Friday, September 23, 2005


After a day of lecture and review, my voice has abandoned me. I sound like I've been smoking oak leaves for fifty years.

But, a voice is not necessary to knit, and so I slog on with my new project, voici:

A sweater, loosely based on the Shapely Options series, with a lace panel in front, knit in KnitPicks Andean Silk in Navy. The lace is the Dotted Lace Insertion from I'm designing as I go, so hopefully all will work out. I've put waist shaping in, as well as ribbing along the sides.

In the pet world, Lily has found a new bed in the fruit rack:

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Home sick

Germs are the worst part of being a schoolteacher. After my stressful week, my poor immune system was defenseless against the germs carried into my classroom by feckless 12th graders.

So here I sit on the couch, sniffling and coughing. My sympathetic kitty sits beside me, only occasionally attempting to assassinate my knitting.

It strikes me as I sit here that I wish I could knit as fast as I type. I'm a lightning-fast typist, thanks to my husband's and my courtship being largely conducted over Instant Messenger. if I could knit 140 stitches a minute, I could complete a pair of socks in...(pauses to pull up calculator)...a little over two-and-a-half-hours.

Monday, September 19, 2005

While I was out...

Purse: felting in the washer even as we speak
Crayons socks: nearing completion
Grad school application: sent

What? You hadn't heard about the grad school application? What a coincidence, neither had I. I called the UW on Tuesday, thinking to get a bit of information on the M.Ed. program at UW Bothell, and the lady said "Well, our deadline is over for Fall Quarter, but if you get the application in by Friday, we'll process you with the others."


One 1200-word essay on "What does a professional educator do?" and 20 pages of forms later including two letters of recommendation from a co-worker and my boss, and I posted the application packet just before the 3:45 mail pick-up at the Mountlake Terrace post office.

You understand, I hope, why there was no posting this week whatsoever. Oh, and we had an open house for our new place yesterday (Sunday) to add to my stress load.

But now, the stress is gone. The house was cleaned in the nick of time, our friends, colleagues, and family enjoyed themselves, and I haven't a blessed paper to write for days.

Maybe I'll do some knitting.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Teeny Tiny Hems

I learned a wonderful thing today, from Threads magazine. How to make a beautiful, tiny rolled hem. This couture technique will make my life SO MUCH EASIER. I hate sewing hems, especially on bias-cut or curved items because they never seem to come out right. This rolled hem technique is so easy and so fine that bias issues never come up, because you're always sewing right on the edge of a crease, where the iron has already smoothed out any creases. It's a lovely feeling to create a hem that hangs perfectly. Observe the rolled hem, magnified many times:

And the finished skirt, with rolled hem, bias-taped and interlined waistband facing, flat-felled seams and 100% finished seam allowances. And a wonky zipper, but that's not surprising, considering who was doing the sewing.

And my new skirt, posing by my new (to me, my inlaws found it on the side of the road) piano.

In knitting news, I've started a purse, knit from my own handspun, to be felted and edged with Fun Fur yarn, a la Wendy's kitty beds.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Opera Stole!

Opera Stole is done in all its silky goodness. As a handknit, this has everything. It is colorful, easy, and stylish.

To make your own Opera Stole, you need three skeins of Himalaya Recycled Silk and a set of size 11 needles.

Cast on 40 stitches, and work 3 rows of garter stitch.
Row 4: *K2tog, wrapping yarn 3 times around the needle* across, creating 20 elongated stitches.
Row 5: *K1, yo* across, slipping the extra wraps off the needle with every knit stitch. In the last stitch, K1 front and back. This brings your stitch count back to 40.

Repeat rows 1-5 until you reach the desired length, then bind off. Use the remaining yarn to create a fringe by cutting it into 10-inch lengths and tying the pieces in pairs along each end of the scarf using lark's head knots.

And voila, your Opera Stole is complete!

What a fool I was

I've thought a lot about how I could win my fame and fortune in the world of knit-blogging. Perhaps if I designed a drop-dead gorgeous sweater and offered the pattern for free on my blog. Perhaps if I kissed some sort of virtual blarney stone and became a scintillating knit-writer. Perhaps if I took knitting pictures of such surpassing loveliness that people would be drawn here like pilgrims to a sacred shrine.


I found out how to do it, and it was really easy.

All I had to do was express political opinions contrary to the herd. You know the herd. If you read me, you probably read them. But I'm not going to tell you how I differ from them. If you read between the lines, I'm pretty sure you can tell already, but I, unlike some people, know how to keep my mouth shut and have a knitblog for knitting's sake, not as a grandstand for my political beliefs.

Sigh. I really like knitters, too. But today, I am the most hated person in knitblogdom because I dared to express an opinion apart from the mainstream. And I was even polite about it, unlike those who chose to villify me.

Bleh. I don't care anymore.

But from now on, we here at Blue-dyed hands are all about diversity (other than, you know, the stuff about knitting). We will accept you and love you no matter who you are or what politics you like or what opinions you express. Let the world shun us, we will be different, and no one, no how, no where, is going to stop us. You can be different, too.

Lily triple-dares you.

Monday, September 05, 2005


And the verdict is...a little too big. But nice, all the same.

And a silly one:

And, of course, one with Lily.

I am a terrible human being

You know those little disposable sock things you get at shoe stores so your toe jam needn't commingle with the toe jam of countless others?

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Opera Stole

The last two times I went to the opera I mourned that I, a fiber artist, had no wrap to wear. In a day or two, that problem will plague me no longer. I give you:

Opera Stole

I'm about 3 feet into it, and I'm going to keep going until the yarn runs out. I'm alternating between three skeins of Mango Moon Recycled Silk. I love the colors and texture of the yarn, and I think this pattern showcases it nicely. Here's a close-up of the stitch pattern.

I'll publish the pattern here when the stole is complete. Now back to knitting.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Tivoli Blocking!

I finished the main knitting on Tivoli two weeks ago, and have been dithering over it ever since, ripping out the edging and reworking it until it fit to my satisfaction. We know have blocking, which you can see below:

I am pleased by it, and excited to wear it tomorrow for the first time. Modeled pics to come.