31 March 2007

i'm a tired girl.

model startedand i have not been able to work on my own projects becuae i am making things for other purposes. i am crocheting a cap for the opera being produced at my alma mater. i am also making a store model for BossLady to display in the shop.

we don't have very many (if any at all) crocheted models, so i am making a lace tunic from Amazing Crocheted Lace in a fantastic bamboo yarn. we sell a lot of this yarn, and it is a stunning fiber to work with. i am making this particular model in a coral color we can't seem to move. people just feel nervous about how vibrant it is.

most knitters are wussies. they can't take the color, so they stay out of the dye room. bah. we'll see about that. having a model on the floor is a way to make things move. people always want to use the model color. mostly because they have no imagination.

a longer, more personal, and more upbeat post should come next week. i've been working really hard this week, and i am wiped.

27 March 2007

finally a real finished object!

frontokay, so i had the knitting done weeks ago, but i had to return the original handles and exchange for a more sedate pair. plus sew the lining and embellishments.

these things take time.
and i'm really not that interested in needle and thread sewing when i am doing it for hours everyday at work. and to be entirely frank, i don't like hand sewing very much.

the details...

inspired by the Chinese Charm Bag published in Debbie Stoller's Stitch 'n Bitch.

knit in the round on size 9 circular needles in Patons Soy Wool Stripes (70% wool, 30% soy) in shade number 70310 "Natural Plum".

backthe buttons are made from shell sealed in a colored shellac. i saw them when i went out to buy the lining, and i loved how they blend into the colours of the bag (which is far more accurate in person). i sewed them on in the random patterns because it just felt right.
the lining is also in the vein of stripes vs. circles. it is all shades of rich purples--diagonal lines of circles with little tiny stripes in each circle. it is pretty, but it doesn't photograph well.

i'm very tired tonight, which makes me not really up to writing a lot more--or very well. i'll have more of an update later in the week. maybe some progress on the 2nd sock. i'm wearing the first sock right now. it is very toasty!

23 March 2007

where the wild socks are...

wild thingspenguingirl told me my first sock looks like the creature from Where the Wild Things Are. she is pretty correct in her observation. what makes it particularly funny is that thehairyape has him tattooed on his arm. unfortunately, i cannot give the wild thing socks to thehairyape because he can't wear animal fibers.

i also think he secretly finds hand knit socks silly. i'm pretty sure most men (who don't knit) feel that way. why knit socks when you can buy them! bah.

sock finias you can see, the first sock turned out pretty well! i finished the toe decreases and closed up this morning. i am proud to say that i even grafted the toes closed for real! 100% honest to goodness kitchener stitch. it wasn't too hard either, but it does require a little bit of focus to make sure you do it correctly. the upside is that it is a perfectly seamless and invisible join. plus you can't feel it when you foot is in the sock! i hate when sock seams irritate my toes.

finished socki have already cast on for the second sock. i hope this helps prevent me from falling victim to Second Sock Syndrome.

my second sock will not match the first one exactly. BossLady taught me how to properly do a Long Tail cast on at work the other night, which is the most popular cast on used. it wasn't what i learned first, and it always confused me in the book, so i have used the Two Needle or "Knit On" method until i cast on for the second sock tonight. the second change in this sock is that i am doing a Knit 1, Purl 1 ribbing just to test the elasticity difference between that and Knit 2, Purl 2. you know, for future reference. and finally, i want to try the Eye of Partridge heel flap instead of the standard flap i learned on the first sock.

in entirely unrelated news....

congratulations go out to my friend Marietta. she had her little boy today, and by all reports he is healthy and beautiful! i also hear that her charming hubby is awfully cute in scrubs. i'm looking forward to meeting little Max--welcome little guy!

20 March 2007

work and a little update...

more sock progresshere's the latest progress on the sock. i finished the gusset. see how pretty the decreases are. yay! clearly i spent more time knitting in the last few days than i should. only 3 more inches of foot/instep until i start the toe deceases.

today i started work at a local knitting store. it is just part time, mostly afternoons and weekends. i took it on to help line my pockets during lean months, and the discount is a good incentive as well! with a store discount, i will actually be able to afford nice yarns.

the first day was good. i asked a lot of silly questions, of course, but the owner and my co-worker didn't seem to mind. i walked in on them talking about me. they think i'm nice, but a little shy--but not shy! clearly i am a paradox!

i'm socially awkward is the real story. it takes me awhile to warm up to people and confirm that they are okay with my quirks. after that, i'm fine. with total strangers i am just fine because there is no "track record". i just be myself and try to help.

so i did a lot of reorganizing and sorting of yarns. i did a little restocking, but not much because we need to reorder the "winter" yarns, and the summer yarns that just came in are still being tagged for inventory. i also helped two people find something for a "just because" project and buy more yarn for a project they ran out on. all in all a fine first day.

19 March 2007

pick up sticks

picked up gussest rowlook at those beautifully picked up stitches! so far, so good on the gusset. in fact, the gusset is going faster than the heel flap. this is probably because i'm back to working in the round with knit stitches and not back and forth including purl stitches.

the work has become rather gratifying again because the piece is actually starting to look like a real sock. now i have to hope that i can bring myself to start over and make the second sock when i complete the first.

sock in progressi should have bought a prettier yarn to inspire me to complete the project. i wanted my first socks to be of fair quality, but without the $12-30 price tag for fancier sock yarn. you know, in case i sucked at knitting socks or hated it and didn't want to finish.

in other news regarding poor material choices, i returned the pink handles for the SWS purse in exchange for more sedate brown ones. i'll try to finish that this coming weekend. i want to finish it before the next SnB... if we have one (i hope so)!

18 March 2007

liar, liar, socks on fire!

heel flapi don't get it. what's all the fuss about knitting socks? the difficulty, i mean. so far so good. as you can see from the photo at the left, i made good progress this weekend.

i used the standard Slip 1, Knit 1 row followed by a Slip 1, Purl 1 row pattern for the heel flap. this is really neat because it makes a double layered fabric for the heel flap so it is nice and strong and reinforced. the socks kika's grandmother made for me are not made this way, and i want to figure out her method when i make myself a pair of worsted weight socks.

why would i want to switch to worsted after conquering real sock weight yarn? well... i pulled the kika grandma socks out of the wash today, and one of them is starting to get a hole in the heel, and the toe is sort of going too. grandma uses the decrease to 4 stitches and then thread through the live stitches and pull tight method of closing the toe rather than grafting. seeing this method wear out has made me decide i need to graft the toe on my lovingly constructed socks.

heel turn now to be fair to the grandma socks, i have been very hard on them for the three years i have owned them. they are too thick to wear in shoes, so i wear them as slippers. they start to stretch after a few wears, so i toss them in the wash, and because they are made of good sturdy eastern european acrylic yarn, i just toss them in the dryer to re-shrink them.

anyway, back to the sock at hand.
look at the pretty turned heel! ha! people have told me how hard it is to turn a heel. um. not really. you only need to know how to knit, purl, and decrease. easy easy. i'm more concerned about picking up the gussets and getting all of my stitches back on to four needles without a disaster visiting itself upon my constructed heel.

keep your fingers crossed.

17 March 2007

see stripe run!

sock progressi've been pretty busy lately, so there has been little needlecraft progress to post. now that i have hit a milestone on the first sock, i decided i should share. here it is!

the leg is complete!

the orange metal at the back of the photo is the stitch holder holding the instep stitches to be worked later. (thanks for sending the stitch holders, mum!) the pink needle in the front is holding the first six rows of the heel flap--only 22 more rows until the heel turn!

i have a break from the temporary day job until thursday, so i may yet post more progress soon. but, i will probably start my new job this week, so we will see.

yes, it is true.
i am getting a more permanent day job. i'll be working at one of the local yarn stores (LYS). it doesn't pay a lot, but i think i should like it.

15 March 2007

it's raining, it's pouring!

mariettalast night i attended a baby shower for my friend marietta. she is due in about three weeks, but her little boy, Max, may have to come a little sooner. apparently he has comfortably set up shop feet first. i'm still hoping he will be nice to his mom and adjust before his big debut.

the party was held at the home of one of marietta's bosses (she works for a theatre, you have a lot of bosses in theatre) and most of the guests in attendance were friends from work. one of her friends from high school who now lives in the area was also present. i was very happy to be invited since i don't work with her company all the time, but marietta has been one of the best parts of the time i do get to spend there.

baseballi had a lot of fun. mostly because it wasn't a showery shower. i mean, we did the two things i think you must do at every shower 1. eat. 2. shower gifts and attention on the honoree. marietta is not a frilly person, so not having balloons, streamers, and games involving dirty diapers made of chocolate probably suited her just fine.

despite her non-frilly nature you will see from the photos that marietta has a healthy love of things small and precious. the baseball sleeper was a present from the hostess, and it brought out one of those "awww"s you only hear over babies or kittens and puppies.

another friend of ours who is expecting her second baby just two weeks after marietta gave her been there, done that wisdom in the form of toys and books that served her well with her first daughter.

i went for gifts that would serve her more a little down the line. i gave her two books: Where the Wild Things Are (his name is Max after all) and The Very Hungry Caterpillar (a favourite of mine when i was little). i also had to do some subversive clothing including the mom tattoo shirt picture below and a red onesie on which i embroidered a skull on the pocket. i went for bigger sizes because i am sure he will outgrow things in five minutes.

i heart mom

Baby's First Tattoo


Bad to the Bone!


congratulations marietta!

12 March 2007

here comes the bride

fitting friendoh, no no. not me. my friend of 15 years, puppyJ. she is getting married at the end of this year, and i am making her gown.

for reasons of her job, i won't be disclosing any more personal details about my friend on the blog. i would also ask that anyone whom i have spoken to about her or the wedding not use her real name or details in the comments.

the picture is of the two of us trying silhouettes at a david's bridal a few weeks back. i look silly, but puppyJ has her eyes closed under the box too. that was a heck of a flash!

this week we met for a design lunch and shopping for underpinnings. and thank goodness (and my design skills) we have a design! puppyJ wanted something very sophisticated but not too bride-y. i have to give her all the credit in the world--this girl has her head on straight about the wedding and what she wants out of her day.

the dress suits her personality and at the same time it is very functional for the day. it is perfect for dancing and hugging and spending all day on one's feet. the thing is like the best about the dress is that it is completely unaffected. puppyJ picked an evening gown style that she would wear out in another color for a special occasion.

i'm also a big fan of the beading. puppyJ wanted to do some color in her dress, but we both really wanted it to be subtle and classy. a scattering of purple and lilac beads will give it some pop and be very different from how we are seeing color in bridal gowns lately. exciting! here's hoping i can do a good job making it!

the dress

10 March 2007

i'm sad.

it is very hard to find a roommate. impossible, maybe. i don't think i have impossible standards, but i still have a few. they all seem to be deal breakers.

things i have seen people seeking....
  • roommates into nudism
  • roommates who want to live with a single mother and 3 children under 7
  • or 4 large dogs
  • roommates who are willing to not cook
  • or use the bathroom (?!?!)
  • or use any space that is not their own room except to enter/exit the premises
  • or have overnight guests (not even my mom!)
  • or come/go after 9pm
  • or consume alcohol (at all, not even outside the house!)
  • or be an overnight guest somewhere else...
  • roommates who will schedule the use of the washer and dryer (one load per week)
  • and the kitchen (30 minutes at a time and no foods that smell)
  • roommates who don't mind the livingroom becoming a weekend flophouse for bands on tour
  • roommates who don't mind having their male roomie wander around in their underwear... their womens underwear.
so the world is full of puritans or looney tunes.

to make matters worse, the ones that sound okay have a major absurd flaw. they won't have me because....
  • i'm under 30
  • i'm over 23
  • i'm a vegetarian
  • i'm not a vegan
  • i don't like dogs
  • or babies
  • or multiple dogs + babies
  • i'm not the correct gender
  • i'm not the correct sexual orientation
  • i'm unwilling to spend $100+ for cable (cable alone! ack!)

08 March 2007


i actually prepare some of these in advance.

someone asked me today how i manage to blog so frequently. well, first... i type fast. second, i will stockpile a few things i want to run and let them out over the course of a week. you will note the description of this blog says i do a lot of things.

i meant it.

here's hoping the SWS purse is finished this weekend. i decided i don't like the handles. i was having dinner with my friend FrrAnc, and he crunched up his nose at them and said, they sure are pink. and that is saying something because he knows good pink. i tried sewing the handles to the bag, and they look silly. hrmph.

new tricks

i am in the process of teaching myself how to knit socks. i cast on for this little guy a few nights ago and left the geometry project of stabby metal things sitting on my dresser until now in favor of finishing the SWS bag. reasons i am making a sock....

  1. i have heard it is the logical project to do before knitting your first sweater. build lots of technique in a little package.
  2. someone told me they aren't as difficult as they are made out to be by the non-converted.
  3. i want to know what all the fuss is about. sock knitters are a devoted bunch.
  4. heck, i can make beautiful thread crochet pieces, now i have to prove little needles and skinny yarn don't frighten me as a knitter.
  5. my friend kika gave me a pair of worsted weight socks her grandmother knit from her scrap stash and sent over from slovakia. i love those socks, and i wanna be as cool as kika's grandma.
  6. my mum can't knit socks. she has put learning socks on hold for the moment. so i plan to teach myself so i can go home for a holiday and help her make her little treat project. she bought a set of nice bamboo double points, a pattern, and a beautiful sock yarn. these treats cannot languish on the shelf! besides she taught me important stuff like how to drive (twice!)... and held my hand through the learning to sew and learning to crochet process. time to payback.

this is my first cuff (K2, P2) plus four rows of sockinette started for the "leg".

07 March 2007

soy sneak peak

almost a bagsoon this lowly tube will be a handbag. future handles are pictured above, but i still have some steps to go. when i finish this post, i need to block the tube into a reasonable purse shape so i can sew the seam and handles on this week. i also need to buy a lining because believe it or not... i don't have anything pink in my fabric stash! or purple. strange, i know since i knit and crochet almost exclusively in a purple/pink/red palette if i am not working in black.

i hope it blocks prettily. this i my first time working in the wool and soy silk blend. keep your fingers crossed. i'll probably post the finished product this weekend--items i am blocking take a while to dry in my apartment.

the new knitty came out today.
ho hum. nothing i am all that jazzed about making.

the "isabella" top is pretty, but 1. i would never wear that cut. and 2. i don't think i want to try attacking a repetitive small yarned sweater yet. to be fair on the cut, i won't wear 98% of knitwear patterns because they do not have enough waist shaping. i have about 10 inches difference between my bust and waist, and i look 5-10 pounds heavier in knits with too much ease at the waist. i hate a sweater that is fitted at the bust and hip line, and then has six inches of ease in the waist. i don't have tummy rolls, and i don't want my sweaters to give them to me.

i am considering stitch diva's simple knit bodice as my first knitted sweater. (full sweater at least. i think i'll probably make a tank or halter first.) the pattern claims to be easy enough for a first time sweater knitter. we'll see.

06 March 2007

grrrs and mean grrrls

samsonon monday night i went to a stitch 'n bitch hosted by a friend i met through thehairyape. we'll call her viola. she got a few other theatre gals (and one gent!) together at the newly opened Juan Valdez Cafe in chinatown. the coffee was great, but skip the baked goods, at least near closing time. i had a slice of lemon pound cake, and it was.... special.

we had a really good time, and it was an excuse for some people to cast on again for the first time in a long time. viola herself is a crazy knitter. she's working on an afghan right now, and she showed off her wild striped, cabled hat with a pompom on top. very fun. most everyone else was doing a scarf or hat. we had one stand out--a rippled lace scarf. pretty pretty. personally, i worked on the cotton shawl the Classic Elite Flash is being crocheted into until i got ADD on the project and knit for the rest of the evening on a handbag i am making out of Patons SWS.

for some reason, i cannot get into a good rhythm on the shawl. i think because it uses a double treble crochet shell pattern that just does not flow. the tension is tricky, which makes me tense! the up side is that you start on the wide end of the shawl triangle, and the project will only go faster as it progresses.

because i forgot to take pictures at the SnB, i am sharing a project and some work.
mean girlspictured above is my mum's other child... samson. he is a huge jack russel terrier. i made him (i guess really my mum) the sweater for christmas.

the details....

Bernat Super Stripes Dog Coat (crochet version)
no designer listed
published on their website

crocheted in two balls of Super Stripes (black and red) on a size "K" hook. i adjusted the pattern to combine the size medium and size large because samson is medium sized everywhere except in the rib cage and neck. he's sort of built like a doggy body builder. but i managed to make a pretty good fit without any fittings before the unveiling. i wish i had a picture of sam opening the box because he did open all of his own presents on christmas.

i didn't really like the yarn because it is 1. acrylic (dogs need washable, but it still felt gross to construct) 2. super bulky 3. boucle. i don't really like very loopy boucle yarns because they obscure stitches. one thing i did like is that the yarn is sort of random and self-striping. it gave sam a nice lumberjack look. he's a midwestern dog. he should be sorta outdoorsy.

and on the less rough end, we have a sketch from my next show. these are some mean girls who are nasty to the protagonist. don't they look snotty? still, the pink duds are pretty fun. more details when the show gets closer.

04 March 2007


polka dotsi went fabric shopping with my gal pal littleC. we are friends from grad school, although we were never in the program at the same time. HQH (our mentor) gave littleC to me as an assistant when i returned to design a show, and i instantly took a shine to her. she is "little"... well, because she is, and because she is like my kid sister in the program (she is a first year and i just graduated last may), even though we are the same age.

we are both goof balls from the midwest, and our adventures are always fun. today was no exception. we hit four local fabric stores and had an awesome lunch. there was much success in the land of swatching for both of our shows. swatching is "the hunt" in fabric shopping. you dig through all the fabrics, clip a small pieces off the bolt, and after elevating your blood sugar over a fine lunch, lay out everything you have beside the renderings and choose which swatches are in, and which are out.... to be all heidi klum about it.

it is a lot of fun, but swatching will wear you out. you feast on sights, sounds and textures for a few hours while moving through busy stores frantically. you can see why lunch is such a vital part of the process.

i took a few pictures of the display windows. i love the crazy tie dye because they look so happy.

tie dye

these colored silks make me think of the ubiquitous tailor in fairy tales. and that description of how wealthy the king is because he had such fine colored silks.


ps-i totally covet the orange embroidered silk at the top of the page. if only i had a reason to use it. sigh....

02 March 2007

bathing beauty

double pointsi finished my first knit hat. while it is a winter weather hat, the round paillettes all over it remind me of a vintage bathing cap. so i call this my Esther Williams Hat. that is not the name of the pattern, but my changes make it appropriate. the picture to the left if the hat after i switched to double points.

the full details...

Sparkle Hat
designed by Sonya Laska
published in stitch n' bitch: the knitters handbook

stitched in one ball of Patons Rumor 84% acrylic, 15% alpaca, 1% polyester (color: moonstone heather) on size 10 circular needles and size 9 double point needles. 30 each magenta, black, and chartreuse large hole paillettes

back viewthis was my first project knit in the round. i picked it because it used both circulars and double points. i wanted to try both, and i guess you could say i want more bang for my buck when it comes to skill building.

the yarn is super fun. the acrylic content is high, but with the alpaca, it is sort of a good thing. my 100% baby alpaca scarf is a little spongy and it gets stretched easily. the acrylic seems to help this hat keep its shape, and it prevents the very toasty alpaca from melting my head off.

foxy hatthe original pattern uses a solid yarn and smaller paillettes, so mine looks a lot different. right now it is hitting about a 50% rate of approval from people who see it. the heathered multi color yarn and several colors of paillettes are pretty... aggressive. my grandma would call this hat loud. i like to think it is bold. you know, a fun statement piece. like the hat with kitty ears my mum crocheted for me. not for every day, but perfect when you need a little boost.

we'll see if i get to wear it this season. the weather has been increasingly nice these last few days. remember the snow photos sunday? well, today i was standing outside in a tee-shirt. wild.

01 March 2007

what the F***!?

chicken and pigFry some bacon and eggs for a good country breakfast. Once the kitchen is cleaned up, crochet this whimsical farm-friendly decorator item.

yes, that really is the caption. oh, why why why..... why do people design this stuff? it sort of eats a little piece of my dignity whenever i see bad crochet. i'm surprised i have any left. what is even more baffling to me is the photo. some "art director" went to the trouble of setting up a country kitchen counter top, and then the pig's nose was cropped in the photo.