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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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!
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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.
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 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.
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.
Back to knitting, I suppose!
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.
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!
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!
But without further ado, and there isn't any ado....my NEEDLE HOLDER! TOXICODENDRON!
And the front.
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.
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!
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.
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!)
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?
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.