Category Archives: Annoying $hit

Podcast Update


BeanKnits and Spins Podcast is NOW being hosted at Podshow.

I have taken down the WordPress based blog. Future shows will come through Podshow. For those of you who usually get my feed through iTunes:

my former podcast host refuses to allow me to redirect my feed so that iTunes users can get the newer episodes through my new host. so F em. You can get my old episodes at the Podshow site. I have requested that iTunes remove my podcast from their database so I can resubmit it with the new feed URL. Until that time, which hopefully will be up and running by the end of November, please visit the podcast site to download the files for use on your MP3 player or iTunes. I’m sorry for the inconvenience.

Thanx for listening!!


Pushed to the edge…

Warning: Major knitting self-thrashing ahead.

WTF do I be doing when I’m supposed to be LEARNING stuff?! No really. It finally slapped me in the face like a 7th-grade lunchroom fight: My handspuns are coming out thicker than they LOOK. Whodathunk?!

Case in point:
About-to-be-frogged BBB

That’s where BBB was before I surrendered and took it off the needles. Now before you berate me for it, let me explain the truth: It had been KILLING my hands. It was being worked on 9s. Isn’t that big enough for doubled sportweight? Why, yes, it is. But. I finally learned that although it LOOKS sportweight, it’s not. Aha! Apparently I couldn’t get out of caring about TPI and WPI. Those are the things that give a ‘weight’ to a yarn. NOW I get why in articles and magazines about spinning, they tell you to make a singles with “## TPI” or a plied yarn with “##WPI”. They’re the standards of ‘categorizing’ a yarn, instead of going by ‘weight’, like in commercial yarn.

How does this affect my handspun disasters? Well think about it. Fiber prep really DOES make a difference in the final yarn. The yarn used in BBB was some Finn roving I got last year at Rhinebeck and spun on the Joy Val lent me. As a carded roving, it’s going to spin up fluffier than a combed top. So, even though it doesn’t LOOK worsted weight it will knit like one. Even after the bloom that occurs with setting the twist. So, I didn’t need to double the yarn like I thought I would. And then I probably wouldn’t have needed to use 9s either. I needed them for somthing else I’ll get to later in the post.

So, to make a long story short, I’m ripping the BBB (and loard help me I don’t know HOW I’m going to rewind it when it’s doubled– in some areas it’s actually knit from two ends of the same ball!) and will reknit with the yarn single. Then I won’t run OUT like I was before. Yes, this will result in a slightly smaller BBB but SugarBoogers won’t know the difference.

So I’ve washed my hands of that failure… On to the next:

disgusting wips 001

WTF possessed me to care enough about the points on the previous Icarus to think it would be a snap to repeat it, is beyond me. Somewhere in the deep recesses of my foggy brain I figured Icarus II would be simple and quick with all the plain sections. Well, it got boring FAST. But I trudged on, ever the valiant knitter, to meet my goal: an Icarus with pretty points. I also threw a wrench in the works for deciding to knit the whole thing as written. And I thought I was doing that, but it had plans for my ass. After several weeks of trying to figure out where the hell I went wrong I finally took that joint off the needles too. Good riddance. What possesed me to think I wanted to knit miles of sock yarn into a shawl, I’ll never know. How many rows of stockinette DOES it take to say ” &^%$# it!” to a pattern? The world may never know.* And I’m not counting either, shit…

So that’s what I did the last few days. Cry my tears and rip away. It’s over. Now on to some knitting that I’m much more confident about:
CPH ribbing back

Ladies and Gentlemen, the back ribbing of Central Park Hoodie, hereafter known as CPH. I’m working the largest size on this, and after careful swatching and taking into consideration that the cables will suck the fabric in a bit, I’ve settled on the size 9 needle tips. (which were stuck in that ever crazy-making BBB, but I won’t hold it against them).

There we have it. I’ve bared my knitting soul to all who’ll read.

Also, if you plan to click through to my podcast from this blog, no, you are NOT in the wrong place, I’ve moved cast hosting service.. 🙂 YAY! Thankx to Shannon of SSK for putting me on to Podshow.

*paraphrase of that world-famous Tootsie Roll Pop Question: “How many licks DOES it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop? The world may never know.” 🙂

“Who was it?” ” I don’t know…he hung up!”

If you know what cartoon that’s from, then you know how I’m feeling right now.

Lately my WIPS have fallen in the hole for me. I just took Icarus off the needles to burn. Well no, I haven’t actually done so, but I’m sorely tempted. After all the $hit I went through(like extra rounds!) to get the right stitch count, I was still WRONG. It’s what I get for trying to do the same shawl twice. I just don’t have the heart to continue on.

Then I’m kicking myself in the ass about Baby Bobbi Bear. It’s going to get finished but it’s going to look like patchwork. Poor planning has cause me to have to resort to using other yarns to finish it because I underestimated how much yarn I’d actually NEED(read: I don’t know how much of my own handspun I have). So, I’ll be using various other yarns on BBB…

At least I’ve finished 2.5 pairs of family socks. You know, the ones I said I’d be making for my household. So far I’ve got mine and son’s done, and just about ready to cast on number 2 for littlest Beanlet. After her it’s big girl Beanlet and finally hubby and his small cruiseships.

As for the mini-vacation, hubby and I just spent some quality time together. We went and bowled a few games(I beat him both times!) and had a quick dinner and walked around Times Square. Which reminds me. Is there a purpose to the M&M World store? 3 floors of M&M-themed merchandise; in fact, more non-candy merch than actual candy. WHY? I’m just sayin’…

And to top off the weekend, I got to meet the lovely, crafty, knitting farmer Sarah!! All the way from NM! She came up northward for Rhinebeck(DAMN! Why couldn’t I go!?Argh!) and we agreed to meet up before she left the area. Sadly I have no pics of the meeting but we had a good time chatting and walking around. Next time Sarah, I’m coming to town for Taos!!(maybe?) Weeeeeeee

Forgive the lack of pictures this post. I’ve made little tangible progress and I’ve got to really reassess my Ravelry queue so I can start some new WIPS.

Til another time!

New Lessons…

Warning: Long, almost pictureless post ahead. Proceed with caution. Mucho cussin, too.

You think you know knitting. You think you know how things are usually going to work. You can accept defeat but only so much. And so it was with this sock yarn…

I bought 4 skeins of Artyarns Ultramerino4 in the hopes of making some knee-high jaywalkers. The plan was to start at the toe and keep knitting, and increasing as it goes up my calf. I cast on 68 stitches because experience has taught me(there I go knowing shit again…) that 76 stitches for a stockinette(or in this case, mostly stockinette) sock is too many and the sock will be too big on my foot. So, after careful calculations I started with 68 stitches. And all hell broke loose.

The pattern just wasn’t knitting up the way I’d liked. I knew this wasn’t a true striping yarn, but I figured that Jays were the perfect sock to break up the pooling associated with this type of variegated yarn. It works on lots of other yarns, and even some other knitter’s FO made WITH the same brand of yarn. But the ‘striping’ just didn’t look right.

Jay Kneehigh

So I ripped and restarted on 76 stitches and damn. The ‘striping’ seemed more tolerable, but, as I figured it was just too damn big. So. I gave that up.

I then tried to use that yarn in another stitch pattern and it just wasn’t coming out right either. And then it hit me. The twist. It’s the freaking twist(or ply). Because of the way the yarn is made it’s very sproingy. Sproingy as if there was elastic in it, but not stretchy, if you know what I mean. It is, after all, Merino yarn. So, I’ve decided that this yarn will not work for anything other than a plain stockinette sock. Fuqq-0-rama. Well, it’s a good thing I really like the colorway. That’ll teach my ass to buy things just because I like the colors!

Moral of the story: Leave the damn yarn. You SPIN now..

Then, speaking of spinning, last week I went to hang with Karen and spin. I took the bus there and back. When I got home I was tired and didn’t want to fuss with dragging my wheel back into my room, which requires negotiation of a narrow space between a bookshelf and a wall. So, I left it in the living room for two days. Of course, when I went to get the wheel and bring it in I noticed the thumbscrew for the flyer was missing. I cussed about how SugarBoogers probably was playing with my flyer and the screw fell out. I looked all over the living room and didn’t find it. Then I figured I’d lost it on the bus. I would notice that sometimes the flyer shaft would just spin around while the bus was moving. The last time I took the bus with Dutchie, I took the flyer off and kept it in my bag. But this time I figured I’d leave it on so the flyer shaft didn’t poke anyone. and what happens? I lose the damn screw..

So, after a week of not being able to spin I set out to Home Depot to get some replacements. Stood at the wall of screws and bolts for 30 minutes! with SugarBoogers in tow(Thank you, Monster-in-law, for not taking ALL 3 kids for the week. I ‘pree-shate’ that.). Came back with a little 5 pack of 8-32 3/4″ screws after looking like a common loon, trying to stuff the screws into the flyer hole(yes I took it with me) through the little plastic bag. –Only after doing all that did I see a peg board type thing with all the various screw sizes sticking out that I could have tried to put through the hole. —

Get home with the loot(after mopping up a SugarBoogers melt-down because I took the big-ass bag with the little-ass bag of screws in it from her—fuckin idjit cashier!! WhyTF would you give that to the child like that? You think I came all that way for SCREWS for her to LOSE THEM? You must not have any fuckin brains.–scuse me, getting carried away), and the screw is a perfect fit! Much better than the original, but, it’s a regular round head screw because they didn’t have thumbscrews in the size I needed. All I need is a nail file to tighten.. yehoo!!

And then after the two older kids come home and do a re-cleaning, what does middle child plop on my desk? You guessed it. The MF-ing thumbscrew.

The moral of the story: Put your shit away when you get home or parts will go missing.

(I can only guess at how many hits this post alone will generate because of the word ‘screw’. I also stood at the wall for 30 minutes because I sure as hell wasn’t going to ask ANY HD employees(especially the ugly ones) for a ‘screw’ LMAO. You see the danger in that.

But things aren’t too bad in the fiber world right now. I’ve accepted my defeats with the yarn and the *ahem*, and I’ve got a new shawl on the needles.. Yeah, you know it! I’m almost through with repeat 4 of rows 19-42 of Chart 1 on Icarus. I needed something where most of the shawl was mindless, so I decided to redo Iccy. The shawl is really beautiful and I’d like another color. I’m using tan/gray sock yarn for this one, but when overdyed it will be a deeper jewel-tone type color. I’m feeling this already. It is Aug 26. Think I’ll finished by Sept 1? 😉

So that’s it for this entry. Take it easy crafters. Don’t go crazy like me. 😉

WIPs and random thoughts

I promised a picture of the Lombard Street socks in progress so here it is:


Let me tell you that while it’s a pretty pattern, I don’t think I’ll knit it again. Granted the decreases and increase are inherent in lace knitting BUT, the juxtaposition of such in this particular pattern had me jacking up the stitch count something awful. There was much tinking and cussin with this sock. I give kudos to the heel flap though. Or at least it might be due to the yarn I’m using. There’s a little bit of a design there because of the slip stitching on the flap. Nice.

Lombard heelclose 002

Then there’s the newest addition to the WIPs list *blushing*:


A lace scarf from Victorian Lace Today. Strangely I don’t think this pattern HAS a title other than, ” Scarf with the open and solid diamond lace edging from Weldon’s, 1904″. So, that’s what it is. I’ll refer to it here on out as, “VLT scarf #1”. 🙂

If there are two things that this project makes me realize, it’s that 1) Dangly stitchmarkers ARE a pain in the ass, and 2) I really need a set of Options needles. I could use Crystal Palace circs to get a pointy tip but it’s a bamboo needle and I’d prefer a metal needle so the stitches will slide along easier. This is being done on a 4.0mm Addi turbo. I know Addi makes lace needles but at $15 a pop, no thanx. As for the markers, I say that because when I work the wrong side of the scarf I have to keep flipping the marker around to get it out of the way once I’ve knit it. If that makes any sense. Granted, when I made them, I probably used too many beads on it and the wire is not a soft enough gauge for a dangly. I’ll have to work on that; I DO like them but this is clearly too long and stiff not flexible enough. 🙂

As for previously mentioned WIPs, Stripedy is going to be worked on more once it cools off some. The Badia top is going to be ripped. I just don’t have it in me right now to make a lot of changes to something. What started out with accidentally knitting more length than the pattern called for at a certain point, I was trying to turn into extra length to account for the hikeage that normally occurs in the front of some of my tops. My measurements per the pattern were way off but I was going to work around that and use it to my ‘advantage’. Then I got distracted with other stuff and found myself preferring to knit the new things. I think the yarn is also the problem. I just can’t seem to find anything to do with that SWTC Bamboo. If it were variegated I’d do another Clapotis but it’s plain and I know that’ll bore me to tears. *sigh*…

I have an announcement. I have in my posession, 24 silk hankies, sent to me by Cordelia. Thank you Muggy! Now the thing is, how to DYE them for spinning.

I’m thinking of dividing them up into 4 sets and doing 4 colors each. My hope is to spin the colors in one order, and then go back the other way. Of course I’d have to do this twice so that there’s enough for two of whatever I make. Could be socks, could be MITTENS! I could spin up some black merino and ply it with that to get a stained glass-type effect. But, what colors?

Decisions, decisions.

Til next time!

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

There I go messin with stuff and trying to be cute again..

I called myself customizing the Pi shawl from EZ’s Knitter’s Almanac. The pattern in the book isn’t bad, but I figured I’d try my hand at ‘re-designing’ it by replacing the stitch patterns there with something else. I rummaged through my Treasury of Knitting Patterns, book 1, by Barbara Walker for something different and yet not too difficult. The pattern had to have an intermittent row of purls, since the shawl would be in the round. That narrowed it down some, with most of the remaining contenders being some variation or another of what’s in the EZ book.

Then the task was to find something that would jibe with the current stitch count of 288 without too many left over stitches. I figured I’d just make sure that edge was the part that got folded over when I wore it. I thought I’d found something and set to work.. After a while I started doubting my choice.. not because it was a 44 row repeat, but because it just seemed too.. loose. Yes, I know lace is supposed to have holes but these just didn’t seem right. I kept on. after about 22 rows in I decided to spread it out and take a look. Sure enough, it wasn’t going to show well even after blocking.. The needle I was using, a size 4.5mm, was too big for the laceweight and this design. I wasn’t about to knit the whole thing on 3.25mm’s, especially if I had to rip the whole thing.. and I didn’t think the shawl would look right with part of the thing done on 3’s and the rest done on 7s. *sigh*

This is all there was after I took out the needle:
disaster strikes!

A little over 15 inches wide. I’d actually missed the part where I COULD have started using the EZ pattern suggestion but I didn’t to do that so I didn’t rip back to pick up where it would start. So, it’s all a ball of yarn again. At least I used a lifeline.

But all is not turmoil, for yesterday I received a nice morsel of knitting goodness. Cristi sent me some Socka solids!! ThangQ Cristi!!

Socka!! Solids!!

I wanna jump in that burgundy first, it’s so nice.

I have quite a bit of yarn similar to this already but it’s this boring oatmeal beige. I could dye it but since it’s not a plain white the colors will be muted. I will still dye those up someday though..

So, I can eagerly get to planning for all those cool sock patterns that call for solid yarns..

All in all the week wasn’t too bad.. I have other WIPs so maybe I should just concentrate on them for a spell..

An Open Letter to The Yarn Tree

Dear Yarn Tree,

I stood outside you for almost an hour yesterday, awaiting your opening. Yes, I realize that arriving so early was my own doing, but that doesn’t excuse your end of the deal. Your owner arrived 30 minutes before opening time, and I knew I didn’t have much longer to wait. At 15 to the hour, I peeked in the window to find your owner on the phone, frantically waving at me that she wasn’t open(yet). Not a problem. I still had 15 minutes to wait. I’d managed to keep my 3-year-old entertained that long, 15 more minutes wasn’t going to kill us.

4:00–your new Summer opening times for the weekdays–rolled around but your doors remained locked, the lights out. I know your owner could have seen us standing in front of the window. That is, if she was ready to open. 3YO and I waited. 4:15 rolled around and still nothing. Not even an acknowledgement of our presence, with perhaps the statement that there were problems and there would be a delay. Nothing. So, I took my 3YO who was anxious to ride the train(we took the bus from Brownsville–do you know how far away that is?) back home, and walked away.

Your owner just lost a good customer. Unlike the majority of the time where I probably never spent more than $40 I might have been ready to drop a pretty penny there that day. We stood out there, wishing away the storm clouds–their outpouring we’d somehow managed to avoid all day–while she ignored us.

I might just be one customer. Your owner might feel, “Well, I don’t need your business anyway!”. And that’s fine. But for every customer she serves well, she might see two more. So what does that mean when you lose one? Word of mouth is swift in this town.

I won’t miss trekking all the way to ‘the ends of the Earth’ to visit you, Yarn Tree, with your terrible hours. I’d rather spend my money at other retailers, who provide much better service.


Pissed off former customer

Addendum: If any readers out there think I’m being callous and not caring about her personal problems, keep it to yourself. Had the roles been reversed, I’m sure she’d have wanted my shop on a platter.