29 February 2008

razzle dazzle them

i got home the other night and there was a package slip in my mailbox. the
jerk subcontractor who delivers my mail on behalf of the USPS never leaves packages. (that is in no way relevant to the story. i just like to complain about it) so i go to the post office yesterday and pick it up. and i discover i have two packages. two packages in one day!

this is the highlight of my week folks.

so i open the known entity and i received all 20 yards of gold chainette fringe that i ordered. huzzah. (i also bought approximately 75 yards of sparkly metallic red plastic beads today. my life is so glamourous. these items are what the title of the post refer to. any guess what show i am designing?)

and the second box was my latest skein of the month!

it contained a skein of Fiesta yarn's Swoon, a set of sheep magnets (with fence!), and pattern i already own. but that okay because i can give it to friend. magnets may go to a friend as well. cute, but i have my fair share of magnets in my life. spread the love.

speaking of love.... i just want to rub this yarn on my face. it is super delightful. Swoon is 55% extra fine merino wool and 45% silk. it knits to 4.5 stitches to the inch on a size US 8 needle. my skein is hand painted in color #20121 "poppies".

i would never have bought these colors for myself, but they are very pretty. i think i will go with a scarf as suggested in the package and if it knits up looking sufficiently "me" i'll wear it. otherwise, pay it forward baby. or maybe not. maybe i'll knit something entirely different than i usually do.

i have been on that sort of a jag lately. ever since e sweater betrayed me and i crocheted that baby blanket, i have been crazy about making adorable kid stuff from my stash. everything is cuter in miniature.

to get such nice color in this picture i did something typical for me that i think freaks out my neighbors. i stuck part of myself out my window and used the window ledge to support the subject of my photo whilst snapping away. my neighbor across the way saw me and was puzzled. i was singing Blitzkrieg Bop at the time (no, not very loudly) so that could have been it as well.

whistle while you work, folks.

ps- happy leap day!

28 February 2008


squashi am beginning to think i am just not a sweater knitter. i have the technical skill and i have enough patience, but i don't think i can make both of those qualities merge in one sweater project for myself. i hope not, but it seems to be true.

i guess it is a good thing that i love to knit little tidbits like hats....

Baby Squash Hat
designed by Tamara Del Sonno
published in 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders

knit in Plymouth Encore (sage green 75% acrylic , 25% wool) leftovers from my stash on size US 5 needles.

started: february 25, 2008
finished: february 26, 2008

this is one of the patterns that made me want to buy this book. i love it. the hat is adorable and an extremely fast little knit.

topmy friends need to have more babies. knitting stuff for kiddos is way too fun. it doesn't take too long. it uses less yarn. and everything is cuter in miniature.

so i wondered about the hat's name.... squash? yeah, it has the little curl at top. and i guess it could look like a pumpkin (a squash) with the wide rib. it i also modeled by a squash in the book.

and guess what? i photographed mine n a butternut myself. i searched all over my apartment from an appropriate model, and that was what i had.


back to mittens. i started the 2nd striped mitten in my class tuesday, and i have wound a skein of yarn that really wants to be a pair of mittens. can't wait! warm hands!

27 February 2008


i have in the past debated the merits of organic yarns (thinking also of hand spun, hand painted, or other similarly granola varieties) but i had never actually considered the question of cotton fiber cultivation vs. wool fiber cultivation in terms of environmental impact.

thank you, slate.com.

i failed to mention...

i rocki can totally change my own flat tire. this happened on valentines day. i went around all day saying "and people wonder how his girl can possibly stay single!?!" when recounting my victory over the steep hill, lousy car jack, and general lameness of flat tires on cold days.

25 February 2008

i shiver with anticipation!

mittenby the end of the week my hands should be warm again. i have not had proper hand coverings since i put my own gloves into a show the first week of january. (always the shoe maker's children....)

fun stuff, huh?

24 February 2008

more birthday pressies

happy birthday to my cousin jess. it was last weekend, but now i can reveal the pressies i made for her because they have arrived.

i know dishcloths seem kinda lame, but they work. jess likes the handmade kind, and she doesn't like when i spend money on her so this is a good compromise. all four were made from the book The Big Book of Dishcloths: 99 Designs to Crochet. published by Leisure Arts. they are made from 2 partial skeins of Lion Cotton from my stash.

i got lucky stash-wise and cousin-money-annoyed-wise because i had navy and lavender in my stash already. they are an interesting color combination, but her kitchen has navy accents and she likes purple so i will say that it works.

girl power weekend?

starghani didn't plan a theme for my weekend, but it sort of worked out that way. we have both a project and an event.

first, the project.

Baby Starghan
designed by Beth Espina-Cole
published on The Diva Crochets
finished size: approx. 43" diameter. if stars really have diameter....

crocheted in Caron Simply Soft Shadows (approx 5-6 skeins of "Fuchsia Flare", 100% acrylic) with a size "I" crochet hook.

started: february 18, 2008.
finished: february 23, 2008.

this was a project devoted to 3 specific purposes it could serve in my life.

1. stash busting. 5.5 skeins of stash yarn down! and now i have a reserve project for the next girly kiddo that comes along.

2. crochet, baby. i had been knitting so much that my hooks were getting rusty. this was a nice way to shake off the rust and re-earn my happy hooker certification.

3. give knitting the finger. you know which finger i am talking about. knitting more than 6 inches of the body of the gathered pullover and then having to tear it back out was a disheartening experience. that sweater is not a fan of me. ever-obedient crochet plucked up my little crafter spirits.

detailthis pattern calls for a DK weight yarn, but yu can do it in anything, really. mine is worsted weight, but i also bet it would look great in a fingering weights handpaint like koigu. on the other extreme, i want to make another one of these blankies in super-chunky yarn so it can be an "on the floor" type of blankie you sit a baby on to play. i think it would look really cute in something like lion's wool-ease thick & quick.

now that i have the blankie done, the sweater is calling to me again, but i am forgoing project monogamy for the time being. i have a mittens and gloves class to teach on tuesday and i am knitting up my sample project. i think it is easier to share how a technique is accomplished when you are working on the project as well. picture after the first mitten is finished.

i went out yesterday and took the metro, so i did get some work done on the gathered pullover. i had to take the metro all the way out to Stadium-Armory so i probably managed an inch of progress.

why did i venture all the out into the depths of southeast DC, you might ask.....

DC Rollergirls.
yes, roller derby. they had a bout at the armory yesterday and my friend Price and i took it in. he had bought the tickets for he and his girlfriend, but she couldn't go at the last minute so he brought me along. it was fun.

it was the kind of fun that makes you want to put on a pair of skates and kick some ass until you remember you lack both free time and health insurance. well.... at least that is how i felt. ha.

it was a double header, but Price could only stay for the first bout. so we saw the DC DemonCats defeat the Secretaries of Hate. he was disappointed because he wanted to see Scare Force One (the current league champs) who are said to be a bunch of tough chicks any way you slice it. they were up against the Cherry Blossom Bombshells.

as you can see, clever naming goes with the territory.... and it extends to the skaters. some of their names are DC related like the teams.... (i.e Demonica Lewinsky and Beltway Betty.) others are clever plays on famous names... (Lois Slain and Camilla the Hun) and still others are just amusing. (Six5onSkates... she really is 6'5" on skates. taaaaall chick. stay out of her way.)

now the questions remains... would i go to another bout? yes, i would. i wouldn't rearrange my schedule for it, but i would go on a non-tech weekend. it was fun. who wouldn't have a good time in a place where you can drink beer while watching girls in small outfits beat the crap out of each other?

i also like a good pun, you know.

20 February 2008

truly outrageous

star afghanwith the sweater giving me fits, i said "up yours knitting!" and decided to crochet something. so i started an afghan with stash yarn. i had about 825 yards of this hot pink stuff still left in my stash box. it should make a nice kid sized throw.

i am further along than the picture. i was in the middle of the 2nd ball (the 1st was a partial) and now i am about to join the fourth. the problem with things worked in the round is that the progress looks like it slows waaaaay down. it is beginning to take 15-20 minutes to get around the blanket. whew!

other things....

the Lion Brand Fashion Show. there are a lot of ugly things, but there are also a few neat things. i think some of the crocheted throws are pretty swell.

also, who knew lucid dreaming was a goal people were willing to pay for?

18 February 2008

vday giftshappy belated valentine's day.

i've been busy, but i do want to show off what my mum sent me for the holiday. that is four more skeins of Noro Kureyon for my Lizard Ridge afghan, a postal scale (very handy both for my work and for yarn purposes), a handful of dove chocolates, and a funny card.

my mum is an excellent selector of cards. this one reads....

(outside) Men come and go, but friends are forever. (inside) And they're really handy at mocking the men who go. happy valentine's day.

we share a sorta sick sense of humour.

in yarny news, i have a project to post later in the week. i crocheted a gift for my cousin's birthday gift, and it goes in the mail tomorrow. i don't want to ruin the surprise for my FBL either (hi, mark!).

i also just ripped out 6.5" of my gathered pullover. that is 1.5" before i was supposed to start my cable chart. sigh. this will be the sweater i reknit until the cows come home. and i just don't get it. i swatched. i knit. i checked the gauge in the full piece over and over again as i went. i was knitting to almost 5 stitches per inch (i need 4.75/inch) and then.... WHAM!! out of no where my gauge is 4 stitches per inch all over and the sweater body is 34" instead of 32".

i feel like an evil knitting fairy has been spreading evil fairy dust over this project. i mean, my gauge is never this wonky. i'm going to recast on tomorrow on smaller needles, and i may even take out some of the stitches.

i am also a little rankled because blogger's spell check is not working for me. jerks.

12 February 2008

i never used to care

now that i am no longer in school and don't have a roommate, i like to have the tv when i am working. keeps me company. 4 tv related things....

Pushing Daisies won't be back until the fall.


there will still be episodes of LOST shot this spring.

why didn't anyone tell me that Jeremy Sisto joined the cast of Law & Order? now i might have to watch it.... (sorry, Peter Krause and Rachel Griffiths... you are some of my other favourite folks from Six Feet Under but i just don't think i can do your shows.)


Lauren Ambrose is providing one of the voices in the film version of Where the Wild Things Are!!

11 February 2008

the good, the bad, the greedy.

the good
i finished the 2nd sleeve of my gathered pullover. they match! whoo!

the bad
i need different needles for the body of the sweater before i can continue. stitch gauge is fine, but the row gauge looks like cat vomit. (rather distinct image, no?) plus, the circulars i have are a little too cramped for all 152 stitches.

i cannot imagine knitting the size 48"! (cast on 228!?!)

the greedy
the post office is raising the price of stamps again. they did it last year and they are doing it again. greedy jerkfaces. i now see that this "forever" stamp was just a ploy... a way to make us feel better abot them raising the price annually for kicks.


10 February 2008

3 knitting things

1. i knit through the second ball of cashmere for my scarf. i am now halfway there! yay! this is project knitting to the extreme.

i have sorta stopped enjoying the process of the scarf because it is a little too simple... but i will say that i can hit a rhythm with the yarn and knit through yards and yards effortlessly.

2. i went back to my gathered pullover after being shamed this week by a regular customer at the shop who asked me if i had finished it yet. um. no. one sleeve. languishing.

i started the 2nd sleeve.... 4 times. i hadn't knit on this sweater since december, and i had forgotten how tricky the gauge was. the pattern is written to be knit in sport weight yarn on larger needles to get a drapey, slightly sheer fabric. i wanted a sweater i could wear without a cami underneath, so i went up to a DK (ish) yarn.... still knit loosely.

it was tricky. first, i am knitting intentionally a little looser than i normally do (which is already loose). second, the desired gauge is 4.75 stitch = 1 inch. 4.75!?! that is a stupid gauge. i knit a lot of 5 stitches = 1 inch projects, so it is tricky to take a tiny step to the side.

long story short, halfway through the 2nd sleeve. finally.

3. Rowan has new knitwear models. just when Interweave Knits stops using more realistic women (yet still small/thin) in favor of modely long and lean, Rowan mixes it up a bit. Rowan 43 has one pretty normal gal. She's a little curvy even. the shocker is their new book All Seasons at the Mill. seriously, these are folks off the street.

07 February 2008

same project, different yarn

fingerless mittsi can finally reveal my first finished project of the year. these are the fingerless mitts i knit for penguingirl's birthday. i call them the "30 and fabulous" mitts. because every girl needs something happy and frivolous when she meets a milestone.

if you want to read about the pattern and such, go have a look at the previous post i did on the 2nd version of this project.

i'm so lazy. not doing full project details anymore. but i am trying to cut myself a little slack. 'tis better to post pretty pictures to share than to go silent all together.

in other news.... facebook is strange.

a friend i really wanted to get in touch with again lured me in, and now loads of folks are adding me as a friend.... and i am way lame at doing up the features. maybe because i don't entirely "get" the point of some of it.

i find it sort of funny that facebook baffles me (myspace, on the other hand, freaks me out) yet i love ravelry. just add yarn and i am good to go.

project-wise i am back on the cashmere scarf until i can more time to return to the gathered pullover... which i still hope to finish this month. keep your fingers crossed for me.

06 February 2008

maybe my mum is right about february.

little sweatermy mother hates february. she says it is cold and gey and uninspiring.... and throws you off because it is short month. boo.

i have been working and knitting. and being tired.

that is my excuse. busy and tired. i don't even feel like doing a full project breakdown on this little sweater because it is to much effort.

well, too much effort for a store model. i decided to knit it to take it off my boss' hands. it also gave me a chance to practice my finishing. i will say that i did a nice job sewing it up. the side seams are invisible and i managed to match the self-striping yarn to 99% perfection (there was a defect in the printing of one stripe.).

started it last tuesday and finished it yesterday.... and i didn't even work on it friday-sunday. it claims to be size 6-9 months, but it is about the size of 24 months. and, yes.... i was knitting to gauge.

that is all for now.

and i forgot.
the superbowl last year was when i taught myself how to knit. so i have officially been knitting for more than a year now! go me.