March 2008

The TooBoo crew went to see Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, aka “The Yarn Harlot“, speak a while ago and she handed out yarn and needles to make squares for Warm Up America! (I’d like to help on their Web site, I tried to spare you from the hideous intro page) while she spoke. Kate and I didn’t use that yarn for the intended purpose, but months later, we finally got our act together and sent the yarn squares that have been languishing in our dresser to Warm Up America! I unpacked them to get one final shot for the blog (complete with grazing kittens) and then had to pay for Priority mail because the post office guy said I had insufficient tape. meh.


Celebrate St. Patrick’s day in style by hooking yourself up a tiny Shamrock embellishment:

Shamrock / Clover

This works well on hats, as a sweet sweater pin, or sewed onto a simple greeting card (extra postage required?). I’m sure you can think of many other entertaining ways to use these. Shamrock earrings anyone? Er, no thanks.

For tutorial click on link: (more…)

Wait, was that the question?

It depends. If I have some movies from my ghetto Netflix queue (a.k.a. The Library) I tend to watch those. They pretty much have to be English-language though; subtitles are a problem because I find myself looking up and down constantly and making stupid mistakes. Yesterday I watched La Vie En Rose, and I can’t help but wonder if my inability to be impressed with it had less to do with the non-linear story arc and underdeveloped characters than with the irritation I experienced trying to untangle my Manos.

Wasn’t that also the movie that made Kate say she was going to stop, er… tying one on?

Recently I re-watched the entire Twin Peaks series. I completed exactly one pair of socks. I was much more prolific during the first viewing, when I knit a big throw. This time I was kind of shocked by the last episode all over again because I didn’t really remember what happened. Again, maybe knitting getting in the way of full comprehension.

I also like to listen to podcasts sometimes, usually NPR, This American Life, or the Savage Lovecast. My boyfriend got me listening to the Dr. Joy Brown Show, which if you don’t know is a radio call-in advice show hosted by a no-nonsense kind of therapist lady. He listens to her before bed because it is calming and helps him sleep. I hope that he would not be too embarrassed that I tell the world (ok like four of my knitting friends) this.

And musically I have been rocking out to a new old ‘lab I found, as well as Suburban Kids with Biblical Names.

I would tag Sabre, but I don’t know if she actually reads this blog.

Cassandra tagged me with the “listening while knitting” meme last post. I think that for me it applies more to “listening while cooking or baking.” Most of my multitasking energy from knitting goes to fending off the yarn-crazed cat. Like Cassandra, I like to knit while watching dvd’s. This weekend, I locked the cat out of the room and worked on my Vogue knit.101 airplane pillow while watching “Shoot ‘Em Up.” I know, I know, strange combo, but it worked well because I was able to pause while I looked up ssk on youtube. Watching the knit witch’s tutorial helped me make the cognitive leap of how to do this elusive (for me) stitch. Cassandra had patiently explained it to me already, but I just kept resisting. I’m forced to employ a sappy simile here: yarn, like life, tightens up and resists when you try to take it in the wrong direction, and only by easing up does everything fall into place. “Shoot ‘Em Up” also had a knitting moment where Clive Owen takes his knitted sock and places it on a newborn’s head, but otherwise, yep, completely unrelated.

For “listening while cooking or baking,” it’s usually whatever’s on my running mix. Here’s a pic of a recent cupcake experiment, VeganYumYum’s marzipan knitting.

Okay, Lauren. You’re tagged now. Let’s see what you’re working on.


Fingerless Gloves Bind one off: They’re the easiest fingerless gloves in the universe- a tube (I used double-pointed size 5 needles- 2 knit, 2 perl & cast on 16 stitches on each of 3 needles with cotton yarn that seemed a tad thicker than embroidery yarn). Then I sewed a few stitches at the top to make a thumb space, and they’re done! It’s as easy as the “tube with a hole” fingerless gloves project. A friend from work inspired this project- she was wearing a pair of gloves made just this way– and I couldn’t believe how great they looked, with such a crazy easy pattern.

Tie one on: Last weekend at the Museum of Art and Design we saw Cheers! A MAD collection of goblets. I love how there are so many glasses to match every different kind of beverage, and that there’s a reason for each design– the flat wide rim of margarita glasses that perfectly displays and distributes salt for every sip, and then the shot glass and espresso cup, both of which deliver the perfect little mouthful of delight, one warm and the other cold, one with a handle and saucer, the other without, both of which are sometimes accompanied by whipped cream.

At knitting circle (we’re old skool), this week someone thought it would be fun to discuss what we listen to while knitting. So here’s my list:

At Home: DVD boxed sets. I just finished up 5 seasons of Joss Whedon’s Angel and I’m now on Season 2 of Veronica Mars girl detective.

Subways: The tinny sound of hip hop coming out of the crappy Apple headphones of the dude sitting next to me. People complaining and shoving to get into the train car “cause there’s room…over there!!” someone begging for a handout.

In Bars: bad karaoke mostly 90’s tunes and off color comments generally of a sexual nature.

Well, that’s my knitting soundtrack. Were you asking for a song list or does this suffice? I don’t listen to music on headphones. The train is too loud to hear it even with the in-ear headphones. I don’t want to damage my hearing. Plus I hate being so disconnected from my surroundings (even if they include some unpleasant things).

So who’s next? Jenny! Tag. You’re it.

PS The apron is done (although needs ironing):


However, dude bailed on his birthday fun (he was sick) so I can redo some of these wonky lines. It’s so fun being a perfectionist!!!

If you know the littlest bit about me, and have relatively beginner googling skills, I’m as easy to find as our cat when he’s pretending to stalk yarn like an invisible ninja. Our cat is a way overweight, barrel-chested, big-boned cat, who’s the opposite of invisible (also, the opposite of stealth ninja as he always lands with a loud thud). And I am very easy to find on the Internet.

On Friday evening I was working on blue/purple fingerless gloves (well, tubes with a finger holder sewn in, but the details of that project is a whole other story) with size 5 double-pointed needles, on the downtown 4 train. The woman sitting next to me on the train was staring at me. She noticed when I sat down (I walked onto the train holding my knitting because I was working on the platform).

The conversation went:

Her: You’re knitting.
Me: Yep.
Her: What are you making? Is that a sock?
Me: Nope.
Her: It looks like a sock. Is it a sleeve?
Me: Nope.
Her: What is it then?
Me (I don’t like to talk to strangers on the train because I’ve spent too long working with the public to not know they’re all crazy): fingerless gloves.
Her: Oh wow!! I think it looks like a sock. Where do you work? You got on at [if you really want to know, just google me] are you a student there? [nice ploy to butter me up, but I know I’m 10 years older than the average undergrad]
Me: No. I’m faculty- a librarian.
Her: I’m a guidance counselor at [some junior high school I hadn’t heard of]. I run a knitting and crochet group there. My name is [and she gives me her full name].
Me: Oh. That’s nice. I’m Kate. [I always forget how much the Internet will tell someone with just a first name and place of employment].
Her: Why are you using so many needles? How many needles is that?
Me: Three
Her: It looks like four to me. I see four needles.
Me: The fourth one just moves the yarn from needle to needle.
Her: So, you’re using four needles.
Me: I’m knitting on three needles.
Her: Well, I see four, and that looks really complicated. Will you come to my school and present for my students’ knitting group?
Me: Umm.. I don’t usually do that…
Her: The kids would LOVE it.
Me: Umm… well, my friend works in a public library and goes to schools in your neighborhood doing book talks, and also knits.
Her: GREAT! Can she knit on four needles?
Me: Yes.
Her: Here’s my number!!!

Then she gets off the train and I shake it off, and remember that the public is crazy, even though she’s probably nice enough. Then I tell Jenny about it (yes- I volunteered my wife & tooboo comrade- I hope I don’t get kicked off the blog for that- and for this crazy long post). And then we have the weekend [weekend knitting activities will follow in a separate post] and I totally forget about the friendly guidance counselor.

And then today, I got a VM at work from her! She looked me up and left me a message to try to get me or my friend to visit her knitting junior high group. Weird.