Trouble with Trebles

This blog is to keep track of my knitting, other craft projects, and the weird bits of life that don't fit anywhere else.

Friday, April 27, 2007


"College isn't the place to go for ideas." - Helen Keller

I made the typical rookie mistake with my first sweater, buying exactly as much yarn as the pattern required. Of course I ran out of yarn partway through the last sleeve, the yarn shop where I had purchased it had gone out of business, and I ended up scouring the web looking for just a couple more balls in the right color.

I learned my lesson, and now always buy a couple extra skeins, just in case. This sometimes leaves me with a couple extra skeins at the end of a project. It's always difficult to decide what to do with those last two skeins of soft, lovely yarn. While others seem to have found the perfect use for their leftovers, I appear to be collecting an ever-growing collection of odds and ends.

I also admit that I obsess have concerns about wasting anything. I blame my cheapness frugality at least partly on growing up poor. Just the other day my mother said that being poor forces a person to be more creative. It's hard to argue with a woman who made me a desk from scrap wood, a huge old drawer, and a leftover piece of laminate from the kitchen counter. Many people laughed at my desk (you know who you are), but it was functional and sturdy as could be. I've been told that my brother added a few extra embellishments and is still using that desk 20 years later. Yep, apparently my entire family is cheap.

After a recent FO, I still have a couple skeins left of soft, fuzzy burgundy yarn. Rather than creating my own pattern, however, I figured I could take advantage of the creativity of others and find the perfect pattern. Recently I was also reminded that even in southern California stylish outerwear is necessary at times. So, I am going to jump on the bandwagon and make Le Slouch designed by Knit and Tonic's Wendy. After seeing the one Crafty Canadian made, I just have to have one for myself!


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

What To Do

"Life would wonderful if we only knew what to do with it." - Greta Garbo

Although my schedule isn't nearly as busy as Professor Knitwit's, the end of the semester is fast approaching and along with it I have a acquired a huge pile of grading. I also need to prep my last few lectures and assignments, and get all my final exams ready for copying. The good news is that I'm close to having survived my first year as faculty! To celebrate, I am attending a conference in Florida in mid-May, where I will get to hang out with colleagues and spend the week with my good friend C, who is also completing her first year as faculty. We will definitely be celebrating with a few margaritas!

In spite of the craziness, I was able to get some knitting done this past couple weeks. Good thing, too, because I really need to get this baby gift sent!

Yarn: Bernat Baby Coordinates in Soft Turquoise (75% acrylic, 22% acetate, 3% nylon)
Pattern: umbilical cord hat from Stitch 'n Bitch: The Knitter's Handbook
Changes: I used dpns for the whole thing and left off the umbilical cord
Yardage: not very much, maybe 50 yards?
Needles: US size 7 dpns
Start/End Date: Started on April 5, 2007 and finished on April 19, 2007
Notes: I had a hard time finding size 7-16 inch circulars, so used the dpns instead. My lack of skill with the dpns would be fairly obvious to a knitter, since there is some laddering and one place where I messed up (some stitches fell off in my bag and I think I picked them up incorrectly) leaving a small gap. Thankfully the recipients are not knitters. :)

Just a warning to others, this yarn creates a very open knitted fabric, which I'm not crazy about. This could be partly due to my rather loose knitting, but I think the quality of the yarn also contributes. If I were to make another hat from this yarn I would probaby go down a needle size or two. It should still work as a nice spring/summer hat, though. On the other hand, the yarn is definitely quite a bargain. I've made about 4 hats (3 crochet, 1 knit) and I have plenty of yarn left for some booties, all for about $4.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Comfortable Shoes

There is a quote from the tv show "Cheers" in which Cliff Clavin (John Ratzenberger) says that the key to all the great thinkers is comfortable shoes. He even has examples: Socrates, sandles; Einstein, a comfortable loafer. It's hard to argue with that kind of logic. Last week was a bad foot week for me. Two days I managed to wear footwear that gave me blisters. This past weekend in frustration I bought three new pairs of comfortable shoes. I feel that even after a few days with my new shoes my thoughts are actually sharper. I sense a new brilliant theory is just around the corner! If only I could afford a pedicure I'm sure I could figure out cold fusion! OK, perhaps I exaggerate somewhat, but my feet really do feel better.

You know what else make me feel better? Chocolate. Since moving to California I have discovered the wonder of See's chocolates. Below you can see my Easter loot, which includes a nice big box of See's dark chocolate mix. Even though it wasn't delivered by an abnormally large rabbit that inexplicably clucks and lays eggs, it was quite a good haul. As you can see, I also got some peeps. Admittedly, they really don't taste all that good and they leave your tongue yellow for several days, but it just isn't Easter without them, you know? But really, all this showing of Easter goodies was just an excuse to make my newest baby blanket look more exciting.

Yes, it's yet another Seija blanket from The Happy Hooker (I really cannot recommend this book enough, even if you only crochet a little). This time, I've gone for a dark teal, mint green, and white. I've been feeling in a minty mood lately, as you may have noticed.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Being Bored

"I'm afraid of nothing except being bored." - Greta Garbo

Do you remember when during summer break as a child you would get tired of the same old games, books, television shows, and begin to whine "I'm bored" until your parents would take you to the lake or out for ice cream? Often I envy those lazy summer days, especially when I've just had a crazy week with way too much to do like this one. For at least a week, I've been looking longingly at my knitting, knowing I had no time to work on it. Hopefully, things will get a little easier as the semester winds down.

For the most part, I find that these days even if I have free time I am never bored, and I generally like it that way. The way I figure it, those dozens of projects I've got going on all at once are keeping my mind sharp! (Maybe, you never know right?) Speaking of not getting bored, my birthday yielded a wealth of new knitting books.

There are so many new projects I want to start! I included the Johnny Cash CD in the photo because it will provide a musical accompaniment to my knitting. Come to think of it, Johnny Cash reminds me of my childhood too. Now all I need is a rainbow poncho, some bell bottoms, and I'm set to go!

Thanks for all your wonderful input on the baby items! I have decided that you are all correct and the mint green/blue combo blanket is perfectly fine for a boy. Here is a photo of the finished blanket, with the satin blanket edging and the patches embroidered on:

It feels so soft and cuddly!

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

She was Horrid

"There once was a girl who had a little curl right in the middle of her forehead, and when she was good she was very, very good, but when she was bad she was horrid." - old nursery rhyme

My mom used to say this to me a lot when I was very young. I'd like to think it was because I had perfect ringlets, but honestly I think it was because I was sometimes a horrid child. I could be sweet and wonderful one minute, and then throw a massive temper tantrum the next. When I was around two or three I gave her the silent treatment for two whole weeks! She no longer remembers what I was upset about, but she was pretty shocked that I was angry for so long and so disciplined about it. Although I feel bad that I was such a handful, I wish that sometimes I could throw a fit like a two-year old and get away with it.

Last week was my spring break and it was supposed to a relaxing week to catch up on work and sleep. Instead, I had migraines all week, probably caused by an allergic reaction, and was pretty cranky the whole time. I do feel a lot better this week, but boy did I want to throw a hissy fit last week! I did get some knitting done and will have another FO soon, after some seaming and weaving of ends. Here is a small project I've started in the meantime:

It's the umbilical cord hat from the original Stitch 'n Bitch made with some baby yarn to match the embroidered fleece patchwork blanket I already made. This is an in-progress shot, but since this photo I embroidered on all the patches and added a mint green satin blanket binding.

It's a gift for some very good friends who just had a little boy. Do you think it's too girly? I'm not very hung up on gender stereotypes, but I don't want them to have to constantly tell people that he's a boy. I could always whip up another Seija blanket in blue.