let me know if you want me to post the next stage when it happens.

My how time flies

...when you hate the New Blogger and you have no internet at home. Has it really been over two months since I last entered into a battle of wills with Blogger to post? Amazing.

Here's some of the baby stuff I've made in the meantime. And I really mean "some." The baby mania has not flagged, although it did hurt my wrist on Sunday so now I am having to take it easy.

This stuff is from Natural Knits for Babies and Moms by Louisa Harding. The baby mittens with the string are made from Sirdar Breeze in "stone", and the other mittens and hat are in KnitPicks Shine Sport in some kind of brownish-tannish color, the name of which is evading me at the moment.

Baby pants! In the Snuggly yarn I had left over from the blue wrap cardi. The pattern is not my own - I got it free online - and when I have the patience to type in html again, I'll link to it for ya.

I feel like it is through some kind of miracle that this baby kimono (from an old IK pattern - I think everybody andtheir brother has knit it) is finally uploaded. This is my gazillionth try, and I don't just mean tonight. Although tonight I have had time to make tater tots and feed the cat (who likes his dry food mixed with 1/3 can of wet food, thank you). I'm not sure I have it in me to post more baby knitting pictures tonight.

Monday, March 12, 2007

This is the post where New Blogger said "I hate you"

...and I said the feeling's mutual, especially since i just spent a half hour writing text that got deleted.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Baby Stuff

I have gone insane with the baby knitting. Not only did I do that layette set, I made a pair of matching pants, a beige hat and booties, and a pair of socks - I then I knit the baby kimono from IK and a pair of green booties.

Unfortunately, I only have a picture of the green booties. The other pictures are on my computer at work.

When will the madness end, you ask? I really can't say. Although I am a bit concerned... I knit all these things at 0-3 months old size and the baby is 9 lbs. 3 oz. There is no word yet on whether any of even fits! But my sister, Sibling #5, did like the nursing sweater I knit her (in 2 weeks! and she's much bigger than me!) which I also don't have a picture of here.

Presently, the onyl baby stuff I have on the needles isn't really. That's because it's hooked. I crocheting a baby afghan. But don't worry; this afternoon has been turned over to knitting a Malabrigo hat for Sibling #7. I have not completely lost it.

Except where socks are concerned. Did you know I have about four completed socks laying about, none of which match each other?


I ask you to imagine, if you will, this space being occupied by about five or six pages of invective against Blogger in the most vitriolic language that can be expressed in a 12 point Georgia font.

I have been busy, busy, busy.

Pattern: "Striped Vest" (#22) from VK Fall 2006
Yarn: Black Cascade 220 (Left over from the Boyfriend Sweater)
Size: 32 Bust
Gauge: 20s = 4"/10cm on 5mm dpns

Modifications: Where to begin? I eliminated the stripes, of course. And there's a yarn substitution going on... And I added an openwork pattern ("Eyelet Twist Panel" from The Ultimate Sourcebook of Knitting and Crochet Sticthes, pg. 150) and made the body a tad longer to line up the panel pattern with the neck. I also changed the ribbing on the collar and armholes.

Thoughts: I love this yarn still, and I wear this vest all the time. Next time I make a vest, however, I don't think I'll make the body so long.

Pattern: My own
Yarn: Um... I can't remember, but it was just one ball
Needles: US #10
Size: N/A

I bought this yarn because it goes with my jacket, as you can see. It's just a 10s wide garter stitch scarf with tapering ends. I wear it when the weather permits.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Infant Layette Set

Sibling #5 is 8 months pregnant. She turned 17 this month. I heard about this from my octogenarian, email-using Grandma, and if you have picked up anything about my family, you are probably bracing yourself for some horrible, dysfunctional tale. Well, there is one, but for now I'm focussing on the fact that I didn't know about this pregancy until a week and a half ago.

I called my dad get the scoop, because it's under his roof that it's happening. What I learned was that his sheepdog just had eight pups, all black and white like her, and that the winter is unseasonably warm this year. He's really concerned that the peach tree will bloom this month, thereby missing bee season, and he'll only have four or five peaches this year again. The same could happen for the plums and apples, although the Golden Delicious tree in the back yard - the one with the graft from Grandma's tree - is bound to produce pretty well because it always does. Old reliable. And there hasn't been much rain, which is weird, because usually it's rainy this time of year (my hometown gets an average of 200 days of rain a year)...

At which point he passed me to Sibling #7, who happened to be passing through the room, and I pumped her for information.

It seems it didn't occur to anyone that I might not know. Which is even stranger than the global warming. Do they think I am psychic? That town gossip reaches me from 2,000 miles away?

Ok, well, it does, but only because my Grandma uses the internet, and not exactly in a timely manner, because she also thought I knew.

So in a week I have managed to whip this up from Louisa Harding's Natural Knits. I used Sirdar Snuggly yarn.

It's going to be a boy. I'm also making as nursing sweater from the same book. I would have liked to have time to make a pregancy sweater, but I didn't exactly get that chance. (grumble grumble)

Boyfriend Sweater

Boyfriend Sweater!Pattern: my own
Yarn: Cascade 220 (black)
Needles: size US #8/ 5mm straights

I actually had this finished over a month or more ago but I was too lazy to post it. I am very bad - almost as bad as my ability to photograph black.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Still Not Dead

I figure I should post again so that you all know I am not still hung over on chocolate mint liqueur.

I am not still hung over on chocolate mint liqueur.

I am, however, about as depressed as I was after I read V for Vendetta* - I had to go home early today from work because I was weepy.

There is always a catch in life. Sometimes love isn't enough. And I don't even have clue what to do about it except fantasizing about visiting Finland, or perhaps Scotland.

I like reinventing my life. That's what got me from California to Seattle, and from Seattle to Philly and then to Boston. I am the most settled I have ever been right now, and it's pretty uncomfortable, even though I am a homebody. I'm just not an office person. Gah. But this isn't really about traveling and moving, it's about relationships, which are another kind of traveling and moving. And it's really terrible to know that someday you may have to leave a place you love because it can't offer you everything you could ever want.

Ah, but enough that. I am knitting the Retro Rib Cardi from the Winter 2005 IK in "avocado" Wool of the Andes, and it is awesome. Extremely green.
*V for Vendetta had me very, very upset for days because I am an individualist. Go figure.