The Daily Skein

All the craft that’s fit to make.

A Therapeutic Excerpt June 7, 2010

Filed under: Musings — Cailyn @ 3:16 pm
Tags: ,

Hi.  I’m Cailyn Meyer and I used to have a blog.

 

Used to?

 

Well, I think I still have one.  But I haven’t gone near it or fed it or walked it in weeks.

 

Luckily, blogs don’t eat very often.  They’re like snakes, you only have to feed them a rabbit once in a while.  Did you feed it a small rodent recently?

 

I can’t remember.  Maybe?  But, but the walking!  I’ve left it all alone for weeks with no walks or toys.

 

Blogs don’t need any walking at all.  In fact, they’re like snakes in that way too.  You don’t walk a snake, do you?

 

I guess not.  Not usually, anyway.  Maybe for a really athletic snake.  Do they make snake leashes?  How else would you keep it from slithering into the street?

 

I think we’re getting off topic here.  What made you neglect your snake- er, blog in the first place?

 

Well, I got really busy getting ready for this trip to the East Coast.  I mean, I told Bloggy about it beforehand, it knew I was going.  I just didn’t have time to feed it or play with it before I left.  Time really went by fast, with the planning and then I had some designs to submit and then I had to find an outfit…

 

Bloggy is… your blog?  You named it Bloggy?

 

Er… yes?

 

O-kay.  There’s no judgment here.  Next time, look up a name generator on Google or something, though.  You were saying that you shamelessly forgot about your blog while getting ready for this trip…?

 

I didn’t forget!  I kept meaning to take care of it.  I was going to do something big, like post a video tutorial or maybe a small pattern.  Bloggy really likes when I do things like that.  But other things kept coming up, like laundry or groceries or finding shoes to match my new dress.  I had a dentist appointment too, that took up some time.  And I told myself that I could take care of Bloggy remotely, from my sister’s place, but then I didn’t take my laptop with me.

 

That was a stupid idea.  Why didn’t you take it?

 

It’s heavy.

 

Hmm.  Lazy.  So you ran off to the East Coast, leaving your blog alone and with no new content to keep it occupied while you were gone?  Have you been thinking about another blog?

 

No!  No, I love my blog.  I just… Sometimes it’s hard, you know?  Sitting down to write something and looking at that blank white screen, so judgmental…  I could be doing something else, like working on a pattern or making a snack…

 

Trouble with commitment, I see.  And when you got back from the East Coast, what then?  How long have you been back?

 

About two weeks.

 

Two weeks?  Goodness. You are a terrible person.  Why didn’t you do something as soon as you got home?

 

There’s a yarn company that wants some themed designs and I thought I had a really good idea.  But when I got back in town, there was an email saying they didn’t need any more gloves.  So I moved on to my back-up idea, only I didn’t think it fit the theme very well, so I spent a lot of time researching the theme.  But then I thought maybe my idea was too on the nose for the theme and so I tried to go in a different direction… but then the idea seemed so stupid that I couldn’t believe I was working on it or that anyone would ever like it.  But I had spent so much time knitting it that I felt stupid abandoning it…

 

What did you do?

 

I worked on it for another few days, then abandoned it.  It just wasn’t coming together right… no one would have made it and it was stupid.  I feel guilty for not finishing it.  Maybe it’s not stupid.  But I can’t work on it anymore, I’ll go crazy.  So I started to work on my back-up idea to my back-up but I couldn’t find the right textured stitch for that and so I had to spend two days looking through all my stitch dictionaries for an idea…

 

It took two days?  How many do you have?

 

Um… I’ve lost count.

 

Clear case of addiction.  Go on.

 

Anyway, I was so frustrated that this wasn’t working out either that I tried my fourth idea, but that’s trouble too and I’m so frustrated that I don’t want to look at any yarn or pick up my needles at all!  I don’t even want to post pictures of the yarns and fibers I bought on my trip!!  I can’t think straight; I can’t stop trying to figure out these designs but I hate them all and I want to do something else!  But how can I not design something for this theme?  I like this theme a lot.

 

Ma’am.  I have to ask.  Are you knitting snake porn?

 

Of course not!

 

Then I am going to prescribe you some Bothofat, which increases the flow of morals to your brain so that you won’t neglect your blog, as well as some Sinoquaki for the overwhelming signs of addictive behavior.  Now, that may cause some hyper-nausea so take one tablet of Sequlink in the mornings.  And take two drops of iDzi at any signs of writer’s block; it acts much faster than Bothofat in acute cases.  Anything else?

So… I should take Bloggy for a walk today?

 

(sigh) No.  It’s raining.  Here, have some Renfloxdyne.  It should help with the stupid.

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Olympics February 28, 2010

Filed under: Musings — Cailyn @ 11:13 pm
Tags: , ,

Last week, Lowell, me, and my in-laws headed up to Vancouver to see some Olympics!  (Yes, this post is up very late.  It was hard to sit down and write about it when so much happened and we had so much fun.  Also, there were 7 bazillion pictures to wade through.)

 

We woke up horribly early on Tuesday and drove up to the “frozen” north.  The first day we saw the USA vs Switzerland hockey game (go USA!)

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And the men’s figure skating short program. 

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I slept through most of the drive, so I didn’t get a chance to cast on my new sock until the hockey game.  Of course, I didn’t want to miss anything, so I didn’t actually start casting on until late in the game.  I worked on the ribbing some during zamboni breaks in figure skating. Here’s the sock on a trip to get a snack.  The Pacific Coliseum had strangely tasty sandwiches, especially if you hadn’t eaten much beforehand.

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The next day we got up early again and went to see Stephen Colbert film at Creekside Park.  We waited for 2 hours before the filming started and I got a lot done on the sock!  It was a great way to tell how much time had passed.  You might notice that the sock is on DPNs and not my normal long circular.  I decided that DPNs are more photogenic and classic.  Sadly, I decided this while I was standing there in the mob and all I had was my tiny 4” DPNs that I carry in my bag for helping to fix mistakes (I hate fixing with a crochet hook, I don’t know why.)  4” is sadly too short to comfortably knit with for a long period.  I got a painful raw spot on my palms from the sharp points.  You’ll notice that this injury didn’t make me put the sock back on the circ though.

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After the long standing and then hilarity of watching Bob Costas “ride the moose,”  we headed to our next event, men’s 1000m speed skating.

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The sock got to see some fast skaters, but didn’t get to see Shani Davis win the gold.  The seating was way too cramped to knit during speed skating.  I told the sock all about it, though.

 1000m Men Speed Skating

 

No matter where you go, people are always interested in what you’re knitting.  I got asked about the sock a lot on the train to and from events and the hotel.  It was nice when the train was empty enough to find a seat- it’s much easier to knit when you don’t have to also hold onto the pole!

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We went to see the Olympic flame.  Then we went to the Czech Republic vs Slovakia hockey game.

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The next day, we went to the Olympic store to spend tons of money.  I was sad that there was no Olympic yarn, but I got a nice bag that I’ve been using as my knitting bag ever since.  Then we headed over to Russia House, where we stood in line some more, which led to more sock knitting.

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Look how much I have done!  1” 1×1 ribbing, 2” stockinette, 4 row “heel flap,” short row heel, mini-gusset. 

 

While we were in Russia House, we ran into Stephen Colbert again!  We stood around while he interviewed some people and, well, basically we stalked him.  My in-laws stalked so well that they can actually be seen on the aired footage!

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After that much excitement, we headed home and watched the rest of the Olympics on TV.  We had so much fun, it’s impossible to write it down here. 

 

CPH in Action December 5, 2009

Filed under: Knitting Projects — Cailyn @ 2:27 pm
Tags: , ,

I finished the Central Park Hoodie (sans hood) the night before we left for Virginia.  In fact, I was still picking the basting thread out at the airport!  (Not intentionally, I just missed a few stitches and then some scraps stuck to the wool.)  I wore it everywhere in VA and it was quite the conversation piece.

 

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Needs more coffee.  Also shown in this picture, 25% of my dad and 1/2 of Lowell’s face.
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A glance at the back, with a nice shot of my knitting bag too.  Up ahead is my mom and her friend then it’s my grandmother and me.  We’re walking through the sculpture garden in DC.
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The documentation of the Exchange of the Jade Dragon.  The Jade Dragon reveals the path to the secret treasure when held facing east on the last full moon of the year- oh wait, I’ve said too much.
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Look at our cool, cool glasses.  You know you’re jealous.

 

I’m very, very pleased with how the CPH turned out.  I’ll write more about the mods I made and how they turned out when I have a chance to take some pictures with something other than my cell phone.  I think I have pictures of the zipper-sewing which really wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  For now, though, I’m going to don my CPH and help Lowell put up the Christmas lights.  We’re horribly behind the rest of the neighborhood.

 

On the Road Again November 23, 2009

Filed under: Knitting Projects — Cailyn @ 1:09 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Well, it’s that time of year again.  Time for my yearly trek back to Virginia and gorge myself on tasty turkey, gravy, and apple pie.  Yum yum.  The downside, of course, is that it’s a five-hour flight to said turkey.  Not to mention the time waiting for the flight in the airport and on the tarmac.  So there has been careful planning about projects, as you can imagine.

 

First up, my plain sock for knitting while talking to family.  This was yarn that I dyed almost a year ago but never used because I thought it was too plain.  Recently, I re-skeined it and over-dyed part of it to make it have stripes.  The purple is the new part.  I also have some hand-dyed light brown for the cuffs, heels, and toes.  No matter how I take pictures of this yarn, the color never turns out right.  Trust me that the purple is more… purple in real life.  I’ve learned my lesson, though, and I’m only bringing enough to make one sock on the trip.  That should guarantee that I finish the sock, right?

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Next, I’m making a scarf for someone for Christmas. Malabrigo Worsted, in Loro barranquero.

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This beautiful yarn will be a pair of cabled socks.  The Yarn Hollow Squish, Teal on Teal.

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This merino/bamboo fiber that I bought at Weaving Works.  Only about an ounce; I just wanted enough to tell how the blend spins.  I dyed it myself with food coloring.  I’ll be spinning it on my new Mt. Baker spindle!

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And one last-minute addition, Shibui Knits Baby Alpaca DK in Spruce.  Project to be determined soon.

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I’m not worried that I’m not bringing enough yarn.  I am worried, however, that the projects I have won’t be complicated enough to keep my interest.  After all, the flight back is an hour longer… Maybe I should bring a stitch dictionary just in case…

 

Titles are hard September 15, 2009

Filed under: Knitting Projects,Musings — Cailyn @ 4:47 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Well, that was an unexpected hiatus.  Let’s see what’s been going on lately.

 

One of my best friends got married (congratulations again!)  I was a bridesmaid and the dresses were strapless, so I knit up a shrug using some yarn that I bought at the Sock Summit for just that purpose.  I was knitting this as we drove to the ceremony- it’s a good thing that the location was so far away!

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The yarn is Toe Jammies Merino-Tencel, from Sweet Grass Wool in Mulberry.  I really liked this yarn.  It’s soft with a delightful shine and didn’t split at all.  The pattern for the shrug was pretty much improvised as I knit.  It started circularly, with a few rounds of moss stitch and then a few rounds of Larkspur Lace (which I used in these gloves.)  Then I worked the shrug flat until I nearly went insane the night before the wedding and when my sanity was hanging on by a mere thread, I joined it back in the round and worked the other “sleeve” in the opposite order.  Actually, it was all finished, even with some blocking, by the time I got in the car to leave, but then I stupidly decided that since I had an extra hour I would add a moss stitch border to the flat section.  And I finished it too… except that I wasn’t paying attention when I cast off (there might have been some champagne involved) and the cast off was too tight to get the shrug on.  So I ripped out the border and all was well.

 

Then I rushed to finished a last-minute submission to Knitty.  Unfortunately, if I show you any part of it, I would have to kill you.  So, that will remain a mystery until I hear back from them.  I think I can show you the yarn I used, though, this very pretty Malabrigo Sock in Persia.  The design uses twisted stitches which have become so much of an obsession that I’m actually dreaming about them.

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After that, I had an unexpected and fun visit from my dad.  We took a day trip to Mt. St. Helens and hiked around there as well as doing some biking closer to home.  We also had a good time being dorks in the Sci Fi Museum.  But there wasn’t much knitting, so I’ll leave it at that.

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And finally, which brings us up to yesterday, I sent off a submission to Yarn Forward for an issue later this year.  Again, I can’t show you anything but the yarn, which is Cherry Tree Hill’s Sockittome in Loden.  I like this yarn a lot (the stitch definition is great!), although it knit into a very stiff and somewhat scratchy fabric.  After a good, aggressive blocking (a treatment I rarely pull out for socks) the yarn softened up and the fabric became soft and pliable.  Amazingly enough, the socks that I submitted have absolutely zero, nada, no twisted stitches in them!

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In positive news, I just remembered that I have a few patterns all written up from last year that I’ve been saving for this fall.  Those should be up soon!

 

We’re Back! June 23, 2009

Filed under: Musings — Cailyn @ 2:04 pm
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Well, we’re back from Idaho.  Turns out I didn’t have the time (or really, the energy) to write while I was there.  I hardly even knit while I was there.  It was a really great trip, with lots of biking!

 

We rode on the Centennial Trail through town, past this great playground (there might have been a break for swinging).

 

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We rode the Route of the Hiawatha, from Pearson to the East Portal and back.  So many trestle bridges and tunnels!  This trail used to be the Old Milwaukee Railroad, just like the Iron Horse trail that we ride here at home. 

 

Hiawatha Small Tunnel   Hiawatha After the Rain   Hiawatha West Tunnel Entrance

 

It started to rain while we were riding and we took refuge in one of the tunnels.  It got pretty cold in those tunnels, especially the long ones.  The St Paul Pass Tunnel is 1.8 miles long!  You could see your breath in the middle of the tunnel… or you would have been able to if there had been enough light! Luckily the sun came back out pretty quickly, but until it did the trail was misty and mysterious. It was a lot of fun.

 

We also rode on the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes, from Medimont to the middle of the bridge over the lake.  We got rained on there too.  That ride was very pretty and it had ice cream!  We stopped off at the Creamery in Harrison for a small lunch, a little fudge, and lots of ice cream.  Mmm, banana split.

 

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On the last day we were in town, we went to some yarn shops, played mini golf, and bowled.  Oh, and some laser tag.  I’d never played laser tag before- I was pretty bad at it!  I think I shot my mother-in-law more than anyone else, completely by accident I swear.  She shot me a lot too.  I think it would have been more fun if it hadn’t been so humid, although the terrible techno was a nice touch. 

 

You’ll have to wait for the next post for the breakdown of my stash enhancement.  (Although the yarn is in my Ravelry stash if you really can’t wait to see.)

 

Traveling March 13, 2009

Filed under: Musings — Cailyn @ 1:48 pm
Tags: , ,

Traveling really ruins your rhythm.  I swore to myself that this time I went out of town, I would write up all my blog posts and have them publish automatically while I was gone.  When that didn’t happen, I said that I’d find time to write some things while I was visiting my family.

 

Obviously, none of those things happened while I was gone.  It was amazing how little time I had to write anything on the trip.  Unlike when we visited New Mexico, when we were traveling all around the state, I was in one place with constant access to a computer.  And yet…

 

Speaking of New Mexico (we were speaking of New Mexico, right?)

 

We were at the Open Space Visitor Center in Albuquerque, taking a nice nature walk.  There happened to be an exhibit on weaving and fiber there that was very interesting.  There was even a loom to play around with, with fibers donated by a store called Village Wools.  Crazy coincidence, eh? Their tag line is “Fiber addiction specialists.”  After having observed me and my knitting for the week previous, everyone decided that I am certainly addicted to fiber and that maybe I should visit this place to get some help.

 

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I was trying to look like a crazed fiber addict by eating my sock, but I ended up laughing too hard to keep the “crazy eyes” going.  So now I just look silly.DSC05285

Ah, much better.  You can actually see the sock I’m holding.

 

This place was amazing.  It was by far the largest yarn store that I’ve been in and every corner and surface was covered in yarn or needles or spindles or books.

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The yarn selection was incredible.  Cascade, Misti Alpaca, Noro, Debbie Bliss, Lorna’s Laces, all sorts of yarns in all different weights and colors.  Oh, the colors!  The book selection was great too, with books on socks, lace, weaving, and spinning.  I bought three books, two of which I’d never seen before!  Actually, I wanted to buy a lot more books, but I convinced myself to wait until the next time we’re in town. 

 

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I could have spent hours in that store.  There I am by the sock yarn, fondling some Lorna’s Laces.  I got a lot of yarn, which I’ll photograph and post up somewhere later.  I bought some lovely wool that was hand-dyed in Bernalillo; I always like to buy some local yarn when I travel, although sometimes I can’t find any.  I was also gifted with a drop-dead gorgeous skein of wool/silk in teal and blue that I have no idea what I’ll do with, but it will have to be fabulous!  The yarn deserves nothing less.  Oh my gosh, this stuff is incredible

 

If you live in the Albuquerque area and haven’t been to Village Wools, then you’re obviously not a fiber addict.  This place is great.  Now I’m not sure if I go to New Mexico to visit my in-laws or to visit Village Wools! 

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