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March 31, 2003
slipped stitches I've recently

slipped stitches

I've recently discovered the slip-stitch or mosaic method of color patterning. I love it! I did the swatch below using this
technique and now I'm trying a baby sweater using the mosaic pattern from Vogue.

Try it, you'll like it!


02:30 PM
March 30, 2003
vol II, no 3

vol II, no 3

Anyone have the Fall 1997 issue of Interweave Knits? Found some references to it and I would like to read it. It's not
available for purchase from Interweave and my library doesn't subscribe. Let me know if you've got it stashed away somewhere,


06:42 AM
March 28, 2003
nothing on the needles

nothing on the needles

I'm still in limbo on knitting projects. Very strange. I guess this is the downside of only having one project going at a time. I've
had something going more or less constantly for a year. I've been swatching things and fantasy shopping for yarn and will probably start
a real project soon. I've also unraveled bits of an old Ecudorean sweater that I've been carting around with me since high school and
hardly ever wearing. It almost went to Goodwill, but then I realized that I could rip it out and play with the fiber. The yarn is
barely spun so it breaks a lot in the unravelling process. The flipside is that you can hold the two pieces together and rub them on
your corduroys and stick them together quite easily. Zoe's been dyeing bits and pieces of it with Kool-Aid. And I've just cast on a hat
with it.

Now that it's officially spring, I've been tidying up the yard. I think the fact that I invited people over for Sunday may have more to do with it, but there's nothing like a party to prod you into those long put off chores. Hanging pictures where they should go instead of on the nail that's already there... folding up the guest futon that hasn't seen a guest in weeks... cleaning the windows since it will still be light out... and sprucing up the yard.

I planted a few things in the front. There were a few bare spots in the gazania "lawn", so I replanted those. I also bought a bunch of drought-tolerant wild flower seeds, California poppies, painted daisies... and threw them over the gazania. We'll see what manages to take root, if anything.

My cheap trick for emergency yard spruce up, though, was to shell out $15 for bark chips/mulch/beauty bark. A tad suburban, perhaps, but in a couple of hours of pulling out the worst of the weeds and the dead plant stuff, sweeping and spreading the bark, the courtyard looks fresh and cheerful. Plus, it's supposed to help the soil stay moister and keep weeds down. All good.


06:45 AM
two things. I happened

two things.

I happened by La Jolla Fiber Arts on Wednesday. I noticed they have spindles and such for
sale. This is probably dangerous information. What I was most drawn to, however, was a beaded bracelet that looked a bit like a
porcupine. It was loomed with seed beads but had extra bits sticking out all over. It closed with a button. For some reason, I'm
always tickled by that. Now I'm all hopped up to go find a loom and see if I can do something with the idea.

I finally broke down and made some really real ice cream in the ice cream maker. The kind with heavy cream and lots of egg yolks made into a custard that actually tastes like ice cream. Very tasty. I made Vanilla and some Mexican Chocolate. Since then, I've been seized with the idea of Peppercorn Ice Cream. I'm sure it's been done, but it sounds intriguing. Can't decide whether to go with basic black or something more exotic. Pink peppercorn ice cream with some sort of strawberry accompaniment. How cute would that be?


06:20 AM
March 27, 2003
archives fixed? pulled it

archives fixed?

pulled it all out and recoded it from scratch. i think it's working now with a separate archive page. archive page is unlovely. i
will work on it.


06:33 AM
March 26, 2003
nyc job This may

nyc job

This may be old news; the job may be filled, but I was playing around with "knitting" at and discovered that a yarn shop,
The Lion and Lamb, is looking for full-time help. If you're a New York knitter looking to
ditch it all and devote your life to fiber, this could be your chance.


06:32 AM
March 25, 2003
paper. Today is the


Today is the Domestic Sphere's real first anniversary. The paper anniversary. Don't think my blog needs anything paper. Next year
-- cotton. Much easier to knit!

What you can give us for our anniversary is help with the Archives! I've tried all the obvious stuff like republishing and what not, but they won't show up. This was prior to the switch to Blogger Pro, so I don't think that's the issue.



06:21 AM
March 21, 2003
swatch --------



01:47 PM
happy spring! --------

happy spring!


05:57 AM
March 20, 2003
happy anniversary, blog! I

happy anniversary, blog!

I realized recently that the Domestic Sphere and I are about to celebrate our first anniversary. As I was about to throw Blogger
across the room, I decided to indulge in a gift a little on the early side... so we'll just declare it the start of "Birthday Week"!
We've gone Pro (Blogger-Pro); hopefully this will sort out all the problems we've been having with Blogger and up the posting frequency.

The true first post was March 25, 2002, so we've got a few days to go. Hard to believe it's only been a year. Knitting and the self-reflectiveness of posting about various projects, thoughts and observations have truly changed the shape of my days over the last year. First, it's completely legitimized my knitting and other handiwork. Previously, I felt a bit dorky, seized by the need to turn some bit of fiber to garment. I felt a tad guilty, even with modest expenses to support my craft. My audience was small and one can't run about crowing about the brilliant way one managed the raglan decreases in daily life... at least not to good effect. Now, I am driven to keep the creativity flowing, to keep moving on projects, to try new things... The people don't want to read about me cleaning out the vegetable drawer! I think I have also become more observant -- at least about design. I pay more attention to the play of colors, both intentional and accidental, I am more conscious of what people are wearing, how the garments suit them, how they are shaped and colored and textured. I have also produced a lot in the last year. The blog makes all these bits and pieces, the various experiments, the more involved projects into more of a coherent story -- a story to tell to myself and to you.

I want to thank you for your readership, especially for your comments and emails, over the last year. I owe big thanks to a few in our community: A mighty huzzah to Bonne Marie and Wendy for their unceasing enthusiasm for knitting; it inspired me to get started. Their prodigious output and their tenacity for blogging about it, rain or shine, prod me to keep going. Thanks to Theresa for her blog help and encouragement, especially in the early days of my blog. Thanks to Kerrie, Melissa, and Kate for being loyal readers. Your regular comments are much appreciated. And special thanks to Amy for starting Knitty, for giving me the opportunity to "work" with her and launching me as a card-carrying knitwear designer.


07:21 AM
March 19, 2003
blogger ate my homework

blogger ate my homework


What's up in the Domestic Sphere, you ask? Good news: I got my brace, finally, finally, finally for my wrist. I have de Quervain's Syndrome (or Disease?) -- gasp! Sounds like a dreaded soap opera malady. And actually there's a de Quervain's Syndrome (or Disease?) that is a weird hermaphroditic condition. I don't have it, and I don't think the brace would help. I just have tendonitis at the base of my thumb. I waded through much managed care mire to accomplish the little feat of getting the wrist splint. I probably should have just ordered one online!

Bad news: Very hard to knit with the brace on. I suppose there's a lesson to be learned here about knitting and wrist health. I confess that after wearing the brace much of the day, I took it off to knit, because it was too annoying and was gouging into my thumb.

on the needles: I started a groovy little swing top for Thing 1, with beads and flaps and what not. Still think the pattern was good. Not wild about the execution, so I yanked it off the needles. Cast on again for another Summer Shell: I think I may go for a stitch pattern. I usually don't go that way as I'm not much of a counter while knitting, but figured I'd give it a whirl. I'm trying to use some dusty pink cotton yarn that I got at the thrift store. It's pretty nice yarn; I have no idea what it is as there were no ball bands. I think I got 5 skeins for 2 bucks. First time ever that I actually found decent yarn at the thrift store. And believe me, I'm no stranger to those hallowed aisles.

Here's a question: Has Intarsia disappeared from the radar? I see lots of FairIsle out there, plenty of cables, but no intarsia work. Not that I've ever tried it myself, but it seems like fun. Very graphic. Is it a huge pain in the pa-toot or is it just OUT?


06:57 AM
March 16, 2003
international knitting meetup Okay,

international knitting meetup

Okay, perhaps this is old news to some, but I just stumbled across the website for the "">International Knitting Meetup. Seems there're knitting get togethers across the world (well, mostly
North America) on the 3rd Wednesday of the month. Don't know if I'll go, but the interesting thing to me was that San Diego was the city
with the fourth largest membership. Am I unknowingly living in a hotbed of knitting? Cool.


06:59 AM
March 15, 2003
SSS The Sari Silk


The Sari Silk Shell.


06:16 AM
March 14, 2003
barefoot in the park

barefoot in the park

Really. My apologies to you all still in the throes of winter, but I spent a couple of hours the other day knitting at the park...
sans shoes. Spring has definitely sprung here. We've had a couple of decent rains so everything is clean and green. The first leaves
have poked out on the peach tree, our token deciduous tree, so I know it's spring now.

And just in time for spring, I've finished my Sari Silk Shell. I still think it's really cool yarn, and the shell shape turned out nicely, but it walks a strange line of shabby chic. It's pure silk and the colors are rich, but at the same time, the yarn is bumpy and hairy and chaotic. Pictures soon. Have to charge the batteries to get the pictures off the camera.

And once again, I'm in a knitting vacuum. Nothing at all on the needles. Thinking about what comes next....


12:50 PM
March 11, 2003
it's a machine. One

it's a machine.

One thing I really like about sewing machines is that they are really machines. Little pieces of metal push and pull on
one another, go around in circles, move up and down, carry the threads along and interlock them with your fabric. You can see everything
working. No microchips. Not much has change since young Elias Howe wanted to help his mother with her sewing.... Anyway, I really get
a kick out of sewing machines that way.

Mine has treated me right since I bought it at Sears just out of college. I think it cost about $100. But now, just as an urge to do some sewing takes over, my machine ain't working right. I've tried it a few times and the problem persists: I keep breaking needles. It seems like the needle is making contact with the widget that holds the bobbin. The widget is perhaps misaligned or the needle isn't coming down straight. I've taken out the bobbin assembly, cleaned it, visually inspected it. I can't see anything, though the bobbin assembly does seem to sit a little loose, and I can hold it and make the problem recur.

Any sewing whiz kids out there who can help me get this fixed? It seems silly to take it somewhere to get fixed. I can't imagine anyone charging less than $30 for repairs, and a working machine is surely worth that, though I don't want to invest too much in it if it's reached some sort of old age... I know there are some centuries old sewing machines out there, stitching away, but is my plastic-cased bottom-of-the-line Kenmore really gonna make it?

As a friend of mine said, love to have one of those vintage machines that look like a 50's Cadillac -- if it were working well.


06:25 AM
March 7, 2003
the silk road Got

the silk road

Got my sari silk yesterday. It's lovely. The person from whom I purchased it failed to mention that the vest she had knit with it
was in mitered squares -- a big pain to rip out. As I lay in bed in the wee hours not sleeping I was overcome with the urge to rip it
out and get knitting, so I've got it mostly ripped. This was a nearly finished vest. I sort of felt bad ripping out all of someone's
sweat and toil, but now the yarn will get some use.

It's sort of strange stuff. It has no elasticity and is very strong and heavy. It will drape like crazy. I knit up a swatch, using small needles so the fabric is quite dense. Since I've heard mixed reports on its washability I have washed my swatch. A tiny bit of color run, but it seems to have held it's size pretty well. We'll see what it looks like dry. Now to file my nails (it snags like crazy!) and start knitting and scheming. It will be an tank with sort of a dropped boat neck... so we can call it drape, not droop.


12:20 PM
March 6, 2003
what's up A few

what's up

A few items to update: The search for Leo's dream yarn continues... This morning we talked about Tahki's Chelsea Silk and Horstia's
Maulbeerseide Schurwolle. He likes the latter, though with a nearly $200 price tag for yarn alone, it's a pricy proposition and not a
sweater for everyday wear. Still, if I'm only going to knit him one sweater in years, it might as well be a good one.

Spent the morning painting a stageset/puppet theater for my daughter's school fundraiser. It sneaks out that you're the least bit creative and you are roped into such tasks. It's a vaguely Suessish interior, which is appropriate in that (a) Dr. Suess lived in my neighborhood, and (b) Dr. Suess's birthday is this week. Be sure to eat some green eggs and ham... or knit a thneed.

I've been having lots of design fantasies this week. Most recently, a new version of the Technicolor Dream Sweater, only mainly in silk. Noro's Silk Country, maybe some Brown Sheep Prairie Silk, and some of the Horstia... Ooh la la!

And speaking of silk, I am eagerly awaiting 11, yes, 11 skeins of the Nepalese Sari silk yarn! Someone started knitting it and then didn't want it, so I got it for $75 plus shipping. I think this is the first yarn I've bought this year, except for a few skeins of Cotton-Ease for the Knitty sweaters, and such a bargain! I couldn't pass it up. I've heard mixed reviews of actually knitting the stuff. Any advice welcomed. My dream of the Sari Silk Shell and Dupioni silk skirt may come to fruition after all. Now if I am ever invited to dine with heads of state, I'll have something to wear!


01:09 PM
March 5, 2003
read Knitty In case

read Knitty

In case you've missed it. Read Knitty. See my ""> Dynamic Duo there.


08:14 AM
March 1, 2003
yarn search, II Mmm.

yarn search, II

Mmm. I see that I need to clarify my search further -- Leo likes finely knit sweaters, not bulky hand-knit looking ones. However, I
can't see having the stick-to-it to finish something at microscopic gauge, particularly in a single color, without much fancy work. Five
to the inch is a compromise gauge... Further, we live in a climate that rarely falls out of the 55 - 75 degree range, so we don't need
polar insulation. A nice wool blend or a cotton blend will suit nicely. Not fuzzy with angora, but I'm not turning my nose up at a
little silk or something... a little synthetic's fine if it improves the shape of the cotton or aids in washability.

And when I say neutral, I mean somewhere in the beige to taupe range. Blues are out as he always wears jeans and doesn't like to be all blue.

The Wool Cotton is a contender, though it is pretty fine. I've also thought about Noro Cash Iroha, but it may be too luxe for everyday wear. I've also eyed Austermann Rubino -- there's a good price at


04:38 PM