It’s time for a rant.  I know, there haven’t been many lately.  Guess I’ve just been too complacent about things.  But you know we are always looking at new houses (whether on the internet or in person), and lately I’ve narrowed the search to only include properties of 5 acres or more.  I can’t stand this tiny little yard.  So, in the last few weeks I’ve found plenty of nice houses that are affordable and on 5+ acre lots.  Most of these lots are long, skinny parcels of land.  What I don’t understand, what I never WILL understand, is when you look at an area that has, let’s say, ten long skinny properties side-by-side:  why are all the houses right up at the road, within a stone’s throw of each other, with these long tracts of land extending back behind them?  It seems to me the whole point of having 5+ acres is to get some privacy from other homes.  Right?  At least, that’s why we are looking for such large lots.  Yet on the lots around here, which you can easily look at via Bing Maps’ bird’s-eye view, all the houses are clustered near each other, up near the road, with long skinny plots of land sticking out the back.  That’s not the kind of place we’re looking for.  The only reason I can guess is that it’s cheaper to hook up things like electric/water/etc. when you don’t have to go so far back from the main road…but if that prohibits a sale of the property (because nobody wants to live that close to a neighbor) then I really don’t see that the economy is worth it.

OK, rant over, let me know if you have any other ideas about why this might be the case.

Gimme, gimme, gimme

If anyone’s been looking at my Amazon wish list, you may have noticed some crazy-expensive stuff on there.  Mostly this is just placeholders for me – I don’t expect anyone to buy this stuff.  But also, Amazon is running a contest…by listing Wish List items from non-Amazon sites, I have been gaining entries into a sweepstakes.  So I will keep putting ridiculous stuff on the wish list, and y’all can keep ignoring it.

Processing Things

After writing that last post, getting feedback from Mom and Chris and Alex…and letting the whole thing settle in my head for a day or two, I realized that I really did not want to put those two yarns together.  Instead, I am knitting a lacy tee with the blue sparkle stuff (to wear on Xmas) and ordered some red Mushishi to go with the olive stuff and make the pictured pullover.  It really makes a lot more sense to let thoughts settle than to impulsively start something.

A Corel Painter X Production
An imaginary galaxy I created with Corel Painter X

Opinions Sought

Hello everyone!  Anyone feel like giving me an opinion?  Hahahaha…of course you do!

In my last post I talked about the beautiful yarn Mom had dyed for me.  The navy with silver has been making me think of a very starry sky, and for about a year I’ve been trying to come up with a design that would evoke a garden at night.  So I felt like having this navy yarn was halfway there.  I don’t want to do an entire sweater with the Sterling; all that sparkle will make me look like Liberace.  So for a week or so, I’ve been meandering around websites and local yarn shops trying to come up with a yarn, or combo of yarns, that would evoke the garden, if I used the Sterling to evoke the night sky.

Today during a run to Ben Franklin (for ribbons for my Halloween costume), I spotted Mushishi – a Plymouth yarn that I’ve been eying for a while without quite knowing what to do with it.  Lucky me, there is a colorway that is dark grey-greens and variations thereon (some dark green, some dark grey, some flecks of white).  Quite believable as a “garden in the dark” kind of thing.

After swatching the two together, I worry that the white flecks in the Mushishi are going to make the overall look too busy (combining those white flecks with the silver flecks in the Sterling).  Here are some pictures.  Tell me if you think these two yarns together are going to look crazy or not.  I have included a picture with part of the rest of the Mushishi, because it does color-change throughout the ball, but you can’t see that on the swatch.

Sterling and Mushishi
I blurred the swatch so you will see it as if from a slight distance.


The skeins plus the swatch.

Looking at finished projects on Ravelry, some people appear to have had dark pink in their Mushishi skeins, but I just wound one off into a ball and didn’t notice anything but grey, green, variations thereon, and white flecks.

What do you think?  Can I use these two yarns together, or is it too busy?  Email me or post a comment!  Thanks.

Here is the pattern I plan to modify.  Mushishi for the grey, Sterling for the black.

Vogue Knitting's Boxy Cardigan, Winter 2009

I hate knitting machines

After a bit of effort I was able to get my old Studio SK-105 working, but not happily, so I bought a used Passap from a local lady and sold the Studio.  (The new owner is beginning to work with it this week.)  And the Passap is giving me just as much trouble as the Studio did!  I spent some time swatching last week and had frequent carriage jams – Ravelry Passapers told me this yarn (a LACEWEIGHT SILK, very firm and fine) was too thick for the machine to handle.  So I whomped in a remainder ball of Filatura di Crosa Superior – best yarn ever – and tried to do a scarf.  The first part – brown, knit with the remainder ball – went quite nicely.  When I ran out, I bought more, in cream, olive and tan.  The cream yarn jammed the machine, so I removed the knitting from the machine and stomped away in frustration.

Today I got back on the horse and tried again.  I started with the olive Superior, the intention being to randomly stripe it up and then graft it together with the brown/cream piece from the other day.  The olive knit up nicely.  I switched to the remainder ball of the cream, and other than needing to fiddle with the tension, it knit up nicely.  The tan knit up nicely.  My awful grafting skills left a little to be desired but I successfully made a scarf today, which is a bit “homemade-looking” with the junky grafted seam and so on.  But by the time I’d finished the knitting, I had high hopes of the Passap.

Passap-Knit Superior Scarf
Not Suitable for Competition!

So I started another one.  This was going to be a scarf knit with remnants of laceweight cashmeres and silks that I’ve used in other projects.  I cast on with purple and knit until it ran out.  Looked fine.  Tried to join in some turquoise silk, and it jammed!  As with the Superior, I removed this part of the scarf from the machine and started another piece.  What the heck, my grafting skills can always use practice, right?  Well, I started with a different turquoise and it went well.  When I ran out, I joined in a skein of the SAME CASHMERE, a deeper purple that Mom had dyed for me recently.  This seemed to be going well, too…until I looked at the knit piece and noticed dropped edge stitches, ‘blobs’ where several stitches apparently got knitted into one (causing a pucker or half-bobble), and broken yarns!  AUGH.  I gave up again and made sure the Passap is listed for sale in my Ravelry trade stash.  I simply do not feel the trade-off (of timesaving machine-knitting, versus careful and high-quality hand-knitting) is worth it.

So, now I’m at yarn’s end, with no projects on the needles and no idea what to knit next.  I have all that beautiful Sterling Silk & Silver that Mom dyed for the store…hmm…