26 July 2007

Spinning Crisis Reaches Knit Goddingdom: A Late-Breaking Special Edition

by L.Z. Kate
quick! before the fingers try to escape!

As you can see from this photo, I have been diligently trying to cut off circulation to my fingers. "Why," you ask, "would anyone, apart from Angelina Jolie, want to do this?"

"Ah," I counter, "you are mistaken. Angelina Jolie prefers cutting off circulation to her head, not her digits."

"Point taken," you say, and wait patiently for my explanation.

The photo above, and the one following, illustrate an ancient technique which, over the centuries, has been used alternatively for torture, penitence, and ritual self-decirculationing. It is known as Andean Plying.

In addition to its many and varied historical uses, there is a certain segment of the global population which has used this sacred technique for their own twisted purposes (sorry, couldn't help it) for many years. They are known as spinners.

The hand of a spinner in flagrante with some Leicester Longwool!

I went undercover this past weekend into the sordid world of spinning. To my dismay, I found that not only are there Spinners in our community, its racy ring includes some of Knit Goddingdom's most prominent members of society.

This news, detailed completely in this EXCLUSIVE exposé, may come as a shock to residents and friends of Knit Goddingdom. We can't name any names at the time of printing, although Knit Goddingdom Police assure me that investigations are underway. Officials strongly caution its people against the people who call themselves Spinners. They are known to peddle in highly addictive wares. Parents, be vigilant! Check your children's rooms for singles. Freshly-spun singles are known to be the gateway to a lifetime of spinning vice. From a sole bobbin, it's a short step to an entire Lazy Kate, to an assortment of niddy-noddies. This reporter has even heard news of a niddy-noddy which disassembles into two pocket-sized pieces for portability. These could be entering our schools in our children's coats' pockets! Experts recommend that you also regularly sweep their clothing with a lint-roller to check for traces of roving. We must keep the world safe from Spinners!

next week: Crochet: How Long Can We Keep It at Bay?

24 July 2007


Oh boy, do I have lots of things to share!

First up, Ravelry. I signed up for it a while back. They have a feature where you can check where you are in line. I was hesitant to do this, because of a certain country club... I don't know how much my readers care about country clubs, but the usual course of business is that you have to (1) be recommended by a certain number of members and (2) wait roughly half an eternity to purchase your Porsche Carrera membership. Depending on the club, it may take anywhere from 4-10 years after application. I know of at least one club where if you ask where you are in line, they automatically strike you from the list--but, in true genteel style, do not tell you this. Your opportunity to join simply never arrives, and subsequent appeals are met with a smiling--and deaf--ear. I guess it's sort of like how if you know someone is lying, you do not give them the lie. You simply do not give credence to anything they have to say from that point on.

So I was torn between my curiosity to know exactly how long I may have to wait to try out Ravelry and my fear that I may unwittingly banish myself from its bounds for all eternity. I weighed in that knitters are less likely to put in some evil clause such as "if you ask where you are in line, we don't want you, you impertinent bounder." So I checked.

I know, it's so hard to believe that I am not automatically invited to join, since I'm obviously as famous as the Harlot. I've given lectures and programs all over Knit Goddingdom. There are at least a few books in my head (I think I've just misplaced them). I've already received a bajillion dollar advance to write my next knitting novel in my head by Knit Goddingdom Publishers, LLC.
It's no wonder that they elected me Supreme Empress of this country. Mad knitting skillz go a long way with the voting populace.

19 July 2007

I've been a bad, bad girl...

Oh, don't look so excited. And put those handcuffs away. I'm talking about my yarn diet. Tomorrow's my birthday, and well... I sort of had a little Etsy binge. I, uh, bought... four skeins of superwash Merino sock yarn. Two of them are from Fearless Fibers. And a set of stitch markers from thecolorofdreams that look like little slices of birthday cake:

I know I haven't touched sock yarn since I made the Diagonal Rib socks, so I suppose I'm going to have to start knitting socks again and start foisting the finished products on my friends. They're my enablers, after all. I can't bear to think of my friends having Popsicle toes. They need cozy socks hand-knitted from superwash merino. They are depending on me, even if they don't know it yet.

Of course, the sock yarn will have to prepare itself for a longish languor in the stash; there are too many projects ahead of them. I know, I shouldn't have bought it. But... it's going to be so happy in the stash, waiting for me to knit it (and curse at it, and frog it, and reknit it).

Please be advised that my blog will be on hiatus for a few days following the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I'm shutting down my computer so I don't accidentally find out what happens until I read it. I'll probably have finished reading it by Monday (whether I'll have finished studying for my French midterm on Monday is another matter). Until then, dear readers--I highly recommend that you go buy some superfluous yarn!

18 July 2007


Courtney the Knitting Goddess is pleased to present the world's first lolknit (lolnit? lolknittens?)

Other contenders:


with thanks to thecheezburgerfactory... where there is now a picture of my mitten alongside a bunch of kittens.

16 July 2007

Meeting Notes, 16 July 2007

Hear ye, hear ye--this meeting of the Knit Goddingdom Alliance is called to order.
Courtney the Knitting Goddess (Alliance President, Secretary, Treasurer, Pontiff, Bailiff and Premier Baker) presiding.
*Knit Goddingdom National Anthem is sung*
All members please be seated.

First on the agenda: Courtney the Knitting Goddess will present the Old Business.

I've perfected the art of making a pie crust that is both tender and flaky. I was going to say I've learned the secret, but there are actually about seven steps involved. It's incredibly time-consuming, but the result is worth it. The following pie was made using all organic ingredients! So, the plan was that I was going to cook dinner for my friend and myself, and then we would go see the midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Well... the pie takes four hours in the fridge after making the glaze. So we decided that after the movie, we'd come back and eat pie.

The correct Southern pronunciation is... hmm, I don't know how to spell it.
It's some sort of ee-ah diphthong...
like saying "Pah" and "eye" at the same time.

This pie turned out so well that I baked another yesterday. I had to know whether it was a fluke, or if the results are indeed reproducible. Good news--it worked!

Some people went to the Harry Potter movie midnight showing. Some of them dressed up. I'm sure I wouldn't know who this person is:

"Raven hair and ruby lips
sparks fly from her fingertips..."

The Blue Baby Shawl is making progress... it looks essentially the same as the last picture, only longer. I'll post pics once I start on the edging.

Anyway, that's all of the old business. Time for the new business!


Last Sunday I started knitting a pair of Thrummed Mittens at my LYS. Thrumming apparently means to knit in bits of roving in strategic areas, giving the mitten a decorative pattern on the face and fluffy roving innards that will not only naturally felt with wear but also envelop one's digits on a cocoon of luxurious hand-dyed softness. Not that one can actually see the hand-dyed beauty of the roving once it's on the inside, but the knitter knows. Yes, the knitter knows.

These are seriously bulky mittens...
which feel seriously fantastic on.

Maybe the reason everyone likes these mittens so much is that when you slip one on, you're essentially slipping your hand inside a gigantic bit of roving. Perhaps this is how we can convince more people to start spinning: have them put on a Thrummed Mitten. It's sort of like crack. They won't be able to keep their hands off the stuff. They'll want it around them always. It starts with wearing the mittens in April, even when the trees have blossomed and the temperatures are well in the 50s. Then the habit kicks in... starting up the wheel before breakfast, while everyone else is asleep. Slipping a baggie of Corriedale and a spindle into their desk drawer at work. Piling up half-pound bags, neatly labeled with fiber content, dye lot and exact weight in a corner of the stash closet.

fluffy innards.

accurate color portrayal

That's all the new business... Next week we'll have the results of setting in the thumb gusset!

If I have time, I'll put up a brief step-by-step tutorial on thrumming later in the week. Like most things with knitting, once you've seen it done, it's easy.

This meeting of the Knit Goddingdom Alliance is adjourned!

12 July 2007


I'm going to start knitting my first pair of mittens on Sunday afternoon. BE PREPARED.

08 July 2007

Blog Rating Update! Under-18's May Not View My Stash!

Sweet! That last post upgraded me to an R rating. So no under-18's on here, kids. I tend to swear sometimes, and display gratuitous yarn photos.

Tee hee. I'm still giggling over "orifice." That'll teach you to take up spinning and buy custom hand-turned hooks made of exotic hardwoods. Oh, it's a good thing I don't crochet, or I'd be talking about The Happy Hooker. Mingle2 is breaking out in a cold sweat right about now. I'm teetering dangerously on NC-17 grounds. I never understood that rating. Actually, I've never seen anything with that rating, but I didn't understand why R is 18 and the apparently more graphic stuff is 17. Ah well. With a stash as hot as mine, I'll be delving into the Xs shortly.

Who knows... with enough time, I might manage one XXX Bohus Sweater.

Orifice, Crap, Whore! Crazy Freethinking Radicals!

I found this amusing. Orifice, crap, whore, indeed. From Mingle2.

I wonder what else are implied-bad words? Hmm, might want to save that for Double Entendre Mondays.

Mrs. Montag would have nightmares about me. Maybe I'm sensitive to it because I'm listening to Fahrenheit 451 right now. Now, it's your job to save the future, so go kill your television. Yes, right now. Pull the plug. I'll wait.

There, don't you feel empowered? It will be difficult the first few days. You'll want to turn it on and sit vegetable-like on your sofa. Resist the temptation. You may start to have anxieties about current events when you read about them. How will you know what to think? What will you have to talk about with your peers if you haven't seen the latest episode of Popular Mind-Numbing Sitcom or Inane Fake Competition Which Makes The Audience Think They Matter?

In case you are feeling lost, here are some starter topics:
  • Do you believe in retribution? Which is better: Eye for an Eye, or Turn the Other Cheek? Can you imagine situations in which the belief you don't support might be appropriate?
  • What life experience has strengthened you the most?
  • Is Snape friend or foe, and why?
  • Do you believe in soulmates? Is there such a thing as "The One," or is it possible to have multiple true loves over one's lifetime?
  • Do you believe in karma? Why or why not?
  • What do you think will happen when you die? How would you feel if it turned out differently than what you expected while you were alive?
  • When you reach the end of your life, what do you wish to have accomplished?
  • If you knew that you had only a few hours to live, who would you need to speak to, and what would you need to tell them? Why don't you call them today?
  • What is your greatest accomplishment thus far?
  • Is beauty truth, and truth beauty? Why or why not?
  • Pick an argument with Keats.
  • Make up with Keats. Swoon.
  • What is your favorite childhood memory? What did it teach you?
  • Rate the following traits/nouns in order of importance: Curiosity, Happiness, Kindness, Knowledge, Leadership, Love, Obedience, Power, Self-Actualization, Success, Wanderlust, Wit. Explain why.
It's not easy thinking for yourself. And there are probably people to whom I would not recommend it. But you might want to give it a try.

Knitting gives you time to think. Totalitarian regimes would do well to fear the knitters, as they are the womb of rebellion. Remember the tricoteuses of A Tale of Two Cities?

So when The Man comes for your knitting needles, you crazy freethinking radical... come over to my place. We'll expatriate to a nice country with lots of wool and silk, philosophy and books, gardening and front porches... and no TV.

I know, some of those topics are kinda heavy. But that's the stuff I think about when I'm sitting quietly and knitting away (on something I don't have to count too closely).

Told you I was crazy.

And, incidentally, I highly recommend Fahrenheit 451.

05 July 2007

I'm back!

Yes, dear readers, I am back from my trip to North Carolina--and I have brought... well, not gifts... but finished project goodness to make up for my long absence!

First, the Ugly Red Scarf. Once opened, it turned out to not be as horrible as I thought it would be. Purple and red still bothers me, but the scarf itself is pretty cool:

Next, the Chancellorific Exchequered Scarf. I have a feeling I'm going to be knitting more of these scarves... most of the people who have seen it say that I must keep it for myself, and that they wouldn't mind having one themselves. I originally made this as a gift, but since the recipient has no idea, I suppose I could just as well slip it into my box of winter gloves and wraps... ;-)

I started a new project--a baby shawl. This will hopefully be finished sooner than the Hearts and Stars blanket. One of the reasons for the newfound speed (which also helped the Emperor's New Scarf churn right along) is that I have been knitting Continental. I made an extra effort to do it with the scarf, since it was a heavier yarn than I generally work with and perfect knitting wasn't crucial to the final outcome--if I had any little bobbles or slight inconsistencies, the Karabella 8 was forgiving. This baby shawl has long stretches of st-st, so I race along in rows of knitting or purling, pausing only at the edges for a little k/p switch-up.

Finishing it quickly is a goal for a number of reasons--the first of which is probably that my mom bought the yarn for me on a New Year's sale and has been dropping not-so-subtle hints about how she bought that yarn for a blanket for her grandson (my nephew) every time she sees a new project in my hands.

Since I am marvelously organized, here's a breakdown of the current Knitting Project List:
  • Blue Baby Shawl (from Debbie Bliss' Special Knits) in Rowan Cashsoft DK
  • Bryan's Beanie in... I don't have the yarn with me right now, but it's really nice and soft.
  • Crinoid Scarf from Morehouse Merino. I yearned for the kit after seeing it online for a couple months and finally bought the kit when I saw them at MD S&W. I haven't made the kit yet, obviously, but the yarn is delightfully soft and the girls working there were so pleasant that I wouldn't hesitate to buy something from them again.
That list takes care of knitting from my stash. Well, it won't take care of my stash, but those are the projects for which I have matched yarn and patterns. I am trying to decide what to do with that Misty Mountain extra-fine alpaca. It will most likely become a well-used throw.

Other projects I am pondering (which means that I'll make them all in good time):
  • Icarus Shawl (as featured in Interweave Knits Summer 2006 - scroll down for picture which enticed me to make it). Need to buy Suri Elegance for it. Link to pattern and other pics from the designer here.
  • Starlight Wrap designed by Ann at knitspot.
  • Kay's Lace Shrug by Dream in Color yarn. This is mostly because I desperately want some DIC yarn. I think I will order a couple skeins and if it is everything I hoped it would be, I will try to talk my LYS owner into distributing it.