babbling brook

just random thoughts on knitting, reading, life & other things I like

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Movin' on

Just like a bunch of other knitters I read, I'm jumping from Blogger to WordPress. Lots of reasons why - blogger is really slow, I like how the wordpress blogs look, etc. But mostly it's because I want my blog address to actually match the title of my blog - BattyGrrrl is the online name I've used for YEARS but when I turned this into a non personal (boring) blog, I renamed it but it always bothered me. So please visit me here from now on:

It's still a work in progress, I need to update a lot of my links & play with it a bit more. I'll still have my blogger account - I have other blogs on here - but I won't be updating this particular blog any longer

adieu Blogger! Thanks for the 3 years we've had together!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Some baking, some reading, a little knitting & a lot of babbling

I am currently baking some bagels - just a simple recipe from allrecipes but yummmm...I dislike store bought bagels (well, the bakery bagels are good, I'm talking about the packaged ones) and since I'm out, I thought I'd make some - I just added some garlic & sea salt. Lovely.

A huge thanks to Tamera - I got the Swish yarn she kindly sent to help me out. So sweet of her! Again, I love the internet knitting community. I worked on Wicked a bit more but I checked out One Skein Wonders from work on Tuesday & decided I needed a new pair of fingerless gloves - my Fetchings are too short (the curse of long arms & jackets that don't cover them all the way) and a bit pilly and my long ago Noro poptarts are stretched out so cold air gets up into them. So I cast on for the Wave Handwarmers with my coveted Malabrigo last night - completed one today & the other I hope to complete tonight...we'll see, they do go pretty fast & I have some tv shows to watch (Survivor...shhhh). As for the rest of the book, it's okay, some cute patterns. I haven't decided if I'm going to buy it yet - it seems like there are so many free internet patters that are about the same.

But on the other hand there are so many books about to be released (or have been...the knittyboard is buzzing about them) that I'm so excited for & will buy sight unseen. First of all is the Lime & Violet book that I believe is going to be self published so I'm not sure I can order it from work. But I'm such a freaking addict to that show that I must buy it. Next is Stefanie Japal's Fitted Knits. I really love almost everything I've ever seen by her - her sweaters are nearly always in the round (yah for no seaming!) and fit really well. Apparently No Sheep For You has been released but I sure haven't seen it. It deosn't really apply to me - I have sensitivity to some wools, but most of it doesn't bother me too much - but I enjoy Amy's writing a lot, so it should be a fun book. Last but not least is More Sensational Knitted Socks - man I love the first one so much, it is such a huge help with making socks & I love that you can adapt all the patterns to to what you need. So many lovely books coming out!

But I realized the other day, I don't nearly read as many novels as I used to. I don't know if it's from knitting (and while I can surf the internet while knitting, I can't read a novel) or just lack of books that strike my interest. Since the begining of the year, I've read only new two novels - A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore (good, but not nearly as good as Lamb) and Plum Lovin' by Janet Evanovich (cute but like all of her books, total brain candy). I do reread a lot of books - for instance, my bedtime book right now is Emma by Jane Austen (I'm a total Jane Austen nerd, but I've never liked Emma all that much - I'm hoping I'll get a differnt perpective after not reading it for awhile.) I have to have books I've already read for my bedtime books otherwise I'll never go to sleep.

But right now, I'm totally engrossed in an excellent novel - Midnight at the Dragon Cafe, part of the Portland Everybody Reads program. I am really enjoying this - part of it reminds me of Amy Tan, who I adore, and I'm having flashes of Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood, maybe because the main character is a out of place little girl in Canada, I don't know. book I've read in quite awhile.

I think that's enough babbling and blogger is moving really really REALLY slow so I'm offf. Have a great week all!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Knittin' along

Again, it's been a week since I last updated - mostly because I've been getting home after dark & unwilling to take any pictures - a post with out pictures isn't worth it. But it's also been an exhausting week - work, my mom's having medical problems, work, some girl after my CoffeeBoy, (I'm not worried he's going to find a new CoffeeGirl, but it's really annoying), and most of all, exhausting work. The bus mall has moved to right in front of our store - while it's been great for my cafe sales, it's brought in a lot of nutjobs - see previous post about the guy who pissed on 2 shelves of books. So all day long I'm kicking people out - topping it off with a guy who threatened me with bodily harm last night. Sigh.

Don't you wish you had my job?

Anyway, I just have to say how much I LOVE the internet knitting community - first of all I got 2 fun things this week in the mail
The needles are Audi Turbos I got in a swap from LizKnits - my first Audis! All for a ball of Magic Stripes - I'm am so thankful for it. Socks on 2 circs, here I come! The very cool card they are on top of is from my very awesome SecretPal! It's a gorgeous photo & had lots of cute things written in it! Thanks SP!

Another reason why I love the internet knitting community is Tamara, who commented on my last post where I bemoaned my stupidity about starting Wicked without enough yarn, has offered to send her leftover Swish! For free! Yah, Wicked is saved!

By the way, thanks for all the comments on my last post - comments give me such a warm fuzzy feeling!

Since Tamara offered to send me enough to finish Wicked, I picked it back up again after being angry at myself.
Yes, that is my very sexy pjs at the bottom. It's my day off.

So I've just split the sleeves off the main bit, now I'm in the middle of, as Miss Violet put it on a recent L&V podcast, 5 inches of stockinette hell. But anything is better than sewing pieces together - I always suck at the making up part of the sweater, which is why I tend to only do sweaters in the round. Plus I love how the "seams" look on the sleeve.Pretty! And even!

I just hope my Wicked looks as good as stitchywitch's. Aren't those photos beautiful?

Otherwise not much more knitting going on...I frogged the SockCandy sock I started last week (too small). I also don't think I like the yarn all that much so I might swap it away. Anyone out there interested? I'm becoming obsessed with making more socks - again too much Lime & Violet. I haven't gotten my Lisa Souza yet but since I got my tax returns this week, I treated my self a bit to an order from Little Knits - not a huge order, but some awesome sales on sock yarn. I'll have a separate post when I get it, hopefully soon. I got the priority shipping and they are just up in Seattle.

I think I'm totally breaking out of the yarn diet too. Just like other diets, I'm doomed to failure. But you know, it's okay. I still plan on working mostly from stash (except for socks - I don't really have any good sock yarns, as I just realized.)

Oh, I also dyed some yarn with Kool-Aid. I used a yarn with a mix of wool & cotton so it's not as deep as a colour as I would like (it's the Sensation's Dolcetto, like the one I used to make my niece's hat & booties) but I like it. I think I used 5 packets of black cherry & a couple of regular cherry. It was very fun so next time - all wool & deeper colours.

Um, the photo is having issues. I guess it'll have to wait.

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Thursday, February 01, 2007


I haven't updated for a week or so for several reasons. Mostly because it's been a horrid week at work - I do not talk much about work anymore after several comments from employees have lead me to believe that someone has read this in the past (and if he is out there - "hi - and go away. I will not be talking about you or the company"). But mostly it was customers - or rather, noncustomers - starting with a drunk/homeless guy pissing on 2 shelves of books. I wish I was kidding. It didn't get much better as my week went on - crazies, drunks, & theives - oh my!

And also because I've been working on Wicked & a sweater WIP isn't that exciting.

Not exciting at all.

And I'm annoyed because I will not have enough yarn. Because I'm dumb sometimes. I put a call out for more Swish Jade but I think I'm just going to have to order more & see if they have the same dyelot. And since I cannot order KnitPicks without going up to $45 - really what's the point? - I'm going to order some Bare & maybe some acid dyes - I really want to get into dying my own yarn. I've tried Kool-Aid but I want deep rich colours.

Part of my new interest is because I've been listening to way way too much Lime & Violet - catching up on old episodes. And of course I've been having the itch to make more socks - I ordered some Lisa Souza's Lime & Violet Sock! yarn - sock yarn does not count towards stashbusting! And I cast on for a new pair of socks out of some stashThis is Blue Moon's Sock Candy I bought way back last summer because I was feeling low so I got a colourway I don't normally buy - blues, greys, & yellows. I'm just going to make some anklets with them. Maybe it'll brighten my days

Speaking of Blue Moon, I know they are going to be at Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene and I'm so there - I got the time off at work already. Anyone else in Oregon going? I'm kinda excited - it'll be my first fiber fest. And since it's in Eugene, my moms coming too. Good times.

Since I was annoyed about Wicked, I decided to play with my Malabrigo.
Cabled Headband
Started: January 29th
Completed January 31st
Pattern: Cable & Bobble Headband from Interweave Knits, winter 2006
Yarn: Malabrigo, Verde Adriana colourway, less than half a hank
Needles: Size 8US
Notes: I had started this as another Panta but when I was flipping through IK, I decided I wanted to try this out. I decided I needed a thinner headband & wanted to play with cables. I realized after I completed it that the bobbles are not a good look on a headband - I looked like an alien. So no bobbles. I also decided to just connect the pieces instead of ties. BUT! I do love the yarn & the look of how it is knitted up! It's purty. (not to mention my favourite colour) So when it gets warmer, I'll have a headband to wear.

Special note to my SP - just because I made yet another headwrap does not mean I don't need another! It's my addiction. BTW, my SP rules - she's kept me cheered up durring my horrid work week. I'm having so much fun with this Mellow SP, I can't wait to mail my package out this week!

I'll leave you with a pic of me & CoffeeBoy - he came out when I was taking a picture of the headband.
Celebrating our day off together.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I give you PANTA!

Tweedy Panta
Started: January 21st
Completed: January 24th
Pattern: Panta (note, this is a link to the KAL, the pattern is there but it's a .doc)
Yarn: Alpaca With A Twist Highlander in Heather in Bloom, almost all of one hank.
Needles: Size 6US
Notes: I LOVE this, I think this is my favourite thing I've knit in a very long time. The pattern is fun & goes very quick - I probably would have finished this the next day if work (stupid job) didn't get in the way. And the yarn...oh my do I love working with this yarn. I think it's perfect for this pattern - super warm & looks beautiful knitted up. I didn't do any modifications to the pattern, although I used a size 6 instead of the size 5 the pattern says because I think a 5 would have been way too small for this yarn. The 6 made a very dense fabric, which is nice. I also just picked up stitches & bound them off to connect the two sides - I will do anything to avoid sewing things together. I've worn this all day today, even though it was a beautiful, almost warm day and I swear, this is exactly what I needed. My hair is so long that I wear pulled back in a bun or ponytail so often but hats just look dopey over that. So Panta is perfect because it keeps my head & ears warm, yet doesn't look silly over a bun (BTW, I had just pulled my hair out of the bun it was in before this photo, hence the unruly look to my normal straight hair). I went back to CloseKnit today to buy my secret pal something (shhhhh - I love it & want to keep it for myself...but I won't!) and the owner told me how much she liked it with that yarn & asked me for the pattern because so many people have asked for hairwrap things. So there may be a Panta made up there.

Is that enough gushing? Can you tell how much I love this? After Cristi's post yesterday, I think I also need to make Calorimetry with my Malabrigo - isn't it gorgeous?

I started Wicked & it's going pretty well - although I kept screwing up the stitches because I was trying to watch 3 hours of 24 while starting it. Note to self - stop staring at Kiefer (who sadly, does not have the manpurse this year) when you are trying to not drop stitches.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

When I fall off the wagon...

...I go crazy!

Yes, I bought yarn this weekend, after signing up for the stashalong. But in my defense, I was with my mother - a true enabler - and I had a gift certificate from Google that of course I had to use for yarn. This will be it for for my Mellow Secret Pal from the knittyboards, I cannot say. I'm very excited to be taking part in spoiling someone else! I do want to be more involved in the knitting community, both here & on the internet, so this is a great way.

But here is my new purchases...

Before we left Eugene for Portland, we of course had to stop at Ben Franklin. This is a large craft store with an amazing selection of yarn - not the typical Red Heart/Lions/Patons you see at most places. We're talking Noro, Crystal Palace, Lamb's Pride, Berocco, and Cascade. I restrained myself for most of the browsing until we came across a clearence area. Where we found a large selection of some Noro & Cascade. I still wasn't going to buy anything (my mom picked up some recycled silk & some Noro Silk Garden.) But when I spoted this Cascade yarn for a mere $3.74 a hank - and all in the same dyelot, I knew I had to have it.

I realized I don't have a cardi - my favourite thing to wear - anywhere close to the needles. And how could I pass up such a deal? I love the colour - a neutral black/white/grey mix that if I needed more , I could always use some black I have in the stash for the collar or something. I don't have a pattern yet but I'm thinking designing my ownOnce we got to Portland and after my mom oooed & ahhed over the new house, we got some coffee from CoffeeBoy & I took her to my favourite LYS Close Knit. I love that place and it's so close to my house. Very dangerous. It was very busy and the poor owner Sally was running things by herself. She still took time to answer questions - my mom fell in love with a cabled scarf that was made up & while Sally was out of the pattern, my mom ended finding another scarf she liked made from Alpaca With A Twist Highlander and got some in Hawthorne Pink to go with it. I wish I had some pictures, but I didn't get a chance. I picked up some Highlander myself because I need a Panta - my hair is so long, I wear it up most days & my hats don't really work with it. I don't have a picture of the hank because as soon as we got back to the house, I started it. This is the Heather In Bloom colourway - a deep purple.

I love this pattern, it goes so quickly. And the yarn....ah, alpaca! My first time using it - although this is a blend of alpaca & merino wool with a little nylon & microfiber thrown in. So very soft & warm and dense! It's going to be a favourite of mine, I can tell. I should have some FO pics up soon, I took this yesterday afternoon and now I'm nearly done with it.

And I love the tweedy look of the yarn too.
I didn't buy this next yarn, but I finally bought the pattern to go with it. I give you Wicked in its very very begining stages. I'm starting this over my weekend, as soon as Panta is done.

That's KnitPicks Swish for it, I'm sure I mentioned it. I think this is going to be a lovely sweater, I need to learn to knit faster so I can have it.

Sadly, my mom left before I got my other purchase in the mail. It arrived yesterday and it's everything I heard it would be. I give you Malabrigo!

I got this from YarnCountry and used a $10 certificate from Google for most of it. I splurged a bit and got a second hank so the total came to $15. And it arrived superfast too - ordered on Friday, got it on Monday.

Ah, Malabrigo. I don't know what I'm going to do with you, but I want to just pet you all the time. It's my favourite colour (it's the Verde Adriana colourway) and I think it'll be a scarf at some point.

And a p0rny close up
So I don't think I did too badly on my splurge, it could have been a lot worse. I wish I got pictures of my moms too - she got some other gorgeous yarn. Plus I had such a lovely time with my mom visiting - had dinner & just sat around and knitted for the rest of the night. I can't wait until she visits again...although it is a danger to my wallet!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

How did this happen?

I had a very nice weekend with my mom & grandmother. But I made a stunning realization.

I know more about knitting than my mom & grandmother.

I feel really odd saying that. And a little...guilty for some reason. These are women who have been knitting for over 40 years (in my grandmother's case, more than 60 years!) and I'm still a newbie at 5. I'm not saying I'm a better knitter, just more knowledgeable about construction & technique. Maybe it's a bit much saying I know more about knitting, but there was a couple of interesting comments made.

Case #1: We're sitting watching The DaVinci Code (eh.) with CoffeeBoy & I decide to make some booties/socks for my niece.
"What are you making?" my mother asks
"Oh, I have so much of this pink yarn I won't use for anything I thought I'd make some booties for Baby M. to go with her hat."
during the movie, I finish one and get up to go to the bathroom. As I come back, I hear my mom & grandmother talking.
"What's that?" my grandmother ask.
"It's a sock that Stacey just made."
"Oh what pattern did she use?"
I come back into the room. "Stace, what pattern did you use? It's really cute." my mom asks.
"Oh just a typical sock pattern, I just modified it for a baby."
"Just from memory?" My grandmother is surprised.
"Oh, yeah, it's a pretty easy construction."
"Wow. " My mom looks at it again. "I can't believe you remember these things. I've always find that socks are really difficult"

Am I weird? I guess I just "get" how socks are made. I was always under the impression that they were easy, they made sense.

I finished the other sock after they went to bed - CB & I stayed up to watch The Colbert Report (with Bill O'Reilly - I don't always love Stephen Colbert - my love is saved for Jon Stewart - but I do love how he can get little zingers in at O'Reilly while never breaking character). I left both of the booties out and the next day, my mom went on & on how impressed both of them were with the fact I could knit without a pattern, something that they couldn't do.

Case #2 The next night, CB back to Portland & we all watched Batman Begins (yes, we're a bit boring with the movie watching - I love that movie though) I decide to now make thumbless mittens for Baby M (inspired by a recent post by Subway Knitter) My mom takes out her knitting - this gorgeous bamboo yarn (I can't remember the name, sorry, but I am in love with it - silky smooth & soft) she's making into a scarf. It has an interesting construction - garter with one colour, stockinette with the other - the pattern was in a fall knitting magazine - maybe Knit It or something, not one I ususally pick up. In any case, she shows it to me.
"I hate that the yellow curls on the sides, it's really annoying."
"Oh?" I look at it. "Well, stockinette curls on the edges." I show her my rolled brim hat. "See? That's why it's rolling"
"Oh, maybe I can block it out...?"
"Maybe...I usually keep the edge in garter though, that would help."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, I just knit the first & last stitch of every row, even on the purl side."
She studies her scarf again. And then starts frogging like 40 inches of knitting! Eek!
"Well, I don't really like it, so I'm going to redo it."
"You know what you're talking about, so I'm going to listen to you, not this pattern."

And yes, it did work, so we're all happy. But it just feels...odd that I would know something (to me) simple like that & my mother wouldn't.

But I guess that's my mindset - when I become interested in something, I read & study everything about it, live & breath it for awhile before the next big obsession (to be honest, the knitting one has been going on for quite awhile now, previous obsessions have been films, women's studies, politics, food, psychology, history, painting...the list goes on.). Discovering the knitting blog world has fueled the obsession as well - do you see my bloglines list? I read them all, and 98% of them are knitting. And I'm constantly on the Knitty or get stitchy boards, learning new things, getting ideas, finding new yarn to become obsessed with.

That is the reason I know so much about thank you.

It still feels really weird.

Stay tuned for new yarn purchases...when I fall of the wagon, I fall off in a big way. But I couldn't pass up a big Cascade 220 sale...enough yarn for a sweater for a mere $15!

But first, a picture of one my mom's cute kitties.This is Jafar. (My mom & my sister are big at naming animals after Disney mom's other cat is Mulan, my sister has had cats names Timon & Tigger, a bunny named Belle and a iguana named Hugo - after one of the gargoyles in Hunchback.) Jafar is big fat baby, so sweet & cute & loving. Nothing like his namesake. His most annoying habit is running into the bathroom with you so you'll turn the water on in the sink for him. If he does not manage to get into the bathroom with you, he will scratch at the door until you open it again. I love him to death though.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

House of Snow & Frog

Still have snow, still stuck at home. Not that it's a bad thing (yah, knitting!) but I'm feeling a bit restless. On other days when I'm at home, I have the option of leaving but with the all the snow on the ground & not really any appropriate footwear - for the rain, yes, but not walking through several inches of snow on the road - I'm pretty much stuck here. I live on a small side street that no snow plow will drive down. I can't even get my garbage picked up this week! Ah well.

My restlessness is also affecting my knitting...I don't feel like working on anything I have started. The scarf for a friend is my travel project, I'm unhappy with the socks I have currently (Jaywalkers I think are going to be too small, the Coffeehouse socks are just annoying me), I'm not in the mood to start Green Gable, I need to wait until Friday to start Wicked (to buy the pattern), I'm tired of facecloths. Argh. Whine whine whine.

So I decided to do some frogging. Thus this:

Became this:

I'm still in love with this yarn, it's the SWTC Pheonix that I bought almost a year ago,but I didn't like how it knitted up. It just wasn't the right pattern for the yarn...I can't put my finger on it. I think I would have run out of yarn anyway. So bye-bye. I started knitting a shrug out of it - I'm using the top part of the Tubey because I love how that fits - I just don't want to add the tube part. I need a new shrug (well, need it a bit of an exageration, I really want one) because it's very chilly in the store and my Leaf Shrug doesn't have long enough sleeves so it looks very silly over a long sleeved shirt - I wear it, but I need something more. So this should work. And here's a nice close-up of the yummy yarn - it's actually a much deeper royal blue. I started the SoyShurg today.

I also have a FO, something I worked on yesterday:
I'm really going crazy here...


Started: January 16th
Completed: January 16th
Pattern: just a simple rolled brim hat
Yarn: Patons Soy Wool Stripes in brown - most of a skein
Needles: Size 8 16inch circ, size 8 dpts
Notes: I've forgotten how lovely and simple a rolled brim hat is too make, just very relaxing kniting round & round for awhile (not too long) then it turns into a sweet little hat. I realized it when I made the adorable hats for my nephews so I just had to make one for myself. And I love the SWS yarn, I think it's a perfect yarn for a simple hat - it makes lovely stripes & doesn't itch (much) when I wear it. I only wish I had made it a bit longer - it's about 10 inches and it would probably fit over my ears a bit better but it's not a big deal.

I will say that I'm doing very well on my stash busting - I haven't bought anything & I've got major projects (SoyShrug, Wicked, Green Gable) using only stash yarns - Pheonix, Swish, Cotton Fleece.

I'm still getting the itch to buy some yarn though...especially with $10 credit from Google. Could Malabrigo be mine?

Headed to my mom's for a couple of days...I hope everyone is safe & warm somewhere!

Sexy Knitting!

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