I'm Laura. I am female, 31, a gamer, a bookworm, a knitter, a spinner, a tatter, pierced, tattooed, musical, vehemently geeky and occasionally ineptly artistic.


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happy Thanksgiving!

Posted at 25 Nov 2010 06:49:36 PM

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

We're out of town, but should be home soon. I have a proper post written up (well, mostly) which will go up once we're settled again. In the meantime,

1. Be thankful
2. Be happy
3. Turkey!

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I'm not dead yet

Posted at 22 Aug 2010 11:56:03 AM

I'm not dead, I promise. I may have dropped off of Facebook and my AIM presence is sporadic, but I'm still here - knitting, spinning and occasionally getting out of the house.

More of the latter than the former, it seems. We sweated last weekend while watching the Cards soundly beat the Cubs, and yesterday I went along with D while his bike group went on a half-day ride around St Louis and some of the state parks to the south. (Note to weather: stop being hot. Please?)

Next weekend we'll be in Iowa, and the weekend after that in New York. I think it slows down after that.. but don't quote me.

Despite my newly-renewed resolution to experience more than what I can see from my computer chair, I've actually gotten quite a bit done. It didn't feel like much at the time, but when gathered up like this I look rather productive:

( Click for the rest )

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Maryland Sheep and Wool wrap-up

Posted at 05 May 2010 05:59:53 PM

I know that I won't be able to squeeze in all of the pictures that I want, but nobody can say that I won't try!

Last weekend, I drove out to Maryland to spend some time with my aunt, uncle and cousins, and oh yea -- to see some sheep!

To save everyone's page loading times, pictures are under the cut:

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I'm sure that I could be a movie star...

Posted at 26 Jun 2010 10:49:44 AM

The paperwork is now signed, so it's official: I have a new job. No, I won't post the details here but suffice to say there won't be a gap between when my current contract ends and the new one begins.

Nevermind that I might like to have a bit of a gap, considering my extracurricular work load.

Of rather more immediate note, however: CoffeeMate's Hazlenut creamer is delicious.


My brother and I took a trip last weekend to Kansas City, for the specific purpose of taking in the Billy Joel/Elton John Face2Face concert being held at the Sprint Center. As anticipated it was amazing and not an experience that I would ever regret having. It's the second time we've seen Billy, and the first for Elton, and both were just in fantastic form.

I couldn't help but notice some professional cameramen stationed at the edge of the state, and it makes me wonder whether it would be possible to obtain a recorded copy of the concert... note to self: look into this.

Emotionally speaking, I held it together for Italian Restaurant and Norma Jean, and then lost it completely at Piano Man. It wasn't unexpected... that song has always held particular significance for us.

As I said, I'm grateful for the experience.

My Olympic project had its debut that same night, and I'm ridiculously happy with it:

Yarn: Kid Seta mohair, 3 25g balls
Needles: US #8 (5mm)
Pattern: My own, if it can be called a pattern, but I'm happy to share it if someone would like. ETA: Pattern link is in the sidebar!

Knitwise, I'm beginning to feel buried. This evening begins the Franklin Habit whirlwind, which hopefully I can get to in time owing to an unexpected mandatory drug test for the abovementioned new job. Tomorrow will be a slightly elongated Lace class, and then the Photography class, about both of which I am unreasonably excited.

I seem to have started a pair of Leyburns with the Fiber Optic sock yarn I'd bought from TLE a bit ago. It's a screamingly bright purple mixed with black and while it looked neat in plain stockinette, I decided after the cuff & a few inches that I really wasn't happy with it. The Leyburn pattern came to mind, and it seemed to me that it would help with the blotchiness.

Thus far, I'm pleased with it:

Snowflakes is on Chart J (there is no spoon Chart I). I made a bit of a goof in chart H wherein I merrily knitted along the top of some trees without noticing that I was simultaneously supposed to be starting the bottoms of some others. Rather than frog it or rework all thirty some repeats, I decided that the next set of trees would just be a bit short and non-overlapping. It's not a bug; it's a feature.

Evenstar is on a bit of a hiatus. The pattern is lovely but I didn't really like how the reeled silk was knitting up, to be honest. It's not particularly hard to work with; it just knits up like a ribbon yarn and ends up feeling coarse and inflexible. I just don't see the point in continuing only to get something which I don't really like. It's in time out for the time being, and when I start again I'm going to knit the silk along with a strand of black Baruffa Cashwool. Either the wool will tame the silk, or the silk will corrupt the wool - only time will tell. But I AM dreading starting this shawl for the fourth time...center-out beginnings drive me straight up the wall.

I've chosen a pattern to make for my nieces as a part of the New Baby package that I'll be giving their parents (no link to preserve the surprise (and also in case I end up disliking it)), and also a pattern for my parents for Christmas (ditto). I picked up some Cascade Elite Premiere on sale at the yarn shop in KC which I plan to make into a collared shrug. The yarn for my surprise gift as well as the Christmas gift is on order, and I think that both of them will be lovely even as I'm starting to panic about the number of things to which I'm "committed" in 2010.

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Gold medal, please!

Posted at 24 Feb 2010 10:05:10 AM

My Olympic knitting project has been started, worked, and is finished. Pictures to come!

Snowflakes - still not done. It was put on a two week hiatus for the Olympics.

Evenstar Clue 1: Also not done; same reason.

I have, however, successfully grown one thing: my queue (/facepalm). I've decided on my parents' Christmas present, which true to form is enormous, and also on a wedding present for a good friend. The latter involves a custom dye job from Laura at The Unique Sheep, who was responsible for the amazing gradience colorways used by many people in the Evenstar group.

My knitwear design classes at Kirkwood Knittery continue apace; I'm loving the class, but longing for the return of lazy Saturdays. It won't be for a while, though: my brother and I are going to Kansas City this weekend for the Billy Joel/Elton John Face2Face concert (I still cannot believe that he was able to get tickets! Dan, if it involved selling a kidney... just don't tell me) and Franklin Habit (fangirl *squee!*) is coming to St Louis the first weekend in March.

He's both doing a talk & book signing, and teaching classes on Saturday. I've signed up for both the lace intro class and the photography class. I wouldn't have taken the lace one if I hadn't been assured that there is going to be adequate space and I won't be taking a spot from someone who really needs the "Intro" part; mostly it's that I greatly admire his knitting, and for however much I know about lace I am sure that he knows more!

The Blues' Sticks & Stitches game is 3/21, and I need to get a hat or something knit up for that.

Gabe and Tycho from Penny Arcade are going to be here on 3/31, and I've got to get their crocheted Fruit Fucker in the works.

I'm still going to MD Sheep & Wool in May, so if anyone reading this has anything they want from the festival, let me know beforehand! I'm planning to drive there, so there's no worry of not being able to transport things.

P. S: Little Big Planet, with the little knitted sackboys? Fantastic game. I'm thrilled that not only does there exist a recent game which is third person perspective'd, I have friends with a PS3! And after years of WoW, I find myself getting bored with single player games; having to play at someone else's house means co-op!

P. P. S. My sackboy is a tiny knitted penguin.

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Posted at 26 Jun 2010 10:49:07 AM

Oh hey, what's that?

Yes, it's Wollmeise! Courtesy of Chanala @ Rav, it's 510 yards of Sockenwolle 100% in the colorway Terra di Siena to be precise. I don't know what it wants to be when it grows up, yet, but I'm fighting the urge to cast on for something and figure it out on the way!

There was more yarn and yarn-related goodies for Christmas, which I haven't posted yet for the rather terrible reason that I haven't finished photographing them yet. This week filled up stunningly fast, but I will get there.

Tonight we've friends coming over for dinner, and I'm taking the opportunity to roast the leg of lamb which I've been saving in the deep freezer. It will be my first lamb roast; wish me luck! Tomorrow is Knit Night (weather permitting) and bowling league resumes on Friday.

Despite having a full week I've made progress on my gloves from Vogue Knitting and on the Snowflakes shawl. Isn't it nice how I wait until it's 10* to start on a pair of warm gloves?

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Well hello there, 2010

Posted at 04 Jan 2010 09:48:12 AM

A very Happy New Year to all of you, and may this year be even better than the last!

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Some brief picspam

Posted at 26 Jun 2010 10:48:57 AM

My Evenstar necklace:

And a small present to myself ... ;-)

The shawl pin is from Scotts Mountain Crafts on Etsy. It is light as a feather and even more beautiful in person, I assure you!

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The pile on my end table

Posted at 28 Dec 2009 09:05:43 AM

Wherein we detail the list of awesome Christmas presents!

I still have yet to use the Fyberspates gift card from my in-laws; I'm a) waiting for them to repopulate the website post-Christmas, and b) waiting for myself to use the yarn I have (i.e. finish something already) so that I don't feel like I'm carrying coals to Newcastle.

The Signature US #1 needles, on the other hand, are employed as we speak. And yes, best beloved, they are exactly as wonderous as you've heard. Completely worth the outrageous price. (And I've heard they're starting to make circulars. Be still, my beating heart!)

Dan gifted me a Yankees hat and jersey, which is made of awesome. Also an Evenstar pendant straight out of Lord of the Rings, which is beautiful and sparkley and supremely geeky!

On the aforementioned end table are the following:

The Midwest Gardener's Cookbook, by Marian Towne. This book looks incredibly interesting, and is filled with common sense recipes which are simple and look delicious. It may cause me to rethink what I usually plant in my garden!

Second Book of Modern Lace Knitting by Marianne Kinzel
. There's one particular project in here which I very much want to make, but I'm going to have to do some serious finishing of projects before I can even contemplate starting it.

The Enchanted Sole; Legendary Socks for Adventurous Knitters by Janel Laidman. There are so many lovely patterns in this book! And I love all the stories that go with them. The way to my heart is truly through a good fairytale.

Home is Where the Wine Is, by Laurie Perry. I loved her first book, and am halfway through this one already. (Just don't tell that to The Anarchy Archives or Way of Shadows. I'm fickle.)

Victorian Lace Today, by Jane Sowerby. This has become a ubiquitous lace-knitting book since its initial publishing. The patterns do seem to uphold the book's reputation, and I'm excited to start using it!

A Gathering of Lace, by Meg Swansen and Elaine Rowley. Ditto the comment to VLT; everything in this book is gorgeous! These will keep me in projects for years to come.

Scarf Style, by Pam Allen. There are some truly cozy and interesting projects in here, which is good since while useful garments, scarves are my kryptonite. I'm hoping that some of these will be enough to curb my impatience!

And there you have it. I hope that your Christmas was equally pleasant and fruitful!

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Knitting globally: English, Continental, Norwegian, Portuguese

Posted at 26 Jun 2010 10:48:44 AM

Unlike the rest of my weeks, this Saturday was very knitterly indeed. It started with Knit Morning at Borders in Brentwood, went through dropping off Georgia's christmas present at Hearthstone in south county, and up through a three-hour techniques class at Kirkwood Knittery.

I enjoyed that class very much. We learned Continental knitting (which I speak fluently), English knitting - a.k.a. "throwing" (which I did not speak at all, despite that being how I was originally taught), and progressed on through Finnish (I think?) and Norwegian purling, and ended up at Portuguese knitting.

Of them all, the Portuguese was the most surprising. I'm actually rather likely to use it when knitting something unpatterned, or ribbed (to wit: my half-finished Margot); despite looking wacky in the extreme it's amazingly fluid and uses very few movements. I wouldn't want to try a k3tbl with it, but for knit and purl it's very cool.

I also had my first attempt at trying stranded knitting using one color in each hand. My swatch looks rather dismal, and only some of it can be blamed on my 'strands' coming from the inside & outside of the same ball -- in other words, they're the same color and it looks not at all impressive from the right side. But hey - however inept it may have been, I have done it, and that means it's no longer scary!

My experiments in crochet are proceeding apace; I've produced one mushroom, which I think is rather cunning but which Dan thinks should be shorter and squatter, in order to more accurately resemble a Mario mushroom. My tension is abysmal, which is to be expected.

Beyond that, I have done exactly nothing. There is a sock in my purse only because there always is, but I haven't touched Snowflakes or TQS in weeks. I think the rush to get the last-minute shawl completed before Christmas started the burnout and the even-more-last-minute pair of office gloves put on the final touches this year. And if I have learned anything at all about my creative process, it is that there's no use in forcing it. What I am still learning is that I don't need to feel guilty about it. I'll go back to eye-crossing lace when I'm ready for it, and not before.

Expect updates sometime well after twelfth night.