Still Little

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That’s the Little Miss at four weeks old, wearing her Baby Bolero. She’s worn it once – maybe twice – aside from posing for that picture. It was usually too warm, or else she was wearing a warm footed outfit and didn’t need a sweater on top of that. Mostly, the sweater’s been hanging in her room on a decorative hook. And now it’s considerably too small.

K gave me two knitting books for my birthday – four days before the Little Miss was born – and I’ve been working on a sweater for next winter from one of them. Occasionally. Knitting’s taken a bit of a back seat in the last five months around here, although I did spend the week or so before Little Miss was born frantically finishing a pair of cabled baby socks.

Still, I was excited to finally find an invitation to Ravelry in my inbox. Come find me, I’m on there as Plexippa.

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Baby Bolero

Yes, I have been knitting!
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The picture quality is somewhat lacking, I know. I discovered last week that the focus button on my camera has gone missing, and without it I now have a fixed-focus digital camera.

Pattern: Baby Bolero
Source: One Skein, by Leigh Radford
Yarn: Blue Sky Alpacas Organic Cotton, slightly less than one skein
Needles: 8 and 9 Denise Interchangeables
Modifications: Left out the eyelet pattern. Not really a modification, since that’s an option in the pattern.

It’s a cute pattern, but it seemed more complicated than necessary. And I don’t know what happened with my provisional cast-on, but I could not get it to come out without the help of scissors. Effective, but slow going. Also slow going was sewing in the sleeves. Sewing is not my strong point. I seamed the second sleeve before pinning it in place and sewing it in. Looking at the picture, it looks like one sleeve is bigger than the other, which is odd. They’re the same size, really! I even managed to knit both of them at once, working from both ends of the skein on my Denise needles.

My main reaction so far? It’s so little!

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In Memoriam

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Tigra Louise (photo taken October 15, 2004)

April, 1990. After some seven years of asking for a cat, my mother took me to a no-kill shelter outside Chicago. I was 14 years old and knew exactly what I wanted. I wanted a snow white kitten, and I had already picked out a name: Tigra, pronounced TEE-gra. (The Louise part came later.) There was a white cat at the shelter that day. It was lying in the litter pan, looking listless. In the same cage, sitting right up at the front, was a calico kitten with big green eyes. She was eight weeks old. We took her home in a cardboard carrier that she fought getting into by putting all four paws on the edges of the box, cartoon-style.

When she was six months old, the night before my first day of high school, she ran out the front door. I called her name. I shook the box of food. I searched everywhere I could think of. She came home three days later with a gash in her neck. She recovered.

She moved to Florida with my parents and sisters while I went away to college, but she was always my cat. After I graduated, she and I moved into a small Chicago apartment for a year, then she came back downstate with me for grad school. In 2002, she spent most of 6 days in her pink plastic carrier as my mom and I drove a Penske truck to California.

She never really liked having her picture taken. In most of the pictures I have, she’s looking away from the camera.

She got older. She started losing weight, and her kidneys started to fail. We set her up in her own room, away from the dog and the other cat, who didn’t understand why she didn’t want to play. And she got sicker. She got so very thin, about half the weight she was in that picture at the top of the entry. I took her outside for supervised time in the backyard, and I felt my heart break a little each time she stumbled in the grass. On Monday, we took her to the vet for the last time, and we did the only thing we could do to keep her from suffering any more. In the end, she was in my arms.

She was sixteen years and eight months old, and I miss her more than I can say.

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A Jacket!

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Behold! The “Hello” Sweater! Or, as our niece exclaimed when she opened her birthday present, “A jacket!”

It’s a pattern from an old issue of Workbasket magazine. I don’t know which issue, because I got the pattern as a photocopy from a knitting store in Encino. It’s supposed to have the word “Hello” worked in intarsia across the back, but (a) I thought that looked a little silly, and (b) I’ve never done intarsia.

I’d never done a crocheted edge before, either, but there it is. And you know what doing a crocheted edge means? It means more ends to weave in! Just thought I’d mention that.

There were a few issues in the making of this sweater. The original pattern has two colors in the ribbing – the first two rows in one color, the rest of the ribbing in a second color, and then the body of the sweater in the main color. The sample sweater in the store was only worked in two colors – one for the ribbing and edging, and one for the main body. I ended up doing two rows of the contrast color and then switching the main color, rather than doing all the ribbing in the contrast color, for reasons even I can’t explain. Also, on the advice of the nice lady at the store, we bought one skein of the contrast color and two of the main color.

You know what happened next, right?

Of course, I ran out of the main color early in the yoke. Five days before the birthday. We called the shop, and they had 5 skeins of the right color… from a different dye lot. I tried to call around, but I had no luck. We drove out to Encino and took all five skeins out into the sunlight and took the closest match.

It came out pretty close. And the sweater is darn cute on the recipient.

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Deadline Knitting

Work continues on the Seekrit Gift Project. Last night’s festivities including weaving in about 56 yarn tails and sewing seams. It was Part II of the sewing, actually, since I did about half of the weaving and seaming Tuesday night.

At least last night’s fun also included the season premiere of Lost.

Tonight, I attempt to crochet an edging. And buttonholes. Wish me luck.

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On the Metro

from the hills to the chills it’s a quick fall down
it’s a great big city, it’s a real small town

~Jude, “Out of L.A.”

I will talk about some knitting on this knitting blog, eventually. But first, I have to talk about Los Angeles. Specifically, I have to talk about public transit in Los Angeles.

Hey, I can hear you laughing. But L.A. does, in fact, have public transit. It has a subway system called the Metro.

I don’t take the Metro very often. For the most part, it doesn’t actually go where I need to go. But when I need to go downtown, it works just fine.

The last time I took it, I was in such a good mood that I gave a homeless lady my 75 cents change from buying my ticket. Today, I was not in such a good mood. Last night, I found and charged my iPod specifically to make myself less approachable.

It didn’t work.

While I was buying my second ticket of the day, a clearly unwell man crowded me at the machine, and when I didn’t talk to him, he poked me in the arm. I think he was a little surprised when I responded with “Do not touch me.”

Let’s talk about that machine for a moment, and why I needed two tickets.

I’ve taken public transit in several cities. New York. London. Paris. Chicago. In Chicago, I took it a lot, because I lived there for a little over a year. I had a MetroCard, which I regularly stuck into a machine to add money for the next few weeks’ worth of rides. Every time I got on the bus or went through the turnstile for the El, I ran the card through a machine.

The Metro has no turnstiles. It also has no MetroCard or anything similar, which makes sense, since there’s nowhere to scan such a thing. Instead, if you take the Metro regularly, you can purchase monthly passes. If you take the Metro every once in a while, like me, you have to stop at the station and purchase a ticket from a machine. Tickets are $1.25 each way, with a Day Pass costing $3, so you can’t even get a round-trip ticket. If you are caught on the Metro without a valid ticket, it’s a $250 fine.

I have never been asked to show my ticket. And, yet, I buy one every single time I take the Metro. And, more often than not, I get approached while at the ticket machine.

This is a very weird system. And I haven’t even mentioned the part where you can buy tokens elsewhere for slightly less than $1.25 each – tokens that you still have to put in the machine to buy a ticket when you get there.

Still, it’s less frustrating (and less expensive) than driving downtown and parking for the day. And considerably more conducive to knitting.

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Knit a Little

Hey, yeah, remember knitting?

I remember it, too!  I’ve even been doing some of it.  I started working on a sweater for the baby while we were in Alaska, which then got pushed aside when I started working on a Secret Gift-Type Project.  And those Retro Rib Socks are still in my bag, waiting for me to work on them now that I have a second set of the needles.

Maybe for my next entry, I’ll even have pictures.

In the meantime, let’s go look at some pretty pictures in the new Knitty, shall we?

Let us start with Sherwood, which is so darn cute.  And then let us contemplate Serrano, which is lovely.  And, really, lacy cardigans might just be one of the few practical knitting items here in sunny Southern California.  And Diamante intrigues me with its promise of a heel turn that doesn’t result in a hole in the knitting.

There we go, three new projects to ponder until I manage to get some actual pictures of actual knitting progress up here.

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No Fair!

Okay, so I haven’t been to the WeHo SnB for a while. A few weeks. Or maybe months. I meant to, I really did, but I’ve been, you know, busy. We went on vacation. Summer is the busiest time for those of us in Youth Services at the public library. I was nauseated and hot and really, really tired, and driving over the hill just didn’t appeal at all.

Still.

Somebody could have told me about the Fabulous Fiber Fest!

I can’t believe I missed it. Again. I missed it last year, what with the getting married and the moving house and such. And the year before that, when I wasn’t getting married (yet), but I was moving house. (This is the first summer since I moved here that I haven’t been moving house. It’s wonderful. And it means I really should unpack that box still sitting in my home office, which is soon to become a shared home office.)

Okay, people. Next year, do not let me miss this. Okay?

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Busy Like A… Busy Thing

Two months. Yikes.

In my defense, I have been busy. No, not busy knitting. Busy working on this:
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I know, it’s a little fuzzy. But it’s a baby, I swear. See, there’s the head, and the ribs, and an arm, and a leg. Really.

We also went on our Big Alaska Adventure, and I’ve been working. What I haven’t been doing is knitting, hence the big silence around here.

It seems silly to complain about the heat when the rest of the country seems to be having triple-digit temperatures, too, but, really, it’s hot. How am I supposed to knit when it’s hot?

Excuse me, I think the baby needs a Slushee.

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