Happy December!

Happy December everybody! I realized today, that, while I had a lot of knitting things to do, it would be best to sleep in to celebrate the coming of the month. In doing so, I missed not only the knitting group at the library (again), but the knit-in I was supposed to have with another Ravelry memeber over at Perk's Coffee. Oops! Sorry! My depression took hold and I didn't know what to do. Really.

Did I mention I've taken on a new role as a test knitter? Right now, I'm on the second sock of a pair for the lovely miss Baxterknits. I won't give too many details, however, the yarn called for (Elann Espirit) Is some of the most yummy stuff I've ever worked with for socks. Usually, when left to my own knitting, I'll knit up socks in wool or a wool blend. I'm a "winter sock" sort of person. But this is a cotton blend, and the texture is just amazing. You really should go `check out her blog to see some of her stuff. It's very straightforward and brilliant in its almost-simplicity.

Other than test knitting, I've been working non-stop on christmas presents. Working on my mom's citrine socks, working on this and that for everyone. Blah. I'm going to be burnt out soon!


Updates in the world of me. - SWAP SPOILER

So the past few days have been kind of a wash. I haven't done much of anything, really. My depression is setting back in, big time. I've gotten paperwork from the Social Security administration about my disability claim. I need to fill it out and get it back to them. I'll probably do that today, fill them out right after I get done blogging and put it in the mail this afternoon. They scheduled me for a mental evaluation the day after christmas, which is in the morning on the 26th. I'll be leaving at 1 PM on the 26th, so it's cutting things a little close.

I got my partner for the Ravelry holiday swap. She's going to be a tough one to shop for, considering she has no blog, and only 27 posts on the forum. I don't know what in the world to get her. SWAP SPOILERS ahead. If you are my partner on the Ravelry 2007 Holiday Swap, or you think you are, or know who it is, DON'T LOOK ANY FURTHER. In fact, I'll do what movie spoiler sites do...If you want to read the spoiler, highlight the text below to read.

I'm not at all sure what to get my partner. I was thinking of giving her some of the Fantacia Te Amo yarn I've got in my stash. It's 50% acrylic and 50% silk. Two skeins should be enough for a hat. I'm thinking of including a cute little cloche hat pattern, as its one of the few crochet patterns I found that was actually cute that used bulky yarn. This yarn is mostly bulky. I mean, it isn't worsted and its not a true bulky. It's in a rainbow of colors, so it's bright and fun. I'm also thinking of getting her some coffee samples so she can try different types, and some bag balm, to soothe hands. Also thinking of making her a crochet hook organizer and getting some some soaps, maybe a book to enjoy, althugh I don't know what genre she reads. Maybe a rubber duckie and do not disturb sign for her door. She has kids, so these things may come in handy for relaxation. I'm also going to figure something else out for her.

My main concern is that cigarette smoke bothers her, and my house has two smokers living in it. Yikes. I'll air it all out, wash what I can, and spray what I can't with air freshner.

Now, with all that said, I've been knitting a bit. I started on my mom's citrine socks. THe unravelling didn't work out so well. So I'll be doing it in Caron Dazzelaire with some white acrylic for the heels and toes. Pastel colors make me sick, but the yarn is so soft and fuzzy. It makes me happy. I also worked a bit more on the Big Girl blanket. Besides that, though, ravelry and secondlife have been eating up a fair bit of my time.


Holiday cheer?

I feel like I should be spreading Holiday Cheer today. It's not like I've got any myself, so I can't exactly be spreading around feelings that I haven't got. We don't even have the money to get a tree or ornaments, so its going to be a sparse christmas this year.

Last night was Molly's 24th birthday party. There were card games (including one that was a lot like double solitaire, but whose name I cannot exactly recall.), Egyptian Rat Screw (the polite name for it, mind you.) and Sequence. There was also Age of Empires, which made me and Molly very happy. Pi came along, and he enjoyed himself very much. I found out I can knit while intoxicated. In fact, certain substances make it easier to knit. haha.

I'm also just in a very bad mood today. My moods fluccuate depending on a lot of different factors. Today, my mother was laying down a massive guilt trip on me. I do not feel good about that. I'd rather not have to deal with it. But it's a fact of life. I've been surfing the Kaoani websites (those little animated gif images sprinkled throughout this post. It's a japanese thing, and it's super cute, in my humble opinion), and they've kinda cheered me up. Reminding me I haven't done any christmas knitting today. My Y key on my keyboard keeps popping off, so I'll cut this post short. Toodles!



These past few days have been very unproductive. We went up to visit David's great grandmother last night. She's dying. I've only met her once before, but the difference was astounding and its such a shame. Even her cat, Hilary, knows what's going on. Hilary was cuddling up to me and begging me to take her home, I think. I felt kind of bad, because the cat has hot spots and is miserable on top of it all.

I brought along Baby Katelyn's "Not a Baby" blanket. She's three years old now. It's a big girl blanket. It's going to still be tiny, I only have two skeins of Super Saver to work with, but that's what her mother gave me, so that's what I'll use. Stockinette center, moss stitch borders and a crocheted edge in Lavendar and Sage, to match her new "big girl" room.

After visiting his great grandma, we went back to his mother's house. I didn't know we'd be staying the night, so I got kind of pissy. David and I didn't bring anything to stay the night. We had no cigarettes (bad habit, I know.) and I didn't bring my meds. Because I didn't bring my meds, I started having rape flashbacks and misery and panic attacks. It was no fun at all. I cannot possibly miss my medication, and because of all that's going on with Job and Family Services, I'm going to be losing my insurance once I turn 19 (we make "too much" money for that age bracket. Never mind we cannot even pay the rent on a timely basis. The money bracket for 19 and over is 250$ USD a month. Ick.) And I cannot go without my medication. I'll be insane. I don't know what to do. So I'm trying to file for disability on the basis of medication dependency. It's going to take a while.

David's sister and I went out for a walk to visit her friends. Things got kinda muddled, and she got into trouble. I feel bad becaus I was partly responsible for having her out so late. But all in all, it wasn't a bad time. Walking the railroad tracks in Glouster was fun. I found a cemetery I didn't know was there, so all was good.

I'll be test knitting a pattern for someone on Ravelry. Details on this will be few and far between unless she says I can post. In which case, I will. She's sending me yarn to do it, and I'm happy about that.

All in all, that's really all that's going on. I measured my mother in law's favorite mug this morning, so I'll finish the coffee cozie sometime soon.l I also started unravelling a thrift store sweater for my mum's Citrine Socks. It's pink variegated, so hopefully it will turn out awesome. I think it's a wool mohair blend, because I did the burn test. It charred, smelled like burnt hair, but didn't self extinguish. It actually went up rather quickly, which is, if I'm not mistaken, a sign of mohair. It feels like wool and mohair. I just wish I had a definitive way to know what it was. I don't have any bleach to do the bleach test either. Ah well.

In other news, here's a photo of me and my friend Molly from her commitment ceremony. Her birthday is today. I know she doesn't read this, but Happy Birthday anyway, Molly! (That's her signifigant other, Amanda to her right, as well as David peeking in the background.)


FO: Quarter Horse PLUS: Updates

This is a bad photo of my little "quarter" horse, created for my friend Molly's birthday. He was done in Caron Simply Soft (a dark brown color), with some mystery acrylic in white added for eyes. He's got a very fluffy mane, and was crocheted amigurumi style. So, single crochet in rounds all the way. I added a keychain to him. He was done with a size F crochet hook and stuffed with polyester fiber fill.

I also made a card to go with it, which you can see in the very horrible photo to the right. You can kinda make out the horse's head. it was done in chalk pastel. That's a horse of a different color!.

I also thought I would update you on my christmas knitting...The Webs scarf still has no other progress on it. I haven't touched it since yesterday. But here's a photo (again, apologies for the quality) of the lace detail on the bottom. I eliminated the large spiderweb pattern, and just went to garter stitch after the lace holes row.

Also, the coffee cup cozie is almost done. I just need to figure out how long to make it, as we have no "standard" sized mugs in our home. What a shame. Oh well. I'll figure it out. (Photo below and to the right)

And just for fun, a picture of my fuzzbutt, Pythagoras (Pi for short). He's the cutie who used to be called Quita, until we found out he was a boy. Here he is eating the remains of my sandwhich.


I just finished an amigurumi keychain for my friend Molly's birthday. She's a horse fan, so it's a horse head and neck. It's a "quarter" horse. hahaha. Okay, a little horsie humor. Oh well. Her birthday is monday. I put the little guy on a keychain, and drew her a nice horse card to go with it. I hope she likes it. It's a little disfigured. Anyway, maybe a picture of it later, if I can get the damn camera to work for me again.

Almost finished the mug cozie for my mother in law. Haven't touched the webs scarf all day. I'm a lazy little bugger sometimes.



I finished and grafted one side of my Grandmother Web's scarf. I got sick of knitting the pattern, though, and alas, started using the yarn (I know I'll have plenty left over) to create a mug cozy for my mother-in-law for christmas. So I'm working on Interweave Knit's Garter Mug Cozie for a while. It should be a quick knit.

I'm running out of things to watch on my computer while knitting. We haven't got tv here at the house, and so it's tough to find watchable stuff on the internet, ever since TV Links shut down. I'm sure I'll find something though. I've been going through re-runs of Daria right now.

Not much else to speak of on the knitting front. It was a lazy day today, as I slept most of the day. It's also been a sad day. David got a call from his mother saying his great-grandmother is dying. So he's taking the day off of work tomorrow to go visit her. I'm busy caring for him tonight, so no real knitting is possible.

Just for photos sake, here's a picture of my darling David and I on our wedding day (January 22nd 2007). I made the dress and the tiara myself. The corset was store-bought.



Progress on Norbert, my dragon scales shawl.
The simple moss stitch scarf for my other grandma.

The beginning of my grandmother's Webs scarf, after frogging the ends and deciding to reknit them.

Webs Scarf.

I've been working on my webs scarf all week. It's almost finished. I ripped out the first end I had botched. Well, more like cut it since it didn't want to rip back. I'm knitting on some more garter, then knitting the edges seperately and grafting them to the scarf. Not ideal, but it had to be done. THe lace pattern looked awful and I don't think I could stand giving my grandmother something that awful. Pictures to come soon, I promise.

Right now I've got The Santa Clause 2 on, am muching on leftover turkey, and am knitting my Webs scarf. After the webs scarf is the scarf for my dad. I think I've decided on Henry from Knitty Fall 2007. He'll enjoy that. I'll probably end up doing it in some brown Simply Soft I've got. I guess my stash is dominated by Simply Soft. Oh well.

I think between scarves I'll work on the cell phone cozies for my sisters in law, and the mug cozie for my mother in law.

I'm participating in the Ravelry Holiday 2007 swap, so there will be details of that too. Whoever I get paired with must PROMISE not to read posts marked as such.

It's chilly today. Back to knitting.

Four A.M And nothing to do...

I've been on ravelry all night. I can't sleep, too much turkey. So I just surf ravelry and my knitting blogs list all night. Hoping someone else is a night owl like me. I took a quiz courtesy of BumbleFee .

What kind of knitting needles are you?

You are interchangeable.Fun, free, and into everything, you've got every eventuality covered and every opportunity just has to be taken. Every fiber is wonderful, and every day is a new beginning. You are good at so many things, it's amazing, but you can easily lose your place and forget to show up. They have row counters for people like you!
Take this quiz!


Turkey Day

Happy turkey day everyone!

I spent thanskgiving, as stated, with my in laws. While nice, some of them can just be far too intolerant. But this isn't the proper place to be ranting about being a bisexual, bipolar, goth and pagan in a small town. Nah. Me? Out of place? Never. hehe.

I got about ten percent more of my scarf completed. It's going to be a long scarf. My grandmother is 4'10" so I'm going to be making the scarf about 5" long. She's going to love it, I think.

I spent some more time on ravelry today researching patterns for other people's christmas presents. I got asked a bunch of times about when baby Katelyn's blanket is going to be done. So I need to finish that, soon, too.

Oh well.


For the love of ducks....

....please rescue me from my inlaws. Even my scarf-knitting cannot drown out the sounds of their intolerance.

Inventory Time

So It's time to take inventory of all that I need to do before the holidays -

Knit a hat for my older brother (probably a bucket hat, like the one from VK 25th anniversary) - no yarn picked out yet.
Knit Knucks for my younger brother (knitty.com) - no yarn picked out yet.
Knit a scarf for my dad (Still haven't found a pattern I like. The Irish Hiking Scarf maybe?)- Caron Simply Soft
Knit a pair of socks for my mom (Citrine Socks from IK Holiday 2007) - Unraveled cashmere thrift store sweater
Knit a pair of socks for Molly (IK's Tyrolean Socks) - Caron Simply Soft Brites
Knit a purse for Amanda (no pattern yet...maybe Zeeby's Bag from the first stitch and bitch!) - No yarn picked out yet
Knit cell phone cozies for my two sisters in law. - no yarn picked out yet
Knit my father in law socks (He's a size men's 15 triple E. Yikes) - no yarn picked out yet
Knit my mother in law something (I dunno what yet. Scarf? Hat? More likley a coffee cozie) - no yarn picked out yet. But scraps should make it easy to do the coffee cup cozie.

I still have to finish my grandmother's Webs scarf. That's going to be easy to do. It's in Caron Simply Soft Light Country Blue, and it matches her coat exactly. I'm going over to my inlaw's tonight to stay for thanksgiving, and I'll be bringing it with me. I botched the lace pattern, and am eliminating the acre pattern for favor of garter stitch.

I finished my other grandma's scarf a while ago. Moss stitch in a nice virgin wool. dyed peacock like colors. Yummy.

I'm justifying my knitting myself a pair of citrine socks as testing the pattern for my mother's socks.

I'm also not sure what to get the hubby for christmas. Yeah. That should be interesting. I don't even know what he wants.

As far as other knitting related news, Ravelry is a time sucker. A yummy, yummy time sucker that grabs me in every time. I've been surfing knitting blogs all afternoon, in hopes that someone might return the favor and read mine. I don't usually have photos, my digital camera has a cracked lense, but I do make posts, and I'm hoping to make posts more often.

As far as projects that have been put on the back burner for holiday knitting, I have:
My wedding afghan - it's still not finished. I doubt it will be finished by my husband and my one year anniversary. I don't have the effort or money. It's single crochet, but so, so comfy.

My granny square afghan - just put on the back burner for a bit.

Scrubbies - we need new washcloths, but I don't want to knit them just yet. I've got a whole truckload of black cotton yarn to use, too.

Norbert - the dragon scale's shawl from THe YarnPath. in a lovely acrylic/mohair blend.

My steampunk gloves - fingerless. Acrylic. SImple.

My vest.

My aran isles afghan

My other Simple Sock

My other fingerless glove for hubby

And more, I'm sure I'm forgetting some. I know i am, in fact. But that's enough torment. I have too many projects.



Well, not really. There are no zombies around. But I feel like a zombie. Really I do. I had a job interview today. I had called about it yesterday, there was an ad in the paper asking for childcare for a four year old. So I called, and had an interview tonight.

Little did I realize that it's clear across town, and the bus stop is about 1.5 miles from their home. 1.5 miles TOTALLY uphill. ANd it's not a wussy hill. I may live in Ohio, but it's unglaciated Ohio. That means BIG HILLS. I was running a little late because I had to keep stopping on the way to their house. They seemed kinda pissed, but I can at least say I gave it my best shot.

The kiddo is four years old and absolutely adorable. I really hope I get the job. THat would mean about an extra 400 a month. And I'd get to keep my insurance. So yeah.
On the knitting front, I didn't get much done today. I'm planning on working on my grandma's Quiviuk Webs Scarf, that isn't really Quivit but Caron Simply Soft. I need to finish my other citrine sock, and work on a ton of christmas presents.

On the Webs scarf, I fudged most of the lace, and eliminated the acre pattern in favor of simple garter stitch.

The citrine socks are two color stripes now.


Gifting Time!

I've been working frantically to get christmas gifts done. But I keep getting sidetracked. I finished a moss stitch scarf for my grandma Audrey, am working on the Quiviuk Webs Scarf from Interweave for my Grandma Nancy. I did a prototype sock for my mother of the Citrine Socklets, and have the yarn for my friend Molly's Tyrolean Socks. That's about as far as I've gotten on progress. That's sad.

Back to knitting, I suppose!


Long time no talk

So it's been a long, long time since I've posted. Things have been hectic. I've moved out of Glouster and out of the house with david's parents. We moved into our own little shack in Athens, OH.
Since then, our friend Brett has moved in, since he's having wife problems. His little girl, Savannah, is the one who got the skull sweater knit for her. You should all remember that project. Whoo.
On the subject of the cats, only Pi came with us. Pi is the cat formerly known as Quita. We found out he was a boy. The other two cats are being placed up for adoption since my sisters in law cannot care for them.

On the knitting front, I've got some things going on that are new.

Brett's requested a hat with earflaps. That's being done in black Lion brand homespun.

I've got a granny square blanket to work on all my acrylic stash.

Other misc. projects that are still going on, but nothing real to speak of. Yeah.


Mr. So-So

With two kittens running around, plus a fully grown cat, its hard to get any work done. The two kittens are attacking the needles (one to each needle) then the yarn when the figure out that IT moves too! The fully grown cat doesn't bother much with any of it, except for hissing at the kittens. She lunged at Quita the other day, which was greatly upsetting. I yelled at her for it and she's hardly been inside since. She'll get over it, I hope.

I finished up a modified "Baby's First Tattoo" from Stitch and Bitch Nation. It's now a sleeveless sweater vest. Bright neon pink with black accent work. The collar came out a little wonky. But otherwise it's okay. I fair-isle'd the skull motif instead of duplicate stitch. I hate duplicate stitch. I hate it a lot! So its a fair isle skull, and only on the right side of the outfit. I think it came out pretty darn cute, and I think Brett and Trista will think so, too. At least I hope they do. I just hope it isn't so cute that Trista breaks her water over it (although that's close to the ultimate compliment!) It definately suits their style. Maybe I'll even get a picture of the tyke wearing it, when the time comes.

I'm still working on the darn Wedding Afghan. My other yarn should be in the mail soon, along with a harness for Quita. Her collar is still holding up well, by the way. It's just a simple I-Cord square knotted around her neck. She could easily slip it if she needed to, or even bite through it, but she hasn't.

Sock yarn is coming in from KnitPicks. Their "Palette" line, I believe. Greens, blues, and blacks mostly. I have a lack of reds and oranges, but that's no bother to me.

I've got to do a pair of lace up armwarmers for David, still. Black with red trim. Like the purple ones I did for myself. I'm sure I'll post pictures eventually. I'll save up until I find our camera and do one giant "Finished Object" picture post. How's that for killing bandwith?

I still need to do damn near everyone's christmas gifts. I got a whole slew of vintage patterns in the mail the other day, so I'm sure I'll have no lack of ideas as to what to make people for christmas now. Most of the patterns are from the 80's though, and while some are salvageable, others are just completely hopeless.

That's one of the things I love about this art/craft - you can modify anything you don't enjoy.

I'm off....I'm going to babysit my cousin-in-law Katelyn - She's a cutie, and maybe she'll be a future yarn junkie!

Take care!


Kitties Kitties Everywhere And Not a Drop to Drink

I haven't posted in a while for a few reasons - Travel and cats. What do these things have to do with one another? Absolutely nothing.

We're back in Ohio now. All is well. We're moving back to Philadelphia sometime in early fall/late summer. That decision is settled and I have to start making plans.

We got a kitten! Her name is Muenaquita, meaning "Babydoll", but we call her Quita (which is, oddly enough, French/Old Latin for "Tranquil"...she's anything but!) Our little girl is a tiger trapped in a housecat's body. She's all black, but when she grows it's plainly visible she'll have dark greyish brown tiger stripeys. She sleeps in bed with us, knows where her litter box is, and spends all day playing with my sisters-in-laws new kittens, God and Sammy So-So, who are her siblings.

There's a picture of the happy family, as well as one of just my hunny and Quita.

In knitting news, not much has been going on. I've started a few projects - the nifty headphone cord covers I saw on Craftster (for both my and David's headphones), The "Baby's first tattoo" from Stitch and Bitch Nation for my friends Brett and Trista's upcoming child in Sugar N Creme Cotton and Caron Simply Soft, The halter top from Stitch and Bitch Nation for me, in Plymouth Encore in a color I can't seem to find again so I may need to find something else. Also, the wedding afghan is coming along....slowly but surely. I completed a few Catwarming sets too.

More photos when I can!



So I haven't exactly stuck to my schedule. I didn't pick up the Minty Shawl at all this week. Well, I picked it up to move it. But not to work on it. I found something that needed my attention much more though - A straight needle holder. I needed something to take it on the bus in. All that metal in one place might have been a threat...now it's just a nicely organized threat.

Even if I don't follow schedules, I make them. It's nice and it keeps me sane to know that even the biggest things can be broken down into manageable pieces.

I did start the armwarmers, though. Not in the Plymouth Encore I thought I had though. So I ran out and got some purple Lion Brand Wool Ease in an appropriately SHOCKING PURPLE color. I like them so far. They just dont' stay up worth a damn. I always have that problem with armwarmers though. They need a good ribbing. Or a good ribbon to lace them with.

I've got one and a half armwarmers finished right now.

But without further ado, and there isn't any ado....my NEEDLE HOLDER! TOXICODENDRON!


The Back

And the front.

What the Heck Is It and How do I use it?
It's a straight needle holder - It's got pockets for additional support on the bottom, but the needles are mostly intended to be slid through a slice of the knitted fabric - much like using a safety pin. The pockets support the base of the needles (sometimes unsuccessfully).
This project is NOT felted or fulled.
The Bare Basics:
Needles: US Size 6, fourteen inch straight needles. Susan Bates.
Hook: US Size E. Boye Balene II.
Yarns: Lion Brand Wool-Ease and a mystery yarn from the thrift store. Wool-Ease Worsted being 80% acrylic and 20% wool content.
As usual, I have the pattern available should anyone want to make this. I can post it here, if there are requests, or send it individually. Just ask if you'd like it.
The Short Story Long:
Born out of boredom, a need to store my wildly out of hand needle collection, and a hatred for my dendrology class, this needle holder is quite possibly the happiest creation of my life.Named and inspired by one of the world's least favorite plants, Poison Ivy, it has no ill effects. I swear. I've tried it myself. It's a pattern of my own devising, worked mostly out of a simple half-twisted stockinette base (I tend to only twist my knit stitches - I can never commit to anything wholeheartedly!) that's about 15.5 inches wide.The decorative bands are interspersed about every three inches, give or take. The stitch is a modified version of what I saw deemed a "Pillar Stitch". It's supposed to make very firm fabric, which is what I wanted, but I realized it just had too many holes for needles to slip through. It's about 14.5 inches high - barely large enough to hold my 14 inch long straights. If I were to make another one or revise my pattern notes, I'd compensate for that and work in an extra inch or so.There is a garter stitch border on three sides - the top and both longer sides. It was knit from one skein (exactly, no extra left) of grey Lion Brand Wool-Ease Worsted. The green yarn which forms the pocket fabric and detail stitching, as well as the binding on the edges, is a mystery yarn that was gotten thrifting. It was in a bag marked 100% Unknown Fiber, but feels like a very soft animal fiber. I'm inclined to say it's an angora or cashmere, with possibly an acrylic mix. The yarn isn't as shown in the pictures - the grey is a much more "bright" grey, being more white based than black based. The green is a darker green with hints of muted rainbow colors that shine only in light - the yarn reminds me of fish scales. As I alluded to - there is a single crochet border (I can't seem to get past it in my designs, I just love it so darn much...) as well as detail stitching. The detail stitching, seen mostly only on the front of the case, is what forms the pockets on the backside. I modeled (or tried to) this piece after Toxicodendron radicans, or, Poison Ivy in vine form. The big fuzzy grayish vines that grow on trees (Not to be confused with Parthenocissus quinquefolia - do you know how long it took me to learn to spell that? Virginia Creeper) is what I worked with for this project. I'm not sure if I succeeded in capturing the look or feel of the plant - you be the judge. I just know I like (mostly) how it looks.


Summer Days Can Lead To the Bad Times...

A couple people who read this (who DOES read this thing anyway? Can I get a headcount?) have figured out that almost all of my post titles come from song lyrics. You're right in that assumption.

But the lyrics do kind of accurately describe what's going on. I'm not sure if its because I've been a shitty friend all of my life, or because I just happen to have a collection of non connected memories of people who have since left my life, but these memories keep popping up. Especially in the summer. Maybe it's because I have nothing to do, or maybe its because I have more than enough to do but my mind farts out on me. But I keep thinking of people who have no reason to still be in my head.

I kind of want the memories gone, but then my life would be all "eternal sunshine of the spotless mind" and it would get kind of weird. oh well. And then there are the memories that aren't really memories, they're just dreamt memories...memories that pop up in my dreams that, later in the day or the week I can't remember if I dreamt them or if they actually occured. My mind is tricky. It takes details and synthesizes them and makes things so real I don't know what the hell is going on half the time. The human brain is weird.

Maybe I should go back on my meds. A bipolar girl with two sharp sticks isn't good for anyone. Oh well. When we get back to Ohio, I'll see someone. I swear.

As I've been in a weird, semi-horrible mood lately, I've gone into "Super Boyscout Mood". The mood that screams "BE PREPARED! FOR EVERY POSSIBLE EVEN MINOR OCCURANCE!" So...I'm currently knitting for the place (and I say place because I don't know what it will be - house, apartment, rented room) that David and I will be moving to at the end of the summer (please cross your fingers....I need to get out!). Today has been spent using up some lovely balls of cotton yarn. I'm making washcloths.

Lots of washcloths. A bright green washcloth with a frog on it. David's nickname is Froggy, so I thought he'd like it. He says he'd feel too weird "scrubbing his asscrack" (his words, not mine) with it. So he'll use it as a face cloth I guess.

There's A bright blue one with a bat on it, and a brown one with a skull and crossbones. There's a brown seed stitch washcloth with a crocheted bright blue edging (I love the colors. And damnit, if you've read this blog, you'll know my love of seed stitch).

I've got to use up the rest of the blue, the rest of the green, and a bunch of balls of black. The blue and green will probably only make one more washcloth each, and have some yarn leftover (the brown had some leftover). So I've got to incorporate the useless ends somehow. I'll probably make a bunch of black washcloths with different colored edgings. Unless I can find a cool stripe pattern to use.

I need to make more blankets. We're going to need blankets when we move in. You can never have too many blankets - my family is proof of that. We have a bazillion (yes, that's a valid scientific numerical quantity - stop questioning me!) blankets at my parents house, and we still seem to not have enough somehow.

Then there's the adorable felted wool potholders/hot pads I need to make.

And of course, I've got the mind to make an awesome red acrylic (Caron 1 pounder, baby!) skull lace tablecloth. But I don't know if we'll have a table or how big it will be. So I'll hold off on that. And matching placemats.

More washcloths. And towels, I think. But towels are kind of impractical to knit.

A welcome mat proclaiming "FUCK OFF" would be just subtle enough, I think. I may do it.

I've always wanted a canopy bed....so I'll be knitting the canopy part of that as well...when we find out what kind of bed we'll have. A giant canopy like the one in the summer Interweave Knits. Yeah, that'd be kickass.

Socks. We need socks. We'll need lots of socks. Don't ask me why - we aren't going to be trapped out in the woods with only our socks to keep us warm, but with the amount i want to make, you just might think so!

Then I'd still like to make a whole slew of baby items...not just for that potential future event (that sometimes makes me want to scream and yell and pull at my hair), but because our friends keep procreating.

I've got to make the blanket for David's mother (a thank you gift for letting us stay at the house so long), the Minty Shawl of Goodness for Aunt Lois, the Her's and Her's set for Molly and Amanda, the Wedding Afghan (it's long overdue to be finished). I've also got to frog the sweaters I bought, and make some socks for mom's birthday (august) out of the cashmere/silk salmon colored sweater.

I've got more than enough projects to finish, and I'm sitting here knitting WASHCLOTHS? What's wrong with me? This seems to be a common problem, from what i can gather. It's called "startitis". I may just be suffering from it.

And my nifty armwarmers.

Maybe I should set goals:

This week I will: Finish some Projects.

Monday - has passed. I knit washcloths. I will continue knitting washcloths tonight.

Tuesday - I will pick up the minty Shawl of Goodness. I aim to have it finished soon, if not this week.

Wednesday - Get smaller items done
Thursday - I'll work on the Her's And Her's set. I aim to have all the washcloths done on this day. I will have estimated yardage needed for the towels. I will look up techniques needed for the towels and plan them, and perhaps finish the towels while in Ohio.

Friday - Armwarmers. They will be done within the day. If they are completed, I will start on my socks.

Saturday - Minty Shawl. I will also pack for the trip back to Ohio and sort out what needs to be shipped to me.

Sunday - We leave at night back for Ohio. So I'll figure something to bring on the bus. Much knitting will be done on the bus - so the Minty Shawl might be great. On the other hand, those seats don't have lots of room...so perhaps I'll start my Mother-In-Law Afghan.

If I cannot do what is planned on these days, washcloth knitting is an acceptable substitute. But I WILL be doing what is planned. Because I need to.

Yeah, setting goals has always worked. Procrastinator's of the World Unite!.........Tomorrow.


Oh Miss Danvers!

She's finished! SHE IS FINISHED!


She has the oh-so-subtle waist shaping that I love and was worried would come out looking deformed because its so hard to find things that will fit a TRUE HOURGLASS figure like I'm stuck with. Incidentally - who named that figure, anyway? I don't want my body named after a timepiece. Ick. But it could be worse, I guess.

The point is- my sweater does not look like an amorphous blob of yarn thrown together.

The sweater itself has some bicolor ribbing at the bottom edge, and about a half an inch of bicolor seed stitch above that. It's gorgeous detailing. Too bad the camera will never pick it up.
The waist shaping that I love so much is formed by a "M1" stitch on each side. It was a pain in the ass to keep the sides straight, or even figure out which side was which, or where to stick the dividers for the sides, since the damn thing was knit in the round. On circulars.


Here is me, in all of my bleary-eyed glory enjoying my new sleeveless sweater. There is a black crocheted edging around the neckline and armholes. There is also a fair isle motif of vines on the front (shown here.)

The picture would have excluded my mug, but David was taking the picture with my parents camera and I don't think they would have appreciated just a photo of my chesticles. Doesn't matter if it was for art's sake or not.

The motif was supposed to be a checkerboard design. I thought I charted it out okay. But everyone who sees it thinks its vines or trees. So I'll go with that from now it. It's got a vine motif on the front.

And because I'm a sucker for pain, I ended up knitting a hood for it too. I mean, yes, it was supposed to be a tanktop hoodie, but the hood caused more pain than it was worth. There are no good, clear, tutorials online that I've found that describe how to create a hood. So I knit a rectangle-ish shape on the back by picking up the neck stitches. Knit in a fun vine lace motif on the hood to mirror the one on the chest of the sweater, and then picked up all the stitches around the rectangle to form a hood.
Add a crocheted edge, and viola, the sweater is FINISHED!

I've learned a few things from this project:

1. Plan. Plan what you're going to do beforehand. Otherwise, it might look haphazard. Like this sweater does!
2. Waist shaping is your friend. Don't be afraid to use it, and don't be afraid of starting it early. It looks good. And the math isn't so intimidating if you just WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN IN A CLEAR, STEP BY STEP PROCESS. Like they tried to teach me in math class years ago, but I could never figure out. Until my knitting hung in the balance.
3. Red Heart hurts your fingers. It chafes. Have a lot of bee's wax and lamb's wool oil to remoisturize and make them feel better.
4. A hood is easier than it looks. Once you rip it out five times and figure out how you want it to look, it's not a big deal.
5. Knitting on circulars is not only a test of patience, and math skills, but a test of thumb strength as well. Especially when you don't scoot your stitches as often as you should.
6. Lace is awesome, when it isn't fussy.
Anyway, onto the specs:

This project was made with Red Heart Super Saver in color Royal for the main color. It took almost two full skeins to do this project. I'd imagine if you wanted sleeves, you'd need three skeins, unless they were girlie cap sleeves, in which case you'd probably only need two.
The contrasting color was a find at the thrift store. It was in an Ac Moore bag marked "100% Unknown Fiber". I'm certain, though, that it's cotton. Probably of the sugar n creme variety. What's the difference between Peaches N Creme and Sugar N Creme anyway? I'm curious!
Size US 7 26 inch circulars. I'm not sure of the brand, because they were given to me by my grandmother, and they aren't marked in any way, shape, or form. So I've had to size them myself with my slightly inaccurate Boye Needle Sizer. I'm sure they're closer to a size 8. But that's no matter. They're metal (feels like steel) with a milky-clear plastic cord.
I didn't use a pattern for this. I just flew by the seat of my pants. I make it a nasty habit not to swatch to check gauge. I just eyeball everything, most of the time. I know how tense I knit, so I usually have a good idea of how many stitches I need. I did good for this sweater, I think.
If anyone who reads this (and I'm not sure anybody does) would like to have the pattern for their own, non-commercial use, I'd be more than happy to pass it along or post it here. Just drop me a line and let me know!


Is it the music that connects me to you?

I stayed up last night knitting until about 3 AM trying to finish Ms. Danvers. The main body is finished, all the ends are woven in. I finally decided on a graphic motif of vines for the front, and a square neck. I crocheted the contrasting color (black) around the armholes and neckhole. All seemed to go well. The short row shaping under the arms worked out great - it doesn't look deformed. Contrary, it looks like it was made to fit me. Because, it sort of was. Not totally. I didn't know what I was doing, I didn't swatch (I never do. That's my guilty secret - I never swatch. I eyeball), I didn't take measurements. I just cast on and started going.

I wrote down most of the pattern as I went. A lot of it is, more or less "knit to suit yourself" or "you have to judge". The instruction of "You have to judge" has driven my mother nuts for years. A lot of knitting requires that you judge for yourself, based on your own personal preferences. I knit whatever I please, most of the time. I freestyle, if you will. My mother wants me to teach her to knit before I go back to Ohio. I think this lady will be driven nuts. Sure, there are those knitters who are rigid and follow every pattern down to a T. But I'm not one of those. And because there are as many ways to knit as there are knitters, I think she'll go batty if I try to teach her and my methods end up being different (and I know they are) from every source she tries to find for help. I doubt I'll end up teaching her, it will save lots of stress for all parties.

David's knitting is coming along well. He just made what he calls his first "real" project - an MP3 Player cozy. Being the cutie that he is, he made it from BRIGHT RED fingering weight wool yarn on size 8 needles. It's very lacy sort of and very very stretchy. I should get a pic of it, but he hasn't let it out of his sight since he seamed it. I don't know what he plans to make next.

Back to Ms. Danvers, though. I really just need to add the hood and everything will be finished. Unfortunately, there are no good, clear, tutorials covering how to add a hood. Everything I find is so mucky and murky in detail, I don't even want to try it. And since I spent most of last night trying, I'm super frustrated. I picked up the stitches on the back of the shirt and knit those up with increases in the middle. The picked up stitches are nowhere near large enough to cover a head. The area I knit (complete with a vine lace pattern crawling up the back of the hood to echo the vine intarsia on the front) is big enough for maybe the back of the hood. So I'm thinking I could just pick up the area around the "back part" of the hood I knit last night, plus pick up two stitches on the neckline for each row. (one on each side of the neck) and that might make an awesome hood. I'm not sure, though. I guess I'll give it a try. I don't really want to pull out more of my knitting ( I attempted making sides of the hood last night. It turned out disasterous).

After Ms. Danvers is finished, I'll either start my and David's socks, my armwarmers (PURPLE! YAY!) or finish up the Shawl of Minty Goodness.

I have a pattern for the armwarmers. They'd knit up in a day or two. The socks, I have no clue on yet. The Shawl of Minty Goodness might take a week to finish, at most.

I went to the craft store yesterday (AC Moore) and picked up size 1 and 2 double pointed needles. I also took a needle inventory yesterday. I'm not doing so bad. What I don't have in straights, I have in double points and circs, and vice versa. So I've got all my sizes covered. I'm one of those odd people who refuses to use anything larger than size 15 needle, so I've got all the sizes I'll use covered. Except the elusive 000. I think I'll die and go crazy without the size 000. I want to be one of those brave, courageous, insane knitters that tackles intricate lace bedspreads on size 000. Or just to knit my doll clothes, you know? I have size 0. But not 000. Ooooh, how i want a size 000!

While at AC Moore, I also tried to pick up some sock yarn. The employees were without a clue. Me: "Sock yarn?"
Them: " What's that?"
Me: " Double Knitting weight?"
Them:" WHat's that?"
Me: " Lace weight? Fingering weight?"
Them: " That sounds dirty. Ohhh! You mean baby yarn! Yeah, we have a whole shelf of Red Heart/Caron/Bernat/Lion Brand over here."

Arrghh! No. Sock yarn. Sock yarn that is made into socks. Not the gigantic chunky stuff that looks like braids of rope. Not the acrylic stuff that will make someone's feet sweat horribly and isn't even the right weight anyway. No No No! As much as I love Lion Brand....their magic stripes wasn't even available for sale at this particular Ac Moore. I considered Microspun for about a minute before I realized that I hate working with it. And my only problems with using baby yarn for the socks is that they're ALL pastel, and the acrylic content could lead to some foot fungus.

I don't want to have to resort to buying all my sock yarn online. I really don't. JoAnn's is a little bit better, but I can't seem to get a ride there. Not yet, anyway. Maybe before I leave, I don't know.

Begrudingly, I picked up some Lion Brand Wool Ease for David's socks. I wanted to make him black and red ones. But did the store have any black worsted Wool Ease in stock? No way. That would have made my trip too easy. So I picked up the closest color substitute I can think of for black - dark grey. It wasn't until I got back to the car, yarn purchased, did I realize that dark red and dark grey are David's former high school's colors. Ick. School spirit is not synonymous with either of our names. So I'll use the red for the socks, plus whatever else I can find in my stash thats suitable, and the grey for something else. I have no plans yet.

I did manage to pick up some Sugar N Creme Cotton at Ac Moore though, in colors I really love. There's Hot Blue and Warm Brown, which will look awesome together. Warm Brown is a chocolatey color, and Hot Blue is an almost neon turquoise. I've loved those colors together since last year, when on a craft run outing with an ex, I found a piece of clearance brocade in those colors. Marked down to 4$ from $13. Yeah, I was happy. I had big plans for that fabric. A corset, or needle roll. One of the two. But when I left for college, I left my darling fabric behind by accident, and my father swiped it to re-cover my family's computer chair. I'm still pissed.

In addition to the Warm Brown and Hot Blue, I got a Hot Green as well. A nice, neon green that looks good with the Hot Blue and Warm Brown. Are we seeing a color naming trend, by the way? There was an awesome pine green color at the store, a really vibrant dark green, but I didn't get it. I'm upset. Its name was probably Dark Green, though. So I'm not at a big loss. The cotton will all become washcloths for when David and I move into our new space.

So much to do, so little time. So many size 8 needles to do it on! (after taking inventory, I realized JUST HOW MANY size 8 needles I have. Oy vey!)


No Noticable Behavioral Differences.

Wouldn't it be awesome if I weren't a horrible person? Yeah, it would. But now's not the time or place for that. The time and place for that is http://www.livejournal.com. Which is currently in a massive process of "crash and burn". Deleting profiles, while users complain about a lack of professionalism. Sorry, Livejournal was never about professionalism. It was always about whiny teenagers flaunting their own self harm. (And don't jump down my throat just yet - I am one of those whiny, self-harming teenagers). Oops. Big deal. Livejournal, you guys fucked up. Big time.

I've been feeling a little blue lately. So what better way to express it than with the Miss Danvers pullover, which is entirely knit in black and blue. No pictures yet, but it's almost done. So really, I might just stick a photo up when its finished.

I had to run out today on an EYR (Emergency Yarn Run) to Wal-Mart. Yes, Wal-Mart is evil. I fully agree. But when its a choice of Wal-Mart or another big coroporation that is equally as horrible....I'll go with Wal-Mart. It's easier for my mum to drive to (thus depleting the earth's resources some more - yes, I know. Shush, you dirty hippies.) I ran out of icky Red Heart Super Saver in Royal today.

The damned thing is driving me nuts, to be honest. It's knit nearly entirely in the round, which was a mistake. a Big MISTAKE. Knitting things on circular needles drives me batty. The thing is knit entirely from the brain, with no pattern. No reference. It has some poor attempt at waist shaping which will only be shown as horrible when I finally put it on. or maybe it will be great and genius. Either way, it remains to be seen.

I'm working the back right now. I've bound off the armholes, and am working the back and front seperately. The back, as I said, is being worked first while the front remains on the rounds, untouched. The front has a small black and blue pattern on the front. On paper, the pattern looked like checkers. On yarn, it just looks icy. But it's knit in there, so its not coming out. Maybe I'll stick a patch on there or something.

Next on the needles for my "knit yourself out of depression" series will be matching socks for Davey and I. I don't know what pattern I'll use yet. He'll get some color I haven't decided on yet (I need to go through my stash), and I'll go with the pukey-green color I got thrifting. I don't think it looks pukey, but David hates it. So I'll use the same pattern, different fiber, for both.

Also, a kickass pair of laceup armwarmers in purple Plymouth Encore that I've had sitting around. I love the pattern, it's been floating around craftster, and I'd kill for a pair. So that's coming up too.

Also some washcloths for when David and I move in to our new place, wherever that may happen to be.

That awesome Summer Tunic from the newest Interweave Knits is calling my name, too.

I should still finish the stuff I already started.

My hands are locking up at the knuckles. And things are popping that should never pop. Knees are locking up, and my back needs to be popped every five minutes. I think I'm getting arthritis. I should look that up.

Did I mention I also got a needle sizer at Wally World today? Tomorrow I think I'm going to size and take inventory of all my needles. Miss Danvers, the pullover, I now know, is being knit up on what Boye considers a size 7 circular needle. Oh joy?


Amnesiatic Memorial Day

Well, memorial day this year is something I would much rather forget. For good. My older brother and I got into a very large fight. Apparently I ruin every special day for him. This is not the time or the place for me to rant about him or his views, but damnit, it hurts when he says that. Like I don't already know I screw things up in the biggest of ways?

So...Before the arguement, mom took David and I and my Aunt Tina to the cemetery to visit my grandfather. He's a WWII vet...Army staff seargent. After that, we stopped by WallyWorld (Wal-Mart). I tried to find my Sugar N Creme in "Delft Blue" but they didn't have it. Wal-Mart's selection almost always sucks. It's a shame when I go back to Ohio that's about all the selection I'll have. So...No Delft Blue.

I got the next closest color to it, though - some Icky Red Heart Super Saver in Royal. Ick. I don't *HATE* Red Heart, but it isn't my first choice for something that would be worn so close to the skin.

And with my red heart, unknown fiber content black cotton yarn, and a pair of circs (I hate those things), I cast on for my "Miss Danvers" pullover hoodie. I should probably draw up some sketches of what I want it to look like. It's a pullover tanktop hoodie. Black and blue ribbing at the bottom, with a black and blue seed stitch/polkadot border above the ribbing. There will be a design on the center chest. What design? I haven't decided yet. But it'll be cool. The as-of-yet undrafted pattern is named after my favorite vampire killer (not so much a killer, but a co-habitator?) Claire Danvers, from Rachel Caine (of Weather Wardens fame)'s newest series, The Morganville Vampires. It would seem that the heroines Claire and Eve would need something awesome to trot around with vampires in. So I'm making a pullover that I feel would be worthy of Claire wearing. I need to take measurements and figure out when to start making the armholes.

I think in the next few days I'll come out with a series of PDFs you guys can download and print - one to fill in your measurements (a personal reference sheet for all your clothing needs), and a checklist for creating gifts for your family and friends (sort of a survey -things you like, don't like, absolutely hate, fibers you're allergic to, etc.) Printable, savable, and soon to be created.

The orangey-salmon sweater gotten from thrifting will be a pair of socks for my mum's birthday in August.

THe angora sweater will be re-transformed into a lovely pair of under-shorts for myself...to prevent the "big girl" chafing I often get. I hope it doesn't felt from sweat. Cross your fingers!

Those are the updates I have for now - pictures, perhaps, of the Miss Danvers sweater later. Sketches of the sweater, and the angora shorts. In the next few days, expect the PDFs, if I can figure out how to create a PDF. If not, it'll just be an image you can print.

I'm off to create!


Never Know What You Might Have Left Undefined...

Ugh. The minty shawl of goodness is coming along. Here it is in all of its glory. My camera...well, not my camera, my parents' camera is being awful today. Normally it takes lovely pictures. Pictures you can be proud of. Today, it's making everything look sick.

My shawl shouldn't look so gross. The couch usually looks that gross. But the shawl shouldn't. Anyway, you get an idea for the color (which shouldn't look that gross, damnit!) and a good idea for the stitch pattern. I kind of like it. It produces a wavy edge, looks very good, and isn't all that hard to go through and not hard to memorize at all. I love it. It's definately a favorite. The shawl is about 9.5 inches now. Out of 60. So...I've got a bit of a way to go. I got very angry yesterday and got into a fight with my younger brother. So I went outside and worked on the MSOG (Minty Shawl of Goodness) for a while. It grew. A lot. Time to update the progress bar! I'm just afraid that if I work on it while I'm upset, the "upset vibes" will transfer to the project and make it unpleasant to wear. I'm a hippie when it comes to things like that. I'll spiritually cleanse it after I'm done, as well as throw it for a turn in the washing machine (everyone in the house smokes, and there's a cute little kitty roaming around. Not something everyone needs to deal with when recieving a nice, new, knit object.)

The "Her's and Her's" Bath set is something I should be working on. It got put off to the side after my horrible attempt at duplicate and cross stitching onto the washcloth. I still haven't ripped out the failed cross stitch all the way, as evidenced in this picture. I need to work on that, though. I got more yarn for the project. Thankfully it WAS Hot purple I used on the inital washcloth. Yeah. I should get to work. I just don't want to.

I managed to go thrifting the other day to find some sweaters to pull apart for the yarn. While there, I found some lovely yarn in the craft section that I promptly picked up. Vintage Red Heart baby yarn...back when it wasn't even acrylic. It was ORLON. Which isn't the most comfortable thing in the world...but damn, I had to have it. If only for the novelty aspect. I love vintage yarn. I also got two older bags of AC Moore discount 1LB yarn bags. The labels still say "100% Unknown Fiber Content". I love playing "Guess the Fiber". It's easier, sometimes, because a lot of commercial yarns come wound a certain way. Cotton skeins are usually wound different than wool blends and wool blends are usually done differently than acrylics. At least at stores like AC Moore and Michaels. I got a bag of what I believe to be black cotton yarn, and a bag of this really nice, dark green yarn that has heathery/tweedy flecks of a muted rainbow in it. I'm guessing (and its only a guess) that its a wool blend. Wasn't there a website a few years back with a tutorial on checking fiber content based upon how the fiber burns? I wish I could remember.

Also, while there, I picked up a few sweaters in the pink and salmon color family. They will promptly be frogged for yarn. While I love getting yummy yarns for cheap, I hate frogging the sweaters. Especially the ones with the lighter weight yarns (like these).

First up is a cashmere and silk blend. While it was initially machine knit, I'm almost certain I can make some socks out of it. It's a salmon-y color, which is exactly what my mother loves. It's totally HER color. So she'll be getting cashmere/silk socks for christmas.

Then there was a gorgeous angora sweater that looked very much like it popped out of the 1950's. It has gorgeous pearlescent buttons on t he shoulder, poofy sleeves, and cabling in the back. It's from an upscale department store (Lord and Taylor's), but of course, the Salvation Army had it for much cheaper. It's a baby, girlie pink color. I couldn't pass up the chance for angora yarn, though. I just don't know what I'll do with it. Maybe stick some in the wedding afghan, and then decorative fingerless gloves for the rest? I'm not sure, but it calls my name.

And finally, a pink variegated "fiber unknown" sweater/vest. Also brand unknown. But it had the coolest buttons and an awesome feel to it. I'm thinking it might be scrunchies and accessories for Davey's sisters for christmas.
That's all the update I've got. David's knitting is coming along well. He's finished his first simple ribbed wrist cuff (Super Saver and Wintuk yarns in grey and red, respectively, on size 4 straight needles, seamed with the red wintuk). He likes it, but it came out a bit too small, because I didn't account for his stitches being so tight! So he's going to try again with the cotton yarn I got thrifting yesterday and size 8's. It should work pretty well, I think. Now if only he would stop thefting my yarn. Cute, but annoying.
I'm off to either knit some more of the MSOG, or frog some more of the sweaters. I can't figure out which. I love knitting, and I love cheap yarn, but I HATE frogging old sweaters. I can never figure it out. Oh well.
I also have to clean, my older brother's girlfriend and her kid are coming over for a memorial day barbeque tomorrow. So of course, the house has to be spotless, under orders from my mother. That means all newly-gotten knitting supplies must be stowed away in my room. That's a lot of work. I don't even eat barbequed food....ugh.


And I hear your laughter from far away...

I'm still having a wonderful time knitting. My hands seem to get sore more easily than they used to, however. And I'm really wondering if all the knuckle popping David does is perhaps not a good thing for me.

We went out to the club the other night- my first time in five months. I hadn't been there since Winter Break. It is kind of different, and I do sort of miss going, even if I had a horrendous time. I explained to David that we would be going, staying all night, and sitting outside in the city until the trains started running again at 5 AM. Well, he got hurt in the mosh pit, we left early, ended up trekking all over Center City to find a public bathroom (which I had explicitly told him - there ARE NONE. they simply Do NOT exist.) My stockings are ill fitting, because I've gained weight since they were last worn....I end up with massive chaffing on my thighs which causes me to bleed an absurd amount. I've still got seven bandaids on my thighs, and it's a few days afterwards. Ick. Being "cuddly" (read: fat) doesn't always have its perks. Ended up throwing a massive shit fit on the street because I was tired, irritated and bleeding. I probably scared my darling pretty well....and I feel super assholish about it. But I was in lotsa pain.

I did, though, have an enjoyable time at the club. While there were some fashion victims (as always: Friends don't let friends dress like the Crow. A narrow strip of fabric wrapped around your butt does not a skirt make. And remember: More is less...it's totally sexier if I can't count every rib you have because you're only wearing a bra and above said strip of fabric which allows me to count every individual pubic hair. Ick!), I did manage to steal some nice inspiration from the club patrons. Mostly color scheme and drape. Maybe some designs later.

Brewing around in my head is a sleeveless hoodie, seed stitch, alternating blue and black seeds with perhaps an alternating blue and black ribbing at the neckline and armholes. Split blue and black hood. A little bit of swatching and planning (with math) will have to be done to see if any of this is even possible. I've loved the idea of a sleeveless hoodie for a long time, I've just never found one to my liking. So now I've got enough free time, I might as well take matters into my own hands. I should stash bust...but a few new skeins of Sugar N Creme Delft Blue wouldn't hurt me, surely.

I'd like to make a skirt similar to the one I wore. Really, though, it wasn't a skirt. It was an old favorite pair of pants hacked all to bits with a few chains added. This was justified because the pants no longer fit in the hips ( I couldn't zip them up), and there were more holes than there were pants. I bought them for 10$ at a thrift store, where that style normally costs about $60. I wore them for two years. I figure it was okay to cut them up, even if I did have to justify it. I hacked up the pants as if I were going to insert fabric to make a skirt. Tilted the pants sideways so the newly created slits were going up the sides, and since the holes created rips in the fabric, I sliced strips going up the front and left the back mostly whole. Over all, a very deconstructed post-apocalyptic skirt that was good for one night but will probably never get worn again because its falling apart. I love the style, though, so I may try to draft something enjoyable. Fabric choices elude me, though. Mercerized cotton base with fuzzy angora/merino strips flowing from it? A little girlie, but it may work.

Right now, though, I'm off to the thrift store to find some sweaters to cannabalize. I will post more later, certainly. And maybe even a few pictures and an update to my WIP Progress bar.


Work Ethic? Pfft.

I don't have very many works in progress that I care to share right now - most have been abandoned between the move, and will be frogged and put to good use. Right now, I'm working on three things (as evidenced by the nifty little progress tracking sidebar, courtesy of http://www.yarntomato.com 's nifty WIP tracker image generator).

1. The Minty Shawl of Goodness. This is a vintage shawl pattern which I found in one of the many pattern books my grandmother gave me years ago. I'm making it for the second time, for the same woman I made it for the first time. My "Aunt" Lois is a friend of my mom's. She lives in Louisianna, formerly New Orleans, and was going through a rough time a few years back. So I made her the shawl. It was a pretty shawl, in a nice, minty, worsted weight acrylic. Nothing special, as far as yarn goes. I'd had some Red Heart in a seafoamy color that I needed to get rid of, so I started making it. Ran out of yarn right after they discontinued the color, ran around town, couldn't find the color, and ended up using a similar, but different yarn (Caron One Pounders). When Hurricane Katrina hit, the shawl went off into oblivion. Now, Lois is going through some really bad health problems. Big, really bad health problems. And I want to cheer her up. So I'm making the shawl again, and maybe an afghan. The shawl was a pattern my grandmother made for my Aunt Tina when my aunt had her prom. Grandma made it in a hideous black acrylic with gold sparklies in it. So abrasive it could be mistaken for steel wool. But it's pretty. Now, I'd misplaced the pattern booklet in all the moves I've been through. So through a stroke of serendipity, I found the pattern again online: http://www.knitting-crochet.com/lacevewra.html. I wish I could remember who the designer was or who put out the pattern booklet, but the site doesn't credit anyone beyond saying "All Shawls 1976". I'm making this baby in another minty green yarn, a bit brighter than the first seafoam color. And in DK weight like suggested.

Yarn: Bernat Softee Baby in color 02004 "Mint" DK Sport Weight 100% acrylic 140 g (Which doesn't tell you the yardage. I HATE that - rant about this later). But it's a very soft, very forgiving acrylic that actually feels non abrasive. It's much more bold than in the picture.

Needles - Boye Balene II size 6 US (8 Canadian) 3.25 mm 14 inches long- While I enjoy the Balene II needles for their flexibility, texture, and shape. These three features which I like, however, work against the needles of a smaller gauge. While size 6 isn't that small of a gauge, the flexibility often causes the needles to become almost flimsy. I'll continue with this brand of 6's, though, until I get fed up. Gods only know I've got enough size 6's.....

2. Her's and Her's Bath Set - Molly and Amanda are some of the best friends David and I have. I'm still not quite sure how we met, I just recall it was college. Molly and I are both crazy horse majors, and Amanda is quiet and quirky like me, and shares David's music passion. So we're all around a good match as friends. Weird, quirky, crazy. Molly and Amanda are getting married (well, comitted) in July. They've been amazing friends in the short time we've known them, and were at our small wedding in January, and offer tons of moral support when things go wrong. David and I aren't exactly rich at the moment, or even close. So I wanted to get them something nice and quality without spending metric tons of money. I came up with the perfect solution - A Her's and Her's bath set, no pattern necessary. I'm working it out on my own.The washcloths (facecloths, whatever) have a seed stitch body, with a crocheted "robust" (IE: not flimsy) border on all four sides (no pattern, not even sure of the stitches, I just know what I did, and know it looks good). I wanted to work "Her's" into the washcloths, but didn't fancy doing intarsia on them. I tried duplicate stitch, which I'm awful at, and I tried cross stitch, which is still horrid. So I'm leaving the washcloths blank. I had a bit of an issue with the crochet border - I picked up too few stitches, and the thing curled horribly. I'll fix it on the next washcloth, but the first one has to be blocked. And blocked again. The towels, I haven't worked out yet. I'm sure I'll figure out the perfect stitch and perfect composition. I want the towels, definately, to say "Her's" on them. Intarsia, definately. Crochet borders on two ends only - top and bottom. The sides stay bare. So they look more, towel-like.

Yarn: Coates and Clark's TLC Cara Mia (13% Angora, 18% Rayon, 19% Nylon 50% Acrylic) 210 yards a skein Worsted Weight (but a very light and sleek worsted weight). I'm not sure the color, I tossed the yarn label long ago, and cannot for the life of me find anything about this yarn online. It seems like it just disappeared, so I take it that it was discontinued, and thus, I'd better use what I have of it wisely. This is the contrasting color. It's a sort of pistachio color.

Lily's Sugar and Cream as the main color. 100% cotton in color Hot Purple or Soft Violet (again, label thrown out a few years ago. Am running out of the unmarked stuff, so I got Hot Purple to work with. Cross your fingers!) 120 yards. A medium weight worsted yarn. I like it, it works very well in the seed stitch that I'm doing. It's softy and nubby in texture when knit in that manner.

Needles and Hooks: Size 8 Swallow Caesin Needles in Timbergran coloring. Tortise shell colored needles made out of a processed milk protein hardened with formaldehyde. I love these needles. The flexibility is JUST right. The shape is wonderful, and the texture is smooth, and holds in the warmth from your hands as you work. I love them. I'd buy the whole set if I had the money. But they're massively expensive, made by an Australian company. Best needles I've ever worked with, these needles were gotten at a small LYS in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia. I had an hour for lunch, and my high school is about a mile and a half up the road, so I walked (okay, RAN) there and picked these up. And I've loved them. They got left at my parents' house when I moved for college, and the cat has taken some liberties with them, so the texture isn't what it used to be (they're all chewed up. damn milk protein being so attractive...) I can't recommend these enough.

The hook I'm using is an old Boye aluminum crochet hook, dark blue coloring, in size E. Oh, I adore it.

3. The Wedding Patchwork Quilt - this is going to be a big quilt. This thing is done with so many yarns and a huge hook, it works up quick. Which is good, because it's going to be big enough to cover a king sized bed (which is what two of the dorm beds pushed together were. Now that Davey and I aren't at the dorms, it will just be a nice, big blanket. If I ever finish it). The pattern is just rectangles crocheted in a row. But the rows are staggered, so the effect is kind of like a very colorful brick wall. Entirely Single Crochet, this thing is massive and mindless. It makes a good project for when I'm upset or otherwise engaged.

Yarn: Everything I can get my hands on in a worsted or bulky weight. Most of the cheaper large yarns from Wal Mart. A lot was donated by the Redneck Santa Clause (my husband's friend TJ). A lot was from relatives, or my own stash. And a lot I just bought. It's a giant orgy of colors and textures. I love it.

Hook: A crystallite N hook, from Wal-Mart, I think.

And these are just what I'm working on right now. More will follow, I think.

Getting High On Information

I'm not quite sure to start. But maybe that's how it always starts, that you're never too sure how to start. It just, does start. And it always starts awkwardly because you almost always state you're never too sure how to start. Or the rare times it starts with a bang and ends up magnificent and inspired. This is not one of those magically inspired times.

I've come home to Pennsylvania to visit for a while. I was going to school in Ohio, but that didn't pan out so well. I managed to get myself in some deep shit. Maybe I'll go into it later....suffice it to say, that the person who committed a greiveous error will not be giving me back my needles or my yarn. I was teaching the jerk how to knit. It makes me sick to my stomach. More sick than the events that actually took place. I'm sick that I shared something so wonderful with someone so horrible. But I'm not going to dwell. Not right now and not yet.

I'm visiting home with my darling husband, Davey. We're staying with my parents, and mostly enjoying it. I managed to round up almost all of my knitting needles and crochet hooks. I have a rather large collection. An excessively large collection. A lot of them were my grandma Nancy's. She had all the good stuff - the vintage Susan Bates, the Quicksilvers, the no-name brands that hold up amazingly, the Boye needles. Ones made of Luxite, Aluminum, steel, and plastic.

Back in her day, it wasn't about snobbery. It wasn't about having the best needles, the fully interchangable Addi Turbo Sets and the processed bamboo bits or post consumer materials. It wasn't about being trendy. They weren't yarn snobs, it wasn't about having 100% virgin wool from the highest peaks of Peru made from the armpit hair of a 100 year old type of sheep that only lives on the north side of a cliff. It wasn't about that.

It was about creating, and creating beautifully on what you had. It was about providing for your family, keeping them warm, and looking good. You could order patterns via mail for pennies. You could get yarn everywhere, not just specialty stores. Acrylic was just fine.

Because my grandmother was a member of a generation that were some of the most hardcore DIYers I've ever encounter. My grandmother was born in the 1920's in Sicily, Italy. She came over when she was a young woman, and met my grandfather, also from Sicily. My grandfather served in World War 2. While he was over in the Pacific Theater, my grandma was knitting. She was working at the 3M plant and knitting in the time she had to herself. And she was doing it with plain old Susan Bates and no-name Acrylic from a free pattern put out by Bernat. Because back then, free patterns were actually attractive.

Now my grandmother is getting close to her 90's. She can't knit anymore. And you know what? I'm proud to have inherited her needles and her remainder yarn. I'm proud to have her pattern books, her notions, and her gauge swatcher and needle sizer. I'm proud to say I can knit equally as well with Red Heart as I can with Manos Del Uruguay. Because that's one thing my grandma taught me silently.

I remember sitting on my grandma's lap one day when I was seven or eight. She had the needles, and was teaching me to knit. My first swatch was done in a white, pearlescent acrylic yarn, with bits of pink and blue in it, with a metallic binder thread. It was beautiful. Until I got my young hands on it. Then it turned warped. But I kept at it. I worked on it. And I've been knitting ever since. It took me one year to finish my first scarf, and it was done in stockinette stitch, so it curled and wasn't good for anything, but it was mine. And I loved it.

My grandmother didn't just teach me the basics. She taught me, without saying a word, that knitting is truly an art. It is beautiful, no matter how ugly what you produce. It is yours, and yours alone. And in creating something, you put a little bit of your soul into it. It's an extension of you, so you'd better enjoy it.

Ten years to the day when I learned to knit, I took up crochet and determined myself to learn it, which I had avoided like the plauge for years. I just couldn't wrap my mind around it, so to speak with a bad pun. It just didn't work. But I made myself learn. I still can't follow a crochet pattern, but my designs aren't half bad.

So that's what this blog is about - my crafting experiences. A life of crafting inspired by those who have come before me, those who have come after, and those who are surrounding me. Pride, Heritage, and Love are the three components of my works. Throw in a dash of Highly Opinionated Activist, and you've got me.