The hyperbolic crochet coral reef project is extremely cool.

The Smithsonian will be participating by installing a reef in October 2010 and you can participate. There’s a workshop and lecture this Sunday at the Natural History Museum from noon – 4. (rsvp:

You can still participate even if you can’t attend that workshop.

You can contact the local organizers at to arrange a local community workshop or you can attend one at Fibre Space on June 24th, from 5-9 pm:

Join our Thursday night “Stitch in Space” every week, starting June 24th to make your own piece to the crochet coral reef. Jennifer Lindsay from the Smithsonian Community Reef will join us on the 24th to help everyone get started. Or you can find your own inspiration at the Institute For Figuring’s Gallery of Crocheted Models. Our reef will be on display in our front window before heading off to the Smithsonian in August to become part of the larger reef project.

Here’s video of a recent TED talk by Margaret Wertheim, co-founder of the The Institute For Figuring, in case you want to learn more (or you just can’t figure out what the hell I’m talking about and why it’s cool).

I had to take a little vacation from knitting. Consequently, I have an abnormally large number of unfinished objects (UFOs) hanging around. Now that I’m off my feet with an injured foot maybe I’ll get caught up. The painkillers make knitting a little more, um, freeform, than some of the patterns require, so the lace project and the cabled sweaters may have to wait a little longer. I don’t usually have this many WIPs (more knitting-nerd speak. translation: works in progress) at a time – you know unfinished projects drive me almost as crazy as clutter.

There’s a GreenGable Hoodie from the Fall 2008 Vogue that I’m making with the gold Debbie Bliss Donegal Chunky Tweed I scooped up at a Knit Happens. IMG_1061 I don’t much like working with tweed, but it’s a really pretty color and the fiber lets the cables really pop.

Last time I was at Fibre Space I impulse-bought 5 skeins of Crystal Palace Mochi Plus (colorway: feldspar). The color is very similar to the Noro Silk Garden Clapotis I made last year, but I’ve altered the pattern and am using very large needles so it’s completely different. Sort of.

noro silk garden clapotis (detail)

Plus, the Mochi is a more polished looking yarn than the more elegantly rustic looking Noro. Elegantly rustic? That seems like a ridiculous description, but maybe Noro knitters know what I mean. That’s my rationalization for making another clapotis, anyway. I’ve also been working on a delicate and slinky looking one in pure silk, but that one keeps running into trouble, so let’s not discuss it now. Let me also say for the record that I think most Noro, and most Mochi for that matter, looks like the aftermath of a clown explosion. There are a couple of colorways I like, but not that many.

There are always a couple of unfinished socks hanging around in little project bags. Those don’t count, I always have a simple stockinette sock or two around for traveling or conferences or other down time where I want something to do but don’t want to have to pay attention to it very closely.

I’m also still finishing the Marilyn (Miss Babs Yowza), a top-down raglan for Husband (Paton’s Classic Wool), and the 2nd sock for a pair of lace socks (Spud and Chloe).

Speaking of Miss Babsshe’ll be at Fibre Space Saturday for a trunk show. I may coax Husband into taking me over there for a bit. Maybe I should finish his sweater first so as to bribe him…

This post serves no real purpose other than to give you, my loyal readers, a chance to snicker at the fact that I have these projects all over the house, taunting me with their unfinishedness. I know you like to believe that I’m a vision of earthly perfection and would never have such untidyness in my life and all, but your worship of my fabulousness really isn’t healthy. Your complete and utter devotion, on the other hand, is perfectly acceptable.

I can’t even mention the gift projects I have planned or started for a couple of friends who won’t be surprised if I spill the beans here. The fact that I keep stealing their clothes to measure them so I know what size to make might also be tipping them off. They may also think I’m just making some sort of nest, which may also be true. I’ll never tell.

Recently, I acquired an object. An almighty and all-powerful object.

Almighty All-Powerful Reeling Machine

I didn’t set out to acquire an object of such importance, I just wanted a swift to hold my yarn while I wind it up into a ball so I can knit it into cozy things. Although there are many models, this was the model that was available at Fibre Space, my excellent local yarn store, on the day I decided it was time to get a swift.

A swift expands and collapses like an umbrella (hence the term “umbrella swift”). This makes it adjustable because hanks/skeins/clumps/blobs of yarn come in all different sizes, and you can only ask Husband to sit around holding out his arms while you wind yarn up so many times before things start to get a little tense. Or so I’m told.

You clamp the swift to the side of the table to hold it in place. Then you can take yarn and transform it from something like this:


to something like this:


That was obviously not a before and after of the same yarn. That really would be a magical machine.

This is what it looks like when in use (the swift is on the left in the image, the winder is on the right):

Almighty All-Powerful Reeling Machine

Husband and I find never-ending humor in the almighty and all-powerful reeling machine and mention it in conversation whenever we can.

Almighty All-Powerful Reeling Machine

Oh my but do I have stories for you, kids. Right now, however, I have a headache, I need a shower, and I need to head to Artomatic for a manager’s shift. Artomatic is closed to the public now. Only participating artists are allowed in the building right now and they must show ID. Photo ID. Legal photo ID.

I finished the Sunkist Cardi today, after it dries and I sew the button on it I’ll post pictures. I don’t think I’ll take any knitting with me tonight. It’s too hectic to sit and knit while I manage and I really don’t think I should have sharp objects while I’m there. The temptation would just be too great. I’m pretty sure there are only so many times you can tell a grown man to get out of the dumpster before you completely lose it.

In the meantime, why don’t you check out the remarkable comments spawned by a post Ta-Nehsi Coates wrote about Mayo v Miracle Whip over at The Atlantic. It’s fun.

alexandra ballet sweater, originally uploaded by meanlouise.

Pattern from Stefanie Japel’s Fitted Knits – a very curvy boatneck sweater for very curvy girls. Sleeves are slightly longer than 3/4 and flare just slightly. A series of decreases in the back create a slightly unforgiving fit, this is the small – sorta wish I’d made the medium ;-)

capelet, originally uploaded by meanlouise.

It started out as the Anthropologie-inspired capelet, but then I decided to put sleeves on it and then I decided to make it a couple inches longer. I always forget how hard it is to photograph black clothing – the edges look really fuzzy, but they aren’t.