Thursday, October 27, 2005

This 'n That

Woohoo! Despite mucho sidetracking, I finished the Halloween Worm scarf last night. Well, this morning, though technically it was still night because I hadn't gone to bed yet.

Berroco Quest & Crystal Palace Squiggle Halloween Worm Scarf in Black and Mango Orange

After a couple of unsatisfactory attempts at achieving a fabric I liked coupled with desire to not buy more than one skein/ball of each yarn yet still attain a length I like (my preference is 72 inches long, though I knew that wasn't going to happen with this combo!), I settled on a P1 *yo P2tog* pattern st. When I ran out of black, I bound off and made fringe.
Mike's lack of excitement at wearing this one matches mine. I only made it so I'd have something 'weenish to wear on Monday, when I volunteer at an afternoon Halloween party for the local kids, put on by the local police department.

Pathetic Attempt #2

As you can see, it's a good thing I went back to the drawing board on this thing. Although the drop st in this one gives it a webbier look, it was just overall ick. Well, icker, given that orange is already ick.

Berroco Quest (black) and Crystal Palace Squiggle (mango orange)

Given the amount of pixels I've devoted to these yarns, you'd think I really like them. But since they're a little hard to distinguish in the scarves, I thought I'd give you a close-up.
I will be spending some of my knitting time this evening (and probably next) using a #1 needle to pluck all the big orange 'worms' so that they are mostly on one side of the fabric, to give a more maggoty appearance on the right (outward) side.

Enough with orange! Orange is fine when it's food: real mangos, papaya, winter squashes, sweet potatoes, candy corn and pumpkins, pumpkin ice cream ('tis the season!), even pumpkin corgis (check out my friend Marcia's Wine Country Corgis site with their photos from last year's Howloween). But not orange apparel. At least, not on me. And I'd prefer not to see it on you, either. So, on to something that soothes my eyes and energizes my soul:

Linie 114 Space Self-Fringing Shawl

There's a close-up of the fabric just below this photo. This is a lovely ribbon yarn in MY colors. Well, except for where the brilliant red blends to yellow - there is a faint hint of deep orange. But still! Purple and red and that lovely green and did I mention purple?
The pattern is Keep It Simple's Self-Fringing Shawl (KS109). Knit from the wide top to the point at that bottom, you let the sts on both sides unravel, creating the fringe. A little scary to do what is so counterintuitive, but once you get started, it's fun. The yarn and pattern were my two buys at my friend's Fall sale this year.

Close-up of Linie 114 Space, color 0007

Ah, well, that was fun (excuse me while I gaze at this photo for a bit....) Where was I? Oh, yes. Well, that was fun, and now I'm off to do some feeding (me) and tucking in (more figurative than literal, since the chelonians don't need a lot of tucking, and Mikey's already in his sleeping place for the night), and do some stretches before I do some more knitting.


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

In the Beginning...

My house is pretty dark except on blindingly sunny days. And if I open all the drapes and blinds. Which I usually don't, because I'm light-sensitive, so get headaches and sun-damaged very quickly.

My house is also pretty cluttered with stuff, mostly books and knitting projects and did I mention books? There's also not much in the way of storage space, so things normal people in normal homes would keep in closets, drawers and cupboards here are out. And did I mention the books?

So. Anyway. The only relatively uncluttered room, now that I am down to only two lizards and a bunch of shelled beasties, most of whom spend most of the year living outside, is my iguana room. Other people who weren't housing and rehabbing upwards of 15 iguanas at a time would call it a breakfast room. Here, it's the ig room.

The current master of the ig room is Mikey, my 7 year old Cyclura iguana. I kept a sort of journal on him from the time I got him. (If you want to skip the journal but see some earlier pictures of him, see Mikey's Pics.)

The first thing you gotta know about Cyclura iguanas is that they all think that they are, individually, the Center of All Creation. The world revolves around them. Not just your life, your schedule, your other pets' lives and schedules, the world. Well, the galaxy and universe, too, but Cyclura don't talk about that much in case people start thinking they're megalomaniacs. Which they are, as anyone knows who lives with one, but they think they are keeping that facet of their personality well hidden.


Several years ago, Mikey developed a mission in life: Kill Sluggo. He has thus far been unsuccessful, due to my being home most of the time and Sluggo spending most of his time in places too small for Mikey to squish himself into, under, or behind. Not that Mikey doesn't try, mind you, especially since when Mikey first came here in 1999, he did fit into all those places. He just doesn't realize that he is several feet and over 20 pounds bigger than he was back then.

Sluggo is a blue-tongue skink, one of the sweetest lizard species around. Why they did not become more popular as pets I don't know. Maybe because they look too much like our native alligator lizards (Elgaria, formerly Gerrhonotos). But blue-tongue skinks (in the Tiliqua genus) are like alligator lizards on steroids: they naturally grow much larger and heavier. And have that lovely blueberry blue tongue! Sluggo, of whom I am ashamed to say I have few photos, is doubly interesting because he is hypomelanistic: missing most of his black and brown pigment, his base color a lovely silvery pinky gray with slightly darker stripes. I do have a photo a friend took of Sluggo being introduced to another friend's green iguana:

That would be Sluggo on the left. That fetching green iguana on the right is Vega$, who costarred in a movie several years ago, and has her own website. Her human, Des, spends a lot of her non-working time doing green iguana education and helping the Blue Iguana Recovery Program.

Some may think that Mikey may need a recovery project, too, once they see him in scarves.

Noro Wakaba Keyhole Scarf

I stopped buying Noro yarn several years ago when I spent a considerable amount of time cutting out all the puppy poop brown and bile yellow lengths out of many skeins of otherwise perfectly beautiful cobalt blue-fuschia-purple Kuryeon when I was making my first cardigan. It wasn't so much the time spent cutting all the yucky colors out, but Noro is expensive! I shouldn't have to pay to throw out yucky colors mixed in with really nice ones. That plus I don't much like the scratchy feel of Noro wools.

But there I was, at my friend's yarn shop during her Spring sale last spring, and there it was: Wakaba. I'd seen it before there, but something drew me to it (the sale pricing didn't hurt). I'd started knitting scarves as a break from knitting socks - both projects involve short spans of variable stitching so my carpal tunnels and impinged ulnar nerves don't get massively inflammed. At the same time, I was taken by what I call the keyhole design: see where the two ends of the scarf appear to be laid over one another? They aren't. After K1, P1 for 7 inches, I put the K sts on a st holder, knit the purl sts for a couple of inches, put them on a holder while I did the same to the K sts, then worked the two sets back together in K1, P1, working until I got the length I liked when the end was pulled through the cool slot I made.

Okay, so clearly I am easily entertained. Now I can be entertained with a pretty scarf that I will probably never wear because it is in such a girly colors, and since the finished scarf took only two skeins, I have this leftover skein of Wakaba in my stash.

Peruvian Collection Baby Cashmere Vertical Eyelet Scarf
in Mulled Grape

This is one of's own yarns. I bought it on spec - you never know what a yarn is going to feel like nor how true the colors are on online seller's website or your monitor to the actual yarn-in-hand. I figured that with the price per ball, the worst that would happen is that I would make a scarf and donate it to one of the local community knitting charities. Well, that ain't gonna happen, and I thought I'd bust a vessel when Elann ran out. It is back in stock again, in case you're interested in checking out the Baby Cashmere yourself...

This was my second lacy-ish scarf. It is based on Ann Norling's Scarf A, in her Six Lacy Scarfs Leaflet #46-A. The pattern is easily adaptable to other yarns - just do a swatch, figure out how many sts you need to make a scarf of the width you want, and go for it.

Mondial Gold Diagonal Eyelet Scarf

No, your monitor and eyes aren't going crazy. The name of the yarn is Gold; the color is #90. This is actually the third scarf I've made in this particular pattern: Scarf C from the same Ann Norling leaflet #46-A. I made the same pattern in Sirdar's Snuggly dk (in a heathered denim acrylic), and in KnitPick's Elegance. The denim is for me, the Elegance a gift for an old friend...the red I haven't decided yet. It's my red, but I do have more of that yarn...Hmmmm...perhaps I could be bribed? Better make sure to weave in all the red ends first, though!

Okay! Enough for a first post. If I keep writing, I will get no knitting done tonight, and I have to finish the one of the scarves I'm working on right now so I can wear it on Halloween.