If you're not knitting, the terrorists win

(My mostly on-topic ramblings about knitting. And life in general. My life in specific.)

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Location: Indiana, United States

I'm a middle aged mother of 2 grown children and wife to a man who doesn't seem to mind my almost heroin-like yarn addiction. I spend my time writing, knitting, and generally stressing out.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween to you! As you all know, Halloween is my second favorite holiday, behind Christmas. Here's the Patwoman Holiday Scale, in case you were wondering:

Valentine's Day
Mother's Day
Father's Day
St. Pat's Day (I know. You'd think this would rank higher.)
April Fool's Day
New Year's Day
Independence Day
Memorial Day
Labor Day
President's Day
Columbus Day
(The ranking is, for the most part, based on whether there are special colors, foods, and traditions involved.)

We did the Gamerz Annual Zombie Walk For brains Hunger at Gamerz again. Great turnout. We collected 11 boxes of packaged food for local food pantries. And we got to shamble in and out of our neighboring businesses (with a police escort!) dressed as zombies. You can't get cooler than that.

Sadly, since I was on the tail end of the Ebola Virus, I was not able to walk with the zombies and instead had to hold the fort for the benefit of the customers. But I felt bad enough to actually be a zombie, so that was okay.

Monday, October 17, 2011

What Is It Will Not Be Seen Tonight

So that we can bring you this special presenation...

Remember when we were talking about chicken sweaters? Remember how cute that was? Well, today I saw a post on the Rav forums about penguin sweaters. Penguin sweaters!

So yeah, okay. I understand that pengies are birds and they get damaged from oil spills and that's why they need the sweaters. This really is a serious thing, folks. I can't tell you how terrible I feel for the poor birds who are being poisoned in their own habitat. Makes me sick.

I clicked over to the linked article to find out exactly what was going on with these penguins and what to do to help. And, if you want to read about it too, here is the link. (It says Spring because it's Spring in NZ, btw.) There is a pattern for a penguin sweater and an address to send it to. But, the penguin in that pic is a stuffed pengie. So I contacted my good friend, Professor Google.

And oh. My. God. I almost lost my effing mind, they're so cute.

Again, I'm not trying to be flip about such a serious thing, but please let penguins wear sweaters all the time!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sometimes, You've Just Gotta...

...power through all the reasons you have for not starting a hat and just start it, you know. And that's what I did.

I got my new, softer, bluer yarn. I worked out my whole needle guage thing. And I cast on. I have to say, it's looking very nice, indeed.

I used #4 straights to cast on. Used my "trick" to work about an inch on the straight needles. I like this ribbing in the smaller needle. Looks very nice. It's not twisted there, or ruffly. It just looks that way because there are 100 stitches on this needle.

Then, I thought about going to DPNs. Gabgab loves DPNs. But I prefer to use circulars, if I can. I just think they go much faster and the stitches are much smoother. You sock knitters may disagree, but that's my opinion. So I switched all these stitches onto the circular #6s (which are really 6s, because I have no idea where the package for these are, so I just poked them into the guager and it said they were 6s.)

I know you can't really see the color (dark navy) or how awesomely even and pretty my stitches are (you'd be jealous, you really would), but here is the progress on the special hat. My male model, Alpha, is wearing it for now. Lookin' good, Alpha Male.
Wait 'til you see what I do with this hat. Stay tuned.

Friday, October 14, 2011

I Love Yarn Day

Like I needed an excuse! Ha!

When I told T about this sacred holiday he smirked, "Sounds like a made up holiday to me." Blasphemer!

But seriously, I have no idea what you're supposed to do on I Love Yarn Day. I'm not sure how one could celebrate Yarnlove more or differently than I do every day.

Yeah, I keep the faith.

But, you know, I'm game. So I thought, let's celebrate this bitch. And I went to the LYS. My LYS is Starstruck Cat Studio, btw. There are others, but this is closest and Jill is super nice.

Anyway, it seemed like a good excuse opportunity to buy some nice dark navy blue wool, so I did. Beautiful Cascade Superwash for my super-special hat. No more putting it off.

T, good sport that he is, was perfectly willing to help me celebrate further. There was some Cascade Jewels on display by the register that I was looking at (and touching. You know I always look with my fingers, too.) and he was like, "Let's get that, too."

But, as much as I would like to take advantage of that, I had to decline. Not because I don't want more yarn or that I can't take any more yarn celebration, but because I was afraid that I might not cast on for the hat if I had the Jewels.

Sad but true.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Is It Me?

Or are DPNs a slightly different size than straight needles?

I was getting ready to Cast On for a special hat and you know how I hate to cast on to DPNs... Okay, maybe hate is too strong of a verb. It's more like, I find it mildly annoying to cast on to DPNs.

My trick, btw, is to cast on to a straight needle, knit two rows, and then switch to DPNs and continue in the round. Then you just seam those two stitches at the end of things. Okay, so you have to seam a bit, which does kind of defeat the purpose of working on DPNs in the first place. But it is only a couple of stitches, so I guess it comes down to what will annoy you more... seaming two stitches and weaving in the ends? Or trying to think up new and original swear words when one, two, or five stitches fall off the ends of your DPNs?

So, since I've lately exhausted my repertoire of clever and creative swear words (hey, there's been a lot of road construction going on in downtown Indy right now) I prefer to cast on to the straights.

I also like to do the ribbing on a hat in a needle size smaller than the rest of the hat. I don't know what it is--switching the yarn from front to back, maybe?--but the ribbing stitches all seem larger than the regular knit stitches, even if you are using the same size needle. So since I will be knitting the hat with #6s, I will go down to a #5 on the ribbing.

But, look at this. My #6 DPN

And my #5 straight


And, in addition to all of that... I don't think this yarn is very soft. I need to get some different yarn. Something that will be softer. And darker.

Am I just psyching myself out about this hat?

Saturday, October 08, 2011


Do you ever feel like you just have so much to do and so little time to do it in? How about, so many ideas and only one of you to work on them? Sometimes I wish I had a clone.

Think about it... Two Patwomans. (Patwomen?) What could be better than that? Besides the obvious three or four or infinity Patwomans, of course.

Anyway. Here it is, October again. And, although I've started on my Christmas Knitting--and completed a few things, mind you--I'm not exactly sure where I'm at in the timeline. I mean, I know what I've knitted and what I haven't knitted. But I'm struggling with "Hey, didn't I already buy the yarn for that? Where did I put it?" And "Hey, where's the pattern for this?" And "Do I only have one pair of #5 needles?"

I don't. I have about 3 million pairs. But they have all fallen into the same black hole, apparently, that all my socks have fallen into.

I'm thinking I need to set aside some time, gather all the patterns, yarn, and associated needles I need for each project and then put them together.

But that kinda sounds like a lot of work. If there were only two of me...

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Happy (Work) Anniversary To Me!

Today I celebrated 5 years with the company. Technically, I guess the 1st was my anniversary. Do you remember when I was looking for a job, close to the beginning of this blog? (I started working about 6 months before that, but was not a FTE until October 1.)

Anyway, those are all technicalities. What matters is that it was a really nice day. My manager, my district manager, and the manager of the office I am physically located in and I all went to lunch at McCormick and Schmick.

Posh. And look at this menu:

I was also treated to delicious brownies

And received this lovely gift.

And check it out. Is that not completely awesome? I love it! I put it on the living room table so I can look at it when I'm working on the laptop. It's very conducive to writing, I've found.

On those occasions when I struggle for the words, my gaze goes to the crystal ball and I space out a little bit--in a totally good and not at all weird way--until I know where I'm going with that particular scene.

T's been calling it The Eye of Sauron (because we're both nerds and that made me laugh), but I figure, if Sauron wants to try and Incept me, he's welcome to try. He'll get caught inside the cobwebs of my head.

And then, where will he be? That's right. Caught in cobwebs. And I'll be staring at my crystal ball, thinking up wonderful words to write.

Monday, October 03, 2011

What Is It?

You might well ask that. Well, it's not lopsided, although this crappy picture makes it seem like it is. And it's not pink (crappy picture, remember?). It is a little wrinkled, from being in the Land That Time Forgot To Be Finished Pile for so long.

And that's the problem with this. It's been in this not-finished state of limbo for too long. Look at it. It's fine. It's a great burgundy color. It's super soft. It's fitted and shaped. It's almost finished (needs one side seam, and some ribbing on one shoulder and around the neck).

But I started this for M so long ago... She is several years older than she was when I started. And she is, er, more of a woman than the girl that I was knitting this for. So this thing... won't work any more.

What is it? It's too small. That's what it is.

And it is the newest resident of the Why Is This Pile The Biggest Pile In My Knitting Room? To Be Frogged Pile.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

The Doctor Knits

Imagine my delight when watching the season ender of Doctor Who...
I've heard all these horror stories about how the BBC gets all hinky with people knitting Doctor Who-themed items, or creating patterns for Adipose or Ood, or whatever. But then, they put something like this in the show and I just have to think they know.

They know that all us knitting fangirls out there all bust our fingers cranking out a new scarf like The Doctor's (even if it's only on screen for a few seconds in one Christmas Special) or fingerless gloves or a sweater worn by one of The Doctor's companions. So you know they know we just go squee! when we see something like this.

Personally, I think it's likely the Doctor Knits himself. I mean, really. He's been around for over 900 years. Plus he has a time machine and no job, so he has pretty much an unlimited amount of free time. Is it likely there's anything he hasn't at least tried?

It is nice, though, when the writer/director/set designer/actor (whoever said "and The Doctor will be sitting there, reading Knitting For Girls") throws an obvious nod to the fans. Pretty cool.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Graph Mania

I never really like making knitting graphs. I mean, sometimes you just can't avoid it. Sometimes, it's really the only way to get what you want out of the yarn. But I just don't find that part of the process fun.

Maybe because I always forget--is it that knit stitches are wider than they are tall, or taller than they are wide? I'll tell you something for free: it makes a difference.

Anyway, given that I dislike graphing so much, is it strange that more than half of the knitting I do for Christmas will involve graphing? And not just that. I will be creating the graphs myself. Why do I do that?

Oh yes, it's because it's so much fun to see the "picture" appear as you knit it. That's always a magical moment. Particularly when you are knitting words.

When I did M's Police Line Scarf last year, it was always fun to challenge myself to knit to the E or knit to the NOT. And the EXTERMINATE Scarf for R? Let me tell you, if I had a dollar for every time I knit EXTERMININATE...

Still, I'm very excited about this year's projects. They are all designed specifically for their recipients. Well, designed, in that I will be graphing all this out eventually. Right now I'm starting on the 2nd graphing project.

This is the hard part.

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