9.23.2011

Some People Knit the Most Fucked Up Shit

Since I’ve joined Ravelry (totally late in the game), I’ve been browsing patterns and I’ve found some pretty crazy shit.  And some pretty ingenious shit too.  Now, I don’t want to rain on anyone’s creativity parade, but sometimes I just have to say “Really?” and “What the fuck?”

For instance, while browsing, I came across a knitted jock strap.  Actually 2 knitted jock strap patterns, one for sale and one for free.  And a crocheted version, too.  Seriously?  I mean, I love My Guy to pieces, but I really wouldn’t want his junk resting in the beautiful mohair, wool, what-have-you, I just spent $15+ on.  For that matter, I wouldn’t even want his balls in the Peaches ‘N Cream cotton stuff I spent $2 on.  Topped with the fact that I’d have to hand wash this funky smelling thing?  No thanks.

I also found a penis cozy.  What the hell?  Please see above rant.

How about a knitted digestive system?  Really?  Why?  What reason do you have to knit such a thing?

Okay, now can we move to toilet paper cozies?  Seriously?  I’ve seen tp cozies shaped like a cactus, a Barbie toilet, and even Bender, that robot guy from Futurama.  I don’t know about you, but I just stick my spare rolls in a cabinet.  But that’s just me.  I also found a cozy knitted to look like a sushi roll.  Cute, but I wouldn’t knit that shit either.

One thing I did find during my meanderings on Ravelry is a knitted buddha.  It’s pretty awesome, but then again, I’m into that sort of thing.  At this very moment, someone could be blogging about how you’d have to be crazy as shit to knit it.  Maybe I am.

golden_buddha_12_medium2

NOTE TO READERS: To those of you who’ve knitted or designed one of the aforementioned items, you must have had a pretty good reason, one that’s just beyond my comprehension.  These are just my opinions, not the laws of the knitting gods, so please, no hate mail.  Although, if you do proceed to post something hateful, I do hope it’s entertaining.

9.08.2011

I know the alpaca that made my yarn

At Stitches, My Guy and I stopped by this booth run by alpaca farmers.  A husband and wife, really nice folks.  They have 80 alpacas (80!) on their farm.  They do it all, from raising them to spinning yarn.  They were running a slideshow with pictures of their farm and the different alpacas.  They’re the cutest things.  Makes me want one for a pet.

I bought some lace weight yarn in a lovely shade of pink and the wife was able to show me a picture of the alpaca it came from – I think his name was Sunny.  How cool is that? 

I’m currently knitting a travelling fern lace scarf, a pattern I found on Ravelry.  Love that site. 

9.03.2011

You Spin Me Right Round Baby, Right Round

I made it back from Stitches with quite a few goodies, courtesy of My Guy.  Yes, My Guy accompanied me to Stitches, and I wouldn’t of had it any other way, seeing as how he’s my best shopping partner and all.  He’s not a knitter, but he definitely has an appreciation for yarn and he felt and squeezed and petted all the pretty yarn right by my side.  And, as I mentioned, he paid the tab for my fiber indulgence..

Of the few things I picked up was a drop spindle and some roving.  We purchased it from a nice gentleman and a blind woman, not sure if they were married, but probably.  You know, when a couple seems so familiar with each other?  The blind woman amazed me as she spun on her wheel and then calculated our total and handed us our change.  It was truly a humbling experience.

The drop spindle is your basic run-of-the-mill spindle, not sure of its weight.  The roving is 8 oz. of Colonial, which they said would be an easy yarn for a starting spinner.  I’ve already spun a little over 90 yards, and I think I’ve gotten the gist of it, although I still have a lot to learn and perfect.  Planning on washing the yarn tonight.  Can’t wait to see the finished product!

It’s Not Every Day…

It’s not every day that you see three large yarn balls sitting atop a blue van.  But when you’re at Stitches Midwest, this is a regular occurrence.

Flying Fingers Van

This is Flying Fingers’ van, and although I’ve heard about it and seen it online, it’s definitely a sight to see in person.

I had a blast at Stitches, and so did My Guy, to his surprise.  He treated me to quite a few goodies, which I’ll be posting in the next few days. 

8.27.2011

Stitches Midwest: Here I Come!

I’m a nerd.  I’m not ashamed.  I can hold my head high.  (I’m a Gleek too, and damn proud of that, as well!)

I especially set off the nerd-o-meter when it comes to knitting.  That’s why I’m taking photos of pattern books, writing down yarn requirements and storing it all on my phone.  All in preparation for heading to Stitches Midwest tomorrow.

I’ve been perusing my stash of knitting books and have narrowed it down to four of my favorite faves.  You know, those “I’ve got to knit that” patterns?  It comes down to these:

Wrenna from Kristeen Griffin-Grimes’ French Girl Knits:

Wrenna

Seaport Skirt from Kristina Mcgowan’s Modern Top Down Knitting:

Seaport Skirt

Dutch Touch from Debbie Stoller’s Stitch ‘N Bitch Superstar Knititng:

Dutch Touch

And, Ingenue from Wendy Bernard’s Custom Knits (I love her blog, Knit and Tonic, too):

Ingenue

I know I should try and get a few hours of shut eye before My Big Day at Stitches tomorrow, but I’m too excited to sleep.  Kind of like the night before a big chess tournament.  Just kidding.  I don’t really play in chess tournaments.  But I’m still a nerd.

8.12.2011

Party Pooper

I worked late last night helping my boss with an event. There were balloons and food and name tags. I left around 7:30pm, went home, ate dinner and soon after went to bed. Then I turned around and came back here. I hate that.

This morning I found some nearly deflated balloons at my desk. So I guess it was my job to pop them. I always feel like I'm deflating the life of the party when I get rid of balloons.

And yes, that's a Swingline red stapler on my desk.


8.10.2011

Helplessness Blues Makes Me Happy

I like to think I’m a music trendsetter.  Most often, the music that strikes my fancy ends up being pretty, well, trendy.  I started listening to Fleet Foxes when their first album came out, and I absolutely loved it.  Now they’re out with a new album, Helplessness Blues, and it’s pretty great too.

helplessness blues

What’s really exciting is that I’m going to see Fleet Foxes in concert on October 1.  Their first show sold out (bummer), so I was really ecstatic to find that they added another show.  And I scored tix.  Fabulous!

In knitting news, I’m experiencing a bit of Babypalooza.  I’m knitting ANOTHER baby sweater for ANOTHER baby shower.  It’s a really simple design, all rectangles and squares.  Here’s the back, or front, whatever suits your fancy, I guess.

DSC00893

This time around, I’ll be sure to take pics of the finished product.  I’m still seething over that…

8.02.2011

Oh Paul, you’re still SO DREAMY!

I had the honor of seeing Sir Paul McCartney with My Guy and The Teenager last night at Wrigley Field (home of the Chicago Cubs – Go Cubbies!).  It was a SPECTACULAR show.  Three hours of pure bliss – he played tons of hits and had energy like you wouldn’t believe.

I got so emotional at one point, I cried.  I cried for John and George.  I cried because I was seeing a live Beatle.  And I cried because the sheer love pouring forth from the crowd was overwhelming.

Thank you, Paul, for your music.

7.31.2011

Oh Bother!

So I finished the baby sweater.  ON TIME!  It turned out super cute.  I didn’t end up adding snaps.  It ended up looking great just the same.  Problem is, I forgot to take a picture of it.  Wha!  Yeah, through the hustle and bustle of getting ready for the baby shower, getting the baby shower games together and wrapping the gift, it totally slipped my mind.  I’m truly bummed.  Oh well.  What can you do?  Maybe I can get a pic of the baby wearing it, at some point.  Not holding my breath, though.

Here’s the baby shower games I designed:

Baby Gift Bingo copy

Baby Word Scramble - Magen copy

Of course, something had to go wrong with the games: I spelled “swaddle” wrong on the Word Scramble.  Left out one “d.”  No point in dwelling over it, although I still am.  Must be the perfectionist in me.

7.28.2011

Oh Snap!

I’m just about done with the baby sweater.  All I have to do is knit the button bands and crochet some buttons.  Sure.  Right.  Piece of cake.

I find directions online for crocheting buttons.  I whip out my crochet hook, grab the yarn.  Off I go.  But, wait.  This button looks a bit too big for the sweater.  Let me try less stitches.  No.  It’s still too big.

<bead of sweater rolling down forehead>

Okay, scratch the crochet button idea.  I must have some buttons lying around that I can use.  Grab the tube of buttons I bought at Hobby Lobby years ago.  Dump the buttons on the coffee table.  Search frantically for buttons that will work.  Find a button.  More frantic searching for the matching button.  Okay.  Two matching buttons.  Hold up to sweater.  No, no, no, all wrong.  Repeat above process.  Twice.

<profusely sweating and starting to panic>

It’s too late to run out to the store in search of buttons.  I could make a dash to the store tomorrow, but the sweater needs to be done by Saturday.  And I still need to weave in ends and wash it.  I need to finish these button bands tonight!

<begin to hyperventilate>

Then it hits me.  Snaps.  Yes, big snaps.  Sewn onto the button bands that I will finish tonight.  Snaps that I can pick up and sew on tomorrow night.  It will all be okay.  IT WILL ALL BE OKAY!

<sigh of relief>

7.25.2011

Stupid Ease as Stupid Does

So, this is my first foray into designing a sweater.  I’ve designed plenty of blankets and scarves, but how hard are they, right? Being basic squares or rectangles and all.

I’m designing a baby cardigan for my cousin’s new baby boy.  At first I was like, this is gonna be a piece of cake.  Little sweater,  little design, little knitting.  So I grabbed measurements for a 6-month old from the Craft & Yarn Council’s website and got to work.

Problem is, I forgot to take into account the ease.  Why, why, why?!  How did I forget to consider the most important aspect of designing a sweater?!  Maybe it was the glass of wine I had while writing out the pattern. Shoot if I know.

Anywho, I had finished the back and fronts before I realized my gross error.  Ugh!  So, now it’s more like a 3-month old size than a 6-month old.  I’m trying not to sweat it too much since the baby is a preemie, and this size might actually work.  But still, it looks so SMALL.

I’m contemplating adding an inch or so to the bottom of the sweater, but that will require extra work and extra time.  Did I mention it has to be ready by this Saturday?  Yes, you heard right.

At times like these, I’d like to just run from my knitting project.  Run, Forrest, run!!!

7.21.2011

Hotter than Hell

It’s 91 degrees in our 3rd floor apartment, and I can literally feel myself cooking.  Okay, maybe “cooking” is an exaggeration, just like “hotter than hell” is.  But I think that if I were actually in hell, I bet there wouldn’t be this damn humidity.  I’m hot, My Guy is hot, and even Murphy is hot.

IMG_2250

He’s got the right idea, though.  Thing is, I  can’t just lay around in an attempt to find a little relief in the warm breeze of the fan.  I’m on a deadline!  I’ve got some knitting to do in order to have this baby sweater done by the 30th.  I’m onto the sleeves, and then' I’ve got the button band. So I’m like what – halfway there?  But it just feels too icky to knit.  Actually, it feels too icky to do much of anything.

Except maybe stick my head in the freezer.

I wonder if I could knit in there…

7.19.2011

A Change Will Do You Good

As you can see, if you happen to be a regular reader (do you exist?), I’ve given the ol’ blog a new look.  Hopefully this is just what I need to motivate me to post more.  And do I have stuff to post… like the pic of the finished Baby Blue… the baby sweater I'm designing… projects I want to start on…

I better get cracking.

3.30.2011

“Seriously?” and “Are You Kidding Me?”

“Make sure you don’t run out of yarn.  Make sure you don’t run out of yarn!”  This is a mantra muttered by thousands of knitters each day as they carefully choose yarn for their knitting projects.  This is most definitely my mantra when I choose yarn for one of my upcoming projects.  Thing is, when I decided to knit up Baby Corn, I had the yarn in my stash already, so I didn’t have a chance to estimate how much I’d need from the get-go.  I knew I wouldn’t have enough to knit the entire dress, so I decided to shorten it up and make it a cute top instead.  So far, I’ve finished the bodice and the two sleeves.  Great, right?  Sounds like I’m finished, right?  Well, there’s an I-Cord woven into the eyelets at the top of the bodice, and well…

ICord Issues

I ran out of freakin’ yarn for the I-Cord!  I could not believe it!  I would not believe it!  For a second I even tried estimating how much yarn I’d have if I unraveled the swatches I knit up.  I wouldn’t even come close.

So, I have two options: a) I could buy a new ball of Berroco’s Touche – I suppose even if the dye lot was a little off it wouldn’t be the end of the world since it’s only the I-Cord; or b) I could knit the I-Cord in another color.

Right now I’m leaning towards option (b) since I’m an impatient sort of girl and have a huge stash of yarn and imagine I’ve got to have something that will compliment this light blue.  That’s my thought anyway.  I mean, it’s 12:45 am and I’m thinking of digging through my stash to look for yarn?  Am I totally insane?  In one word, yes, and with further explanation – I’m a knitter.

3.09.2011

Crochet Hook: Never Leave Home Without It And The Stitch Doctor Is In The House!

So I’ve been working on my Baby Corn project, and fervently knitting it on the train.  Way back in the day when I used to knit/crochet on public transit, I used to get strange looks, like, what the hell are you doing kind of looks.  Now I get the “I’m intentionally not looking at you but I’m going to glance at you out of the corner of my eye” kind of looks when I’m knitting in public.

Anyway, yesterday when I was knitting on the Brown Line, all the way from the Kimball stop downtown to Washington/Wells (Chicagoans know this is a fairly long ride and thus a good time to knit away) I noticed a dropped stitch.  Oh me, oh my!  What was I to do?  I didn’t have a crochet hook handy, which is usually how I’d fix a dropped stitch.  I was only two stops into my ride, and I didn’t want to put away my knitting and wait until I got home to fix it.  So I tried to fix it using my needles.  Bad idea.  It became a twisted mess of loops and yarn and I must admit, I panicked and freaked out a tiny bit before I pulled myself together and soldiered on.  I was able to salvage what I could of the mess I made and it worked for the time being and I was able to continue knitting.  But the mistake was still present and staring me in the face and screaming to be fixed.

So when I got home, I grabbed my handy dandy crochet hook and got to work.

IMG_2232

In the end, I had to fix two dropped stitches rather than one, but it was well worth it.  Now all my stitches are in there proper place and all is right with the world.

Moral of the story: never leave home without that damn crochet hook; you never know when you’ll need it and panic attacks on the El are so not cool.

2.21.2011

Baby Blue

So, I’ve put on a few pounds.  Maybe more than a few.  I’m on these meds and one of the side effects is weight gain.  So great, on top of having to take meds for what ails me, these meds are going to make me fat?! Lovely.

I’ve started flipping through my current score of knitting magazines and books, and I’ve come to realize that I have to start knitting for the body I have, not necessarily the body I want to have.  I can’t always knit that cute close-fitting sweater unless I make some alterations to the pattern to make it flatter my new body type.  It’s depressing in a way.

Rather than throw a huge pity party for myself, I decided to embrace the shape I have right now and knit myself something to fit my new self.

This is from the new Debbie Stoller book, Superstar Knitting, that I picked up over the weekend, and let me tell you – I am already in love with this book.  The pattern is called Baby Corn.

Baby Corn 

I’m thinking of shortening the length to more of a tunic length, but we’ll see how much yarn I have… The yarn I’m using is Berroco’s Touche:

Touche Closeup 2

I found it in my stash and was pleasantly surprised that I had enough for a little summer top.  Sweet!

So this will be my first attempt at knitting something for my new body.  This could be just the boost my self confidence needs.

2.19.2011

Score!

As you probably know, Borders is closing a good number of its stores.  It makes me sad, because I love going to Borders and relaxing with a cup of Seattle’s Best and flipping through a good (or not so good) knitting book.  As sad as I am though, I might be partly to blame because I too have succumbed to the e-book craze and I bought myself a Kindle a few months back.  I’m sorry Borders.  I still love you, but I love my Kindle too.  Can’t we all just get along?  Apparently not.

My local borders is one that’s closing up shop.  So I thought I’d stop by and say good-bye, and possibly find a few things on sale.  Well, I think everyone in my neighborhood had the same idea, because that place was packed!  Everything in the store was 20-40% off and it was a madhouse.  I should have taken a picture of the line, but I didn’t, so you’ll have to take my word for it when I tell you it was wrapped around the entire first floor and hovering towards the door!  It was nuts!

While I was there, I scored a couple good knitting books and magazines:

Borders Score 2.19.2011

I picked up Debbie Stoller’s Stitch ‘n Bitch Superstar Knitting, which I’ve been dying to get my hands on since it came out because I have all her books and I’ve loved them all.  I also picked up Kristina McGowan’s Modern Top-Down Knitting, which upon my preliminary flip-through in line, looks to be a must-have for my knitting library.  I also picked up three magazines: Vogue Knitting Winter 2010/11, Interweave Knits Winter 2010 and Debbie Bliss Spring/Summer 2011.

Yes, yes, I scored big-time!  Can you guess what I’ll be doing for the rest of the weekend?

Reviews and favorite patterns from all of the above coming soon…

2.17.2011

I’m Baaaaack…

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve posted anything.  I can’t believe it’s almost been a year!  Jeez, what a slacker…

So, I’m dusting off this bad boy blog and starting up once again.  Pardon the rustiness.

What have I been up to?  A little of this, a little of that.  I haven’t been working on that much knitting, except a cowl that I was planning on submitting to Knitty, but then thought better of it and decided to post as a free pattern… at some point soon.  I’m also working on a scarf for My Guy.  Nothing too exciting, just a striped ribbed scarf.  I’ll post pics when I’m done with it.

Speaking of new patterns, as promised, I’ve added a Free Pattern!  Yay!  Beach Baby is now added.  Take a look at it via the side bar.

That’s all I’ve got for now.  Stay tuned for more to come…