If you really want to know…

Here’s my info for the Knit Sock Kit Swap. This may or may not be different from what I posted for Dye-O-Rama

What are your favorite colors?

  • Black, purple, forest green, cobalt blue

Are you a new sock knitter? How long have you been knitting socks?

  • I’ve been knitting socks for four or five years. I’ve knit over 40 pairs.

Do you prefer solid or multicolored yarn?

  • It depends. 🙂 I have a lot of multicolored yarn, but I sure would love some black Regia Silk. I found black Regia Silk locally!! Woo-hoo!!

What fibers do you prefer in sock yarn?

  • Not acrylic. If it’s cotton, it needs to be blended with wool. I hate Cascade Fixation with a passion.

Where do you usually knit socks?

  • Everywhere – I always have a sock project in my backpack.

How do you usually carry/store small projects?

  • I have a very cool sock bag from Trek that holds one of my sock projects. The other is in a purple stuff sack in my backpack.

What are your favorite sock knitting patterns?

What are your favorite sock knitting techniques?

  • See previous! 🙂

What new techniques would you like to try?

  • Maybe some more lace socks.

Do you prefer circulars or dpns for sock knitting?

  • Two circulars all the way. I’ve tried dpns and I’ve tried magic loop.

What are some of your favorite yarns?

  • Sundara, Regia Silk, some of the superwash sold by ebay seller lotusblossom, Trekking

What yarn do you totally covet?

  • I covet the green Trekking colorway that’s numbered in the low 100s. More Sundara. More Regia Silk. Maybe some Mama-E or Scout. Strangely, I’m not a big fan of Cherry Tree Hill. Koigu is ok, but there are lots of great microproducers out there doing stuff just as good.

Any pattern you would love to make if money and time were no object?

  • How about skill?! Probably some stunning, elaborate lace shawl out of black cashmere. It’ll be a while before I’m up to it!

Favorite kind of needles (brand, materials, straights or circs, etc)?

  • Addi Turbos. I always use size 0 for fingering weight socks, but if they made 00 Turbos, I’d have those.

If you were a specific kind of yarn, which brand and kind of yarn would you be?

  • Regia Silk – there’s a pun there, but you’d have to know some very specific things about me to get it!

Do you have a favorite candy or mail-able snack?

  • Dark chocolate! Interesting gluten-free, lactose-free snacks from exotic locations.

What’s your favorite animal?

  • Hee hee… um, cats. (Are you surprised?! I didn’t think so.)

Do you have pets?

  • Two blackcats

What are their species/names/ages?

  • Chaos, born September 28, 2003, and Mayhem, born May 31, 2006

If you were a color what color would you be?

  • Black. It’s simple, it’s elegant… Purple would be my second choice, for when I’m an old catlady!

Describe your favorite shirt (yours or someone else’s).

  • Black v-neck tank top with a hint of lycra but not form-fitting, hitting slightly below the hip bone

What is your most inspiring image, flower, or object in nature?

  • Egrets for their snowy whiteness, their simultaneous awkwardness and elegance

Tell me the best quote you’ve ever heard or read.

  • “It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.” – Agnes Repplier

Do you have a wishlist?

  • Nope

Anything else you’d like to share with the group today?

  • Nope!


I should warn you in advance that this bib thing? Way addictive. You know how so many people are knitting those clever MDK washcloths/dishrags and they just keep knitting more and more? The bibs are like that, too. I’m sure Jeanne will post her tale of many bibs any day now. And Sydney has already succumbed – one of her ferrets is modeling!

So, I present to you…. Bib #3!! Knit from less than one ball of Sugar’n’Cream, color Summer Splash, this probably will be the last Project Spectrum item I complete for June.

Once again, my model was too slow in his escape.


But wait, what have we here?!

*muffled* (probably best, don’t you think??)

“I’ve got my eye on you, Mom. I’m wise to your tricks now!”

M is for…

Mixes. (Heh, did you think it would be my beloved Minneapolis?! Or mammal for Chaos?)

Got your tape and it changed my mind
Heard your voice in between the lines
Now I’m falling in love too fast
With you or the songs you chose
I can hear you singing to me in my sleep
I can hear you singing to me in my sleep

I’ve been living in your cassette
It’s the modern equivalent
Singing up to a Capulet
On a balcony in your mind

– Semisonic, Singing in My Sleep

I love making and receiving mixes. It used to be mix tapes, but these days it’s mix cds. For me, mixes are incredibly evocative – they can instantly transport me back in time. I’m not alone in that. In the book Liner Notes, author Emily Franklin says of protagonist Laney that “each mix tape brings her back to a specific time in her life” and that she herself “use[s] music as a kind of time-travel device whereby I choose songs sometimes just to think about the times that go with them.”

Here are some mix tapes from 10 years ago. I made the the top one so I had something fun to listen to in the car. Probably the most memorable song on it is “I’m Ugly and I Don’t Know Why” by Butt Trumpet. 🙂 The next two tapes were from a guy I dated. The first one was named after two of his fish, while the second one was named after his musical influences during that later part of the mix tape making process! The final tape was a friend for my birthday in (I think) 1992. I remember two songs particularly from this tape – “Pretty as You Feel” by Jefferson Airplane and “I Wanna Be an Engineer” by Pete Seeger.

Onto mix cds. The most interesting thing about mix cds is that, although I had made mix cds for people, until I started blogging I had never received a mix cd from anyone! Boy, has that ever changed and I am very happy about it because mixes also serve as musical cross-pollination for me – not only can I share what I’m listening to with others, I get to hear music new to me.

From the top left, the Project Spectrum May Mix from the Crafty Modster, the Soul Gardening Mix from soul gardener TB, the Meow Mix from MrsPao, and Cats in the Garden from TB.

Again from the top left, the B-List Compilation Mix: Songs to Blog By (compiled by TB, but featuring favorites from an assortment of bloggers), Needle Tunes from Just a Knit Wit, and Eileen’s Mix/Just Silly Stuff from Eileen.

Notice anything missing from these pictures? No Chaos! He was completely disinterested in the mixes and chose to lie on top of his litterbox instead. He had this message for y’all:

“Yeah, baby, you look look totally scrumptious.”

Chaos’ dyeing exploration

Jeanne has already covered our dyeing adventures of last Saturday evening on her blog. I’ll just add that we probably need to work on diluting our dye stock quite a bit more – and not with wine! But dang, that pinot noir sure went down smooth…

The skein on the left is 345 yards of GEMS Merino fingering weight from several years ago. It started out cream-colored and was dyed with a mixture of violet/black and red/black. The two skeins on the right are each 225 yards of GEMS Merino sportweight (also from several years ago). They started out taupe and were dyed with a mixture of violet/black and green/black.

“What have we here, sitting in the middle of my domain?”

“Oh, let me get up here so I can really check it out.”

“Maybe this isn’t such a good idea – that thing is awfully wobbly!”

“What are you talking about? I wasn’t interested in getting up there!”

“See how utterly disinterested I am?”

Anyway, I think that the skeins look a lot better twisted up.

Sculpture garden

Twilight in the sculpture garden
We’ll walk around the place
Look upon the beautiful secrets
That all the artists made

– Semisonic

On Sunday, I also wandered through the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, just across the street from Loring Park. Probably the best known sculpture is Spoonbridge and Cherry, which is also a fountain (the water comes out of the end of the stem when the fountain is on).

Minneapolis is sometimes called the “Mini-Apple.” (Please note that the buildings of downtown are not slowly toppling over to the left. Whoops.)

I’m particularly fond of Woodrow.

And of Standing Glass Fish, which is located in a small conservatory on the west edge of the Sculpture Garden.

I thought that Paul Walters Piece looked like a very large ball of yarn.

Which reminded me to get out my Trekking sock and take another picture of it.

And then I headed home…

“I don’t think I like what you’re implying here.”

Pride trekketh

I’ll start with a quick SRP update…

Blood Rites by Jim Butcher. Book 6 of the Dresden Files. 372 pages. Once again, Chicago wizard-for-hire Harry Dresden faces tough enemies and deals with startling revelations. I love this series.
Dark Tort by Diane Mott Davidson. 284 pages. The latest mystery about Colorado caterer Goldy Schultz – what else can I say? 🙂 It’s light reading with recipes.

Amy of Knit Think sent me an email a few days ago, mentioning that she would working at the Mother Bear Project booth at the GLBT Pride Festival in Loring Park yesterday and that, since I live in the neighborhood, I should stop by and say hi. Okey dokey.

I haven’t ever been to the Pride Festival before. I was amazed at how large it was. Thousands of people and hundreds of booths surrounded the lake in Loring Park – this picture is only a tiny portion of the Festival.

Fortunately, I stumbled on the Mother Bear booth very quickly. I saw Amy (left) and met another local blogger, Julie (right).

The Mother Bear Project has sent nearly 11,000 bears to children in emerging nations whose lives have been touched by HIV/AIDS. There’s definitely going to be some bear knitting here at Casa de Chaos over the winter! It doesn’t hurt that these bears are seriously cute. If you’re interested in helping the project in some way other than by knitting a bear, there’s information here.

I had my purple Trekking socks with me, so I snapped a few pictures in the lovely Loring Park garden. Yes, I finally made it past the yarn vomit!

Out of all the benches in the garden, I was pleased and saddened to chance across this one:

I know you’re all worried about Chaos. He wasn’t too happy with the Pride Festival’s fireworks, but I did come back from the festival with a silly little toy that seems to have puzzled him…

“You’re not going to make me play with this in the tub, are you?!!”

Sunday sky (whoops)

Ok, so the day I take as completely computer free turns out to be the first Saturday Sky day. Alas! But then I noticed that Beck was also running a day late, so I figured what the heck. Besides, today it’s sunny. Yesterday was very rainy in these parts.

This picture was taken on the Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge. The text is from one of my favorite poems, the specially commissioned John Ashberry poem that graces the bridge. And it’s rather Project Spectrummy, too, isn’t it?

Blue, blue building

Last night I met Renee for dinner and margaritas at Bar Abilene. We ate, drank, and were merry, then wandered down the block to take in an advance screening of Who Killed the Electric Car? at the Lagoon Cinema (I won tickets to it!). The documentary was extremely well done and very thought-provoking. The director and one of the main people in the movie were onhand afterwards to answer questions, which was great. Check out Renee’s indepth review!

Anyone remember the bright green building from last month? This month, I present (for your Project Spectrum amusement and amazement) the blue, blue building. (Remember that you can click on the pictures to see larger versions.)

Notice how well it blends into the neighborhood?! It’s a nice bit of color, especially in the winter.

Here’s a closer view, taken in the parking lot – please note that the Dunn Brothers Coffee isn’t open anymore. Do you see the mural? Here’s a picture of the rest of the mural:

“Your eyes are growing heavy… When you wake up, you won’t remember this conversation.
You will go forth, knit bibs, and wear them. Bwah-ha-ha!”

Bibbed redux

Way back on June 7, I participated in A Day in a Knitter’s Life. Sort of. If you’re curious about my rather pathetic effort, you can check it out.

In more current news, I finished another Project Spectrumesque MDK bib in Sugar’n’Cream color swimming pool. I’m 2/3 done with yet another bib – these things are speedy and much appreciated by parents, since they are significantly more absorbent than most of the bibs you can buy.

My model’s curiosity overcame his good sense (how could he forget so quickly?!) and he was quickly trapped for a photo shoot.

“Again, I’m so ashamed…”
“How could I forget so quickly?!”
“I would so rather be playing with Midnight Mouse.”
“Release me, oh evil bib!”
“Ok, ok, I can do this – one shoulder free! Hah!!”

Tail of the Midnight Mouse

The third package was from Sachi. It contained an adorable black sheep pepper shaker and white sheep salt shaker for me. (Edit: Sachi has just informed me that these are kissing sheep – they have little magnets on their noses!!)

And for Chaos, a black Rowan Wool Cotton catnip mouse! The picture yesterday was an optical illusion – the mouse was under Chaos’ head, not in his mouth! (Fortunately, it’s way too big to fit in his mouth.) Sachi wrote in the note that she sent that “Hally asked if you could tell Chaos that I knit some of her hair into the mutant catnip mouse… Hally thinks it creates some crazy betrothed bond.” Betrothed?! Chaos, what have you been up to while I’ve been at work??

*sniff sniff*
“Is that Cosmic Catnip I smell?”
“Mmmmmm… definitely Cosmic.”
“Must rub mouse all over self so smell catnippy irresistible for Hally!”
“Dude, I am so stoned.”
“It was so sweet of Hally to command her human to knit a mouse for me…”
Thanks, Sachi and Hally!!