28 June 2007

can you believe it?

pot brai have neither knit nor crocheted in 4 whole days. this is what happens when work takes over. those who also work in my field get it--if you spend all day generating creative objects, going home to another project (even of your own choice) can be difficult.

as you can see, i have spent most of my mojo on things like marijuana print bras and the angels featured in a post last week.

2 days until costume fittings.
5 days until dress parade.

i purposely took that photo in front of my sewing machine so i could show her off. the bra didn't need the machine at all, but i like my little Genie. she's a Singer from the 1970s.

sadly, Genie has a belt that is going, i think. i have to demand the bobbins wind when i use that feature and i can feel the belt not catching inside when it won't turn. sigh. oh, well. i know i got the machine in the mid-1990s, and it hasn't been serviced since Mum and I took it home from my grandmother then. and i can honestly say i don't know when my grandmother had it serviced before that.

so she is probably due, but i don't really have the $100 to get it done. will find a way.

i'll probably crochet while working at the store today. i may also bring pics of the great reorganization i did in our cottons and our kids yarn sections.

25 June 2007

four by four, hurrah

tobyi've got a lot of stress right now. i wish i could curl up and hide like Toby has here.

that being said, this is a short update.

i was sweating my ability to get the gift throw finished before the shower on August 4th. well, those fears have been put to rest.

the throw is made of nine squares and has a simple border around the entire thing. i started it on thursday evening, and i now have four completed squares. and i only worked on it while watching DVDs with thehairyape! (3 episodes of Lost and half of a Showtime movie)

go me.

21 June 2007

square one

wedding throwone could say i need another project like i need another hole in my head, but i picked one out today. this is a shoddy picture of the yarn. colors: sage green, olive green, cream, and slate purple. they make a nice combination for a throw.

this throw.

wherefore dost kittything fashion yonder throw? because 1. i am pretty broke, and 2. i need a nice gift for an important person, and 3. i need it before august 3rd.

i can make nicer gifts than i can afford to buy (bless my store discount), and the recipient of this gift has an appreciation for handmade items to boot!

i already have the first square crocheted, and it is drying right now. i like to block the individual parts of projects too big to block as a whole piece in my tiny apartment.

i'm very excited to see how this turns out. wheee!

20 June 2007

heaven sent

today i am shopping for my next show, and i thought i would give you a sneak peek at the renderings. there are some very cute ones for this show, so i may share more later.

the show is Reefer Madness: The Musical, and you can learn all about the script and past productions on the official website. these two renderings are for the Female Ensemble in the big company number "Listen to Jesus Jimmy". Jesus is a Vegas lounge singer, and the angels are his back-up showgirls.

click on the pictures to see them larger.



19 June 2007

two words for you....

viral gastroenteritis.
aka... the stomach flu. although it has nothing to do with the flu, i can feel why people call it that. yes, that is correct, i have been a sick gal since sunday evening, the peak hitting monday evening.

i have begun to feel better, but to give you an idea of how unwell i have felt, the only needle work i have done since saturday is casting on for the 2nd man-sized Calmer sock and knitting two rows. (despite having to work at the store for 7 1/2 hours today)

and no, the lack of knitting cannot be attributed to the new issue of mental_floss hitting my mailbox.... but it is a good issue!

18 June 2007

par-tay + crochet

clothsaturday night i was on the train going to my friend J's bachlorette party. i was all dolled up and carrying a huge gift in a pretty package and....

crocheting a dishcloth!

i know you wish you were as cool as me. you can't imagine the looks you get when crocheting in heels and a cocktail dress. i managed to finish the cloth while we were waiting for the metro after the first part of the evening. if you enlarge the photo, you may notice the familiar granite of a metro bench.

J liked the yarn, so i gave her the cloth as soon as i finished it. she thought it was a little funny--promising it away before i finished it. i'm not making dishcloths because i need them. i'm doing it to entertain myself.

here's the only treat from the party you get to see... the rest is just for me and the girls.

fun shirt
this is the shirt i made for J. that is her future hubby, and if you can't see his speech bubble well, it says "Ho it up, Babe!". that is what J's man told her when she asked him what she should wear for her big night. sorry about the censor bar--text you don't need to read!.

16 June 2007

showing my roots

hooked socki finished two little crocheted items.
i completed the first sock on friday morning whilst waiting for thehairyape to finish packing his bags (yes. he's on the road again).

then i started and finished a washcloth on friday night while cat sitting Toby. i was stash busting with this one, so you will have to forgive my improvisation here and there.

bauhausthe stash bust was successful! i used up three of the four end-of-skeins left over from the washcloths i made for my grandmother for Christmas. i'm trying to get my fix by working from my stash so i don't break the bank. money is going to be very tight when autumn rolls around.

with the monetary situation looking the way it is, i'm trying to brainstorm what knitted and crocheted goodies people will get for the holidays. i think i have my grandmother figured out this time.

stop the presses! this is a first. she is the hardest woman in the world to buy for because she has everything she needs and doesn't really want things she doesn't need. i hope to be more like her when it comes to stuff. i guess you perfect your definitions of "need" and "want" by the time you reach 89.

so what is this magic gift? i'm glad you asked! i'm going to riff on my theme from last christmas. i made four cheerfully colored dish clothes and presented them inside four beer mugs (things grandma needs: family, clean dishes, beer.) and she got a kick out of that. so i think i am going to make her some of those kitchen towels with the crocheted tops and present them with another useful item. i may have to go on a recon mission while i am at home for my cousin's wedding to see which items she would happily replace if given a shiny new one. i'm thinking something like a dish rack or some such.

i think i'll have to get my mom in on this one. it wouldn't be Christmas unless we were in cahoots on gift buying.

15 June 2007

blink. blink.

i'm usually pretty quiet about my career in these pages. a tidbit here and there is enough, but i found something accidentally last night that is truly astonishing....

my first positive review.

really, my first actual review at all. most theatre critics don't talk about design very much, and when they do, unless it is a huge period piece or something else truly special (drag, animals, historic dead people.... you get the idea), they never talk about the costumes.

broadwayworld.com today, perhaps the washington post tomorrow. ha.

crochet "M" for murder

ahhhhthe free crochet patterns of the day over at Annie's Attic never fail to disappoint me. they are usually mediocre beyond belief. but yesterday we saw a design so heinous that the small child modeling it could not even attempt to hide her murderous rage for the art director who made her wear this vest.

looky... even your dolly can have a little crocheted vest is mommy hates you enough, sweetie!

i can't blame the little girl.
if i were photographed in such a thing, i would make sure i had a nasty look on my face so my mum didn't think i liked it. lest she spend a lot of time making something i would rather burn than wear, even in the privacy of my own home.


crocheted sock update later.

14 June 2007

bi-craft-ual and proud

socks rockthere is never a dull moment here at Chez Kittythin(g). yesterday i intended to have a nice day devoted to catching up on all the rest i lost working so hard last week and the beginning of this week (many late nights and too much public transportation). all was going well until about 9:15.

kittything: (brightly) hiya!
thehairyape: um, hi. what are you doing right now?
kittything: i'm at home....
thehairyape: i think i need you to take me to the emergency room.

so i picked him up, and away we went. the up side of all this is that i now know Holy Cross is a good hospital to go to (if you must) in suburban Washington. the down side is that thehairyape has a corneal ulcer and a nasty case of conjunctivitis. in layman's terms: a boo-boo on his cornea and pink eye. he has ointment, a referral to a new eye doctor, and soon he will also have new glasses.

i bet you are asking yourself right now what any of this has to do with a crocheted sock. i'll tell you! i had ripped out the heel turn three times yesterday evening, and i was near on to giving up when i got the call... so i took the sock with me and forced myself to figure out the heel turn and flap while waiting at the hospital. as you can see from the photo, i am halfway through the flap! yay!

these babies are moving right along, and so far they fit like a dream. i'm starting to think, however, that i have a "sock speed". in numbers of days, they are working out to a similar pace as my knit socks do.... but i work on them less each day than the knits. maybe i have developed an artificial time line for socks.

anyway, i'm pretty pleased that my trusty old crochet is stepping up and serving socks well.

13 June 2007

another "pointless" project

lilyas promised, i bought the yarn to finish the hand warmers yesterday, and this morning i finished them up! details!

designed by Cheryl Niamath
published in Knitty (Issue 16, Summer 2006).

knit in Classic Elite Waterlily (2 skeins #1995 "Azalea", 100% merino wool) on US 5 Crystal Palace double points.

this was a fun little project. it was fast and pretty easy. the 4x1 rib and cutie cables make the knitting interesting even though it is easy. i even managed to learn two new techniques: picot bind off and knitting a waste yarn in the middle of a project to be unzipped later and used to pick up stitches. both were pretty cool.

my only complaint is that the designer claims the project can be made with 98 yards of yarn. i bought a 100 yard ball and ran out 2/3rds of the way through my second warmer. this was especially vexing because i knit these a needle size smaller than the pattern calls for in order to have smaller hand warmers (the circumference in the pattern is 7" at the wrist, and my wrists are only 5.5") to fit my wee hands.

it isn't that big of a deal... i'm thinking about picking up one more ball and knitting up a pair as a gift. several of my girlfriends like purples, so i am sure i can find a good home for another pair of Fetching!

also, there is now a more masculine version of this pattern by the same designer called Dashing. also published in Knitty. you can view it here.

related but not...
this project once again drew rude remarks from people who think little handknits are pointless.

mailboxi have noticed something of late.... there are a lot of knitting naysayers. i know i talked about this recently when i started my koigu socklets, but i feel it needs to be brought up again. mostly because it is knitters delivering put-downs to other knitters. that is messed up. enough non-knitters don't understand the appeal of the craft and make snide remarks about why anyone would ever want to knit something they can easily buy; we don't need knitters judging each other.

i bring it up because someone told me hand warmers are stupid. yeah, so? i'm making them because i like the yarn. oh, yeah... and i also like to knit!

that's okay, right?

12 June 2007

remember when?

i used to only crochet? the hook has been neglected lately, but i am pleased to report that i am trying a most unusual crochet project right now--socks. i know, i know. that sounds impossible, but they are actually working out pretty well to this point. and are they ever fast! zoooom! i started them about 36 hours ago and i am about halfway through my first one. and i have only crocheted sporadically, mostly on the metro.

(yes, i know some sock knitters who are that fast, but i am no wendy. it takes me about a week to knit a sport weight sock and two or more to knit a fingering weight sock. pairs. ha! i have never actually timed my pairs. i'm just too inclined to knit a few rows and put a sock down.)

it is a very clever pattern constructed from the toe up and it uses sock weight yarn. none of that chunky slipper sock BS! i am halfway though working the gusset increases right now. i will turn the heel, make the flap, and start the ankle then switch to the second sock for awhile. i'm uncertain about how tall i can make them with the amount of yarn i have, so i think i need to work them both together. this is why i wish all sock yarns came wound in two separate balls.

wait till you see the color. it is very special. special indeed.

in other news....
the new Knitty is out!
i'm not terribly jazzed to knit any of these things right now, but there is some cute stuff. check out the patterns here. the breeze socks are pretty swell, and the lion washcloth is awfully cute. he might win my heart over and be something i knit from this issue.

tonight i'm buying the second skein i need to finish my arm warmers. pictures of arm warmers and a crocheted sock coming soon!

10 June 2007

big fun, little foods, and even some knitting...

cablesthis was a fantastic weekend. i worked hard, but i also had a lot of fun. and i even nearly finished a knitting project! oh, oh!! and thehairyape came home on thursday!

first knitting...
these are cables that are part of my hand warmers. i finished the first one and i have more than two thirds of the second one complete. i ran out of yarn. they are supposed to take almost exactly 98 yards, with just scraps left over. i bought a yarn with 100 yards per ball, and i am out. boo. buying more on tuesday, so expect full details by the end of the week.

now... life!
friday i was in dress rehearsal for my current show, and after the rehearsal, i stuck around to play cards with the lighting designer, director, stage manager, and the program director. thehairyape showed up and hung with us. it was fun. i learned how to play "Up and Down the River" (also called Oh, Hell and Rat F**k) and we ordered in pizza and bought drinks so we wouldn't have to go out and spend as much.

on saturday i painted renderings for a show, and afterward i celebrated thehairyape's birthday. he had it while he was in Alabama, and a real celebration was in order.

we went out to Uni, a sushi joint in Dupont Circle. the meal was fantastic! we started with asian pear sake and edamame, for dinner i had a vegetarian variety selection (both maki and nigiri) and avocado rolls and thehairyape had the sashimi selection and crispy spicy crawlfish rolls. we finished up splitting two deserts--green tea ice cream and sake sorbet with fruit compote.
it was amazing.

i was especially impressed with thehairyape's dish. the presentation was beautiful, and the size of the servings made it well worth the price. he was also very pleased which made me very happy.

after dinner we did presents. i gave thehairyape a lovely black cotton velvet blazer with silk satin faced notched lapels, a set of black scrubs (he likes them for relaxing) and a logitech harmony remote. he liked all the presents very much. when he put on the jacket he kept petting it and saying "wow". he even said it was very rock and roll--mission accomplished!

today we went to brunch with Parents Of TheHairyApe at Jaleo in Bethesda. (they also brought Toby home! ya!) it was delicious, and his mum got to have her favourite--eggplant flan! thehairyape ordered fried marinated shark with aioli. i know, gross, but he liked it. afterward we went to the Container Store. all very fun.

i had a meeting this afternoon, and when i returned to pick up my car, thehairyape was setting up his new remote control. i stuck around to make sure it worked out. i was very worried when i bought it that either he would not like it, or it would not live up to expectations. well... with words like "wow", "awesome", and "amazing" coming from his lips, i knew i did a good job.

this weekend he is out of town with his family, and i am staying with Toby, so i'll have to put the remote to the test.

09 June 2007

alright, alright....

back viewsigh.
penguingirl tagged me for this meme thingy. I’m supposed to share 8 random facts about me and then make 8 more bloggers do the same. I’m not a pass-it-along kinda gal, so I’ll do my part and not torment anyone else. I can’t promise everyone won’t know these 8 things already….

  1. I did not own or wear a pair of jeans for 6 years from 1999-2005
  2. When I was little I wanted to be a Veterinarian-Painter when I grew up. I was unclear on why these two professions didn’t go well together.
  3. I loathe being tapped on the shoulder. It freaks me out because it is invasive and I think of it as being an overly aggressive way of getting someone’s attention. Just say my name, don’t tap. Plus, I have sorta bony shoulders and I despise the way a swift tap feels. Literally makes my skin crawl.
  4. I’m allergic to Champagne. Not my worst allergy (I have several) but by far the most disappointing.
  5. In high school Algebra class, I never learned how to factor. And I passed!
  6. There is a pop/rock song that was named after me. No, really…. You can even buy the EP.
  7. I love vintage, antique, and retro style jewelry. The ring I bought for myself when I graduated with my MFA is an art deco style three stone tourmaline in my 2nd favourite cut—square.
  8. I don’t have normal “favourites”. No favourite color, sports teams, drink, food, movie, book…. I think I try not to become too obsessed with any one thing.

here it is. now the world know a little more about me. i promise the next post will contain real pictures!

08 June 2007

more by sunday

i am in tech this week for another show, so real work has taken over blogging time. i am still getting some knitting done. i finished my 2nd sock in Rowan Calmer.

this is the real man sized sock. now i have two Calmer socks, but they are not paired twins.... as you can see form my progress chart. they cannot even be described as fraternal socks. more like cousins. still no pictures, but i promise i won't keep you waiting forever.

i started the 2nd koigu socklet, and i also have a pair of little cabled arm warmers on the sticks. i will probably have progress to one of those projects by the end of the weekend.

i owe phone calls to a few of my readership.... soon, i promise! things are busy busy.

06 June 2007


in grad school penguingirl and i liked to make southpark character versions of our friends and mentors. we tried to use one of those flash powered make-your-own-southpark-character thingies to create a version of me. we were unable to do so because i am apparently composed of too strange a combination of traits for the southpark universe as we knew it. well. the Germans changed all of that!

southpark kittything!

southpark me

clearly the internet is improving my life every day.

04 June 2007

first class

some of you may know that i am set to be a bridesmaid in my cousin J's wedding this fall. well, i've been upgraded from bridesmaid to Maid of Honor. to use an airline analogy badly.

J's other best gal fell through. nothing personal, just life details getting in the way of things we want to do. so i am stepping up the bridal party food chain. now, i know you are thinking it, and i have already been asked...

i am actually very happy, and honored. (not irritated. or feeling second best or whatever. forget that.) J worried about how i would feel, and i could honestly tell her i was thrilled she asked me to be in her wedding to begin with, and where i stand in line doesn't really matter. so my mother was asking if i had any new responsibilities. yes and no.

what i already committed to...
  • being J's sounding board
  • attending bridal shower
  • planning some sort of bachelorette party
  • wearing strapless hunter green stain dress
  • actually styling my hair and make-up for a change
  • setting up church and reception site
  • doing what the maid of honor says J wants
  • standing for lots of pictures
  • partying
  • tearing down after the reception
  • drinking to health and happiness of couple
new responsibilities....
  • giving speech at the reception
  • signing marriage license
  • standing for a few additional pictures
  • making sure the other bridesmaids are doing what J wants
so not a major change of gig. i guess i have to really consider getting a real haircut and maybe a manicure now. J is my oldest girlfriend in addition to being my cousin, and this is supposedly the biggest day of her life*. so i guess i should try to look good. you know, to be a sport.

*i say "supposedly" because if i know J, the day she has her first child will be even bigger!

02 June 2007

walk on the wide side

socksit is official. my first matched pair of socks in complete. i have two other socks completed waiting for their mates to be cast on, and a third pair that i am working on the first sock of currently.

here's hoping i can continue to overcome Second Sock Syndrome. the project details...

Wild Thing Socks (named after the charming striped monsters from the book Where the Wild Things are)
pattern: a basic 48 stitch top-down sock pattern.... with variations between each sock. heehee.

knit in one ball of Lion Brand Magic Stripes ("Lumberjack" colorway, discontinued. 75% superwash wool, 25% nylon) on a set of 5 vintage US 2 aluminum double point needles.

do these socks make me look fati know i used a kinda awful yarn. in my defense i will say two things. this was my first pair of socks, and there was no telling if i would ever finish them if i hated knitting them. yes, i am that gal who can put down a book because she is bored with it. same goes with my needlework.
second, i have seen this same colorway in a Regia sock yarn, and the quality feels the same, AND it costs nearly three times as much. i am convinced that Lion Brand buys runs of other companies' sock yarn from the mills and slaps their label on it.

these were sort of experimental socks. i tried different cuffs and heel flaps on each of them, and i am glad i let myself experiment.

sock #1: 2x2 ribbed cuff and the heel pattern....
row 1: slip 1, knit 1 across
row 2: slip 1, purl 1 across

this cuffs is too stretchy. it doesn't look as neat and lacks the snugness i prefer in a sock top. as for the heel... it knits a double layer of fabric and makes a pretty heel. i liked it just fine, but it was trickier to knit than my second heel because you slip stitches on every row, and those slipped stitches can be very tricky to purl into.

sock #2: 1x1 ribbed cuff and the heel....
row 1: slip 1, knit 1 across
row 2: slip 1st stitch, purl across

this makes a nicely dense single layer fabric. it is also faster to knit up because you are not slipping the purl row. finally, what sold me on this heel is the selvage it creates... it is so much easier to pick up stitches for the gusset along these edges. i have not fully analyzed why, but they look much much prettier.

and as an after note.... as my small readership may recall, i recently knit a striped cardigan for a lucky young man. well, after working with self-striping yarn and comparing the experiences, i say.... god bless the person who invented this stuff because weaving in ends sucks!

Today Kittything salutes Self-Striping Yarn Inventor! You are a hero among knitters!