Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Irritation

This is one of my rants. You've been warned.

I am tired tired tired of the phrases "not your grandmother's knitting" and "...think knitting/circles is/are for grannies?"

TIRED.

It is for grannies dammit. Grannies are the ones that kept it alive when women's lib came along made all homemaking crafts taboo. It angers me that we are so harsh as to dismiss the "Grannies" and what they have done. How many people learned to knit/crochet from their granny or someone else's? Why would we continue to bash the people that gave us the knowledge to create almost anything we can dream up with two sticks and some string?

Almost every news article or commentary on knitting these days says "not your grandmother's knitting" and I say it's time we take a stand. It IS our grandmothers' knitting. Knitting belongs to everyone who participates in the craft, regardless of what they make, or how pretty or horrid we think it is.

One day, we'll be "grannies" and I don't know about you, but I will still be knitting when I am grannie aged. And it will be MY knitting.

"Taking back the knit" doesn't mean we have to take it away from previous generations.

Of course, that's just my opinion.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Spunky Eclectic

Last Tuesday morning, I ordered some fiber from Spunky Eclectic. Amy was having a sale so I ended up with 24 ozs total. 3 bundles of Merino and 1 bundle of BFL. It arrived on Thursday and it's just fabulous.

The colors are great. Especially the BFL. It's in the Tahiti (dark) colorway, and it feels like warm sunshine. All that's missing is the smell of tiare flowers.

So yeah, here's my haul.




And here's the Tahiti BFL spun up. It's my first time spinning BFL. I'm not sure what I think about it honestly. I know that lots of people LOVE it, but I don't think I am one of them. It has spun up softer than my other yarns however, so that is in its favor.

And as for my Supersheep? He progresses. Much like the last one, with stranded knitting only on the band at the bottom. I'm obviously going to have to do a fully stranded sheep at some point. But for now, this will do.

A change in revamped plan is I dropped the belt. Turns out I have no gold/yellow yarn. And I the yarn I tea-dyed... well, the darker of it will be ok for the emblem, but I didn't like it at all for the belt.

Seen here, the bottom ball isn't really white, it's a nice off-white now, and the top one is a goldenish beige/brown. I really need to make my photo-box soon.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I'm not not licking frogs.

Ok, I cracked. I'm guilty. But you had to know I would. I mean... Supersheep! How could I resist casting on for it?

Actually, I went to do the charts, and when I got them done and posted and linked, I just had the urge to keep going. So I did. I cast on and then didn't like the needle size because it made it too small over all and then I cast on again on 2s and upped the number of stitches and I liked it just fine. Then I realized my orignal plan wasn't going to work as well as I wanted it to and I was carrying over 12 stitches regularly and that just wasn't going to work. And I noticed a mistake in the 5th row as well. I had knit over half a row instead of purlling it.

So here's my drawing of the original plan (1) and the new revised plan (2).

And here's my first ever attempt at fairisle/stranded knitting. (And it didn't suck near as much as I thought it would. Of course the revamp makes it more intarsia than fairisle. Win some, lose some I guess.)

And here's a blurry photo of the guts for those of you who like to see that sort of thing.

It's now been frogged. I'll be starting over with the improved stitch count and going back to US1s once I get the cast on done. I think it will make a better fabic over all.

So, yes, I cheated on all my other projects again. But that's ok, this project feels right. Like I'm not forcing it. So that's a win.

Hey! What's that?! Over there! Look!

Oh. It's just another post trying to divert you from my actual lack of real knitting progress.

Today I bring you Pincushions and Supersheep!

First, Pincushions. I have always been fond of pincushions. Not sure why, but there it is. The little ones, the big ones, from the plain tomato to the fancy ornate. I love them all. But I refuse to pay $14 (or more!) bucks for one. REFUSE.

To that end I bring you two things that lead to one idea.
1. Makeblog had an entry on soda pop bottle cap pincushions. You will find the makeblog entry on it here.
2. There's this woman, whose online shop is full of fabulous hand made pincushions for way more than I would ever want to spend on one. But I fell in love with one that is already sold. This one to be precise.

Isn't it lovely?

So... the big idea that has sprung forth is this: What about a small jar pin cushion, done the same way as the bottlecap one, with flowers like these on it, but.. wait for it... from felt that I have knit up and fulled as opposed to cheapie craft felt. (Ok, maybe the thin cheapie felt for the flowers, as it's thin and easier to cut.) It would be perfect for holding the T-pins I use for blocking in a decorative way. PERFECT!! Muahahahahaa!

And now.. Supersheep!

Have you seen the little sheep hand puppet on the cover of the Summer 06 Spin Off? If not, Coleen has made one and it's wonderful. And now, I want to make one. But not an Estonian one.

You see, I have all this red and blue knitpicks palette yarn in my stash that I didn't use for the things I intended to use them for. And what's red and blue if not superman? And if Superman were a sheep puppet, what would he be called? Why Supersheep of course!


And I'll be tea-dyeing the white Nature spun. I just don't want to have an albino supersheep. I think a nice off-white been out in the field fighting crime (or mean grass clumps and gophers) beige would be better. And more sheep-like. I'm going to try and get that done today.

I plan on using KnitPro to make a logo chart and then tweaking it to be similar to one of the repeats given in the magazine and going to town on my sheep puppet. Mind you, I won't actually make it until I finish at least the first of shmoo's socks. I need to get something finished so I can get my FO mojo back.

And then, who knows. Perhaps a Batsheep. Batsheep would be an awesome Christmas gift for the little Batman fan in my life, who also likes hand and finger puppets I might add.

And after that.. THE WORLD! MUAHAHAHAHA *cough* I mean.... maybe some more socks.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

I get bored.

Visually. So I changed my blogger template once again. I know, I do this a lot, but you should see how much I change my desktop wallpaper!!

Also, I noticed that someone's blog I read is using the exact same template, without the header modified, and I just really wanted my blog to look different.

So I went template hunting today and found 3 that I like, so not only do I have this lovely creation (which took little editing I might add, and has a search function to boot!), I have two more waiting in the wings when I tire of this glowing blueness.

On a more fibery note, I called Amie today and she went with me to Cloverhill to play on the wheels they have there. (THANKS Chris!) It was great and I learned a bit as well.

I have been spinning a lot more than knitting lately because ever since finishing the Flower Basket Shawl, I haven't managed to complete anything else. I don't know if it somehow cooked my little knitter's brain to do it in 4 days, or if I just now hold myself to a higher standard on my projects. I don't know. What I do know is that I rip a lot, and I get frustrated with lack of progress, which makes me not want to knit. Which means even less progress. It's circular and frustrating, so I spin instead. And I am happy, and at the same time, I make yarn. So... that's good right? Right?

But I digress.

I learned today that I prefer double treadle wheels. I really liked the Ashford Joy, but it was the only double treadle they had out to use, so I have to find more double treadles to try out and see if it really is the Joy DT that won my heart, or just the double treadleness of it. Time will tell.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Warm Tingly Feelings.

Today started off rather badly. I awoke at 6 am as usual, but with a nasty headache. And I felt like I had been run over by a rather big truck. So after seeing shmoo off to work, I laid back down and tried to sleep off my headache.

It didn't work.

So I took some ibuprofen and laid back down some more. And finally, it was down to a dull roar, unless I decided to be in a position other than horizontal. If I stood up, throb throb when my head. So... more ibuprofen, and a big glass a tea, and then off to work and knitting group.

My head still hurt when I got to Panera tonight, so I thought it wouldn't be a great night. I took some Advil liqui-gels and ate my dinner, and damn if it didn't turn out to be a fabulous night.

We picked up 5, yes 5 new knitters tonight. And had another knitter who had come previously return, which is success of another kind after a rowdy night with us.

The lovely new ladies who joined us and have blogs are now listed in my sidebar, so go check them out and tell them hi. They are fun.

The fifth knitter we picked up tonight was named Sharice. (Hi Sharice, I hope I spelt your name right!) She's a hooker. And Coleen asked her if she wanted to join us but she declined as she was there waiting on her husband and crocheting a beautiful throw. Then her husband called her and told her he was going to run even more late and she decided to come and join us after all. She was fun. And her husband's relief at finding her not infuriated and ready to beat him senseless was comical. She was sitting there laughing with us and not mad at all. And best of all, I think she's going to come back. It's fun to make new fibery friends.

Speaking of fibery friends, Erin (of Mama-E fame, not new to the group Erin, boy that's going to get confusing in the future!) made me stitch markers. And they are fabulous. Have a look!

Now, lest you think I am offended by these saucy words, I'm not. It shows she really loves me!!! I often use the word asshat to describe people who are bothersome, and well, there's a saying I have that involves me being a dirty whore, so that fits as well. It's a true friend who not just tolerates your quirks but celebrates them with you.

In fact, I love all my fibery friends. Despite being tired and sweaty and headachy tonight, it felt good to see them. It felt good just to joke and talk and be with people who understand exactly what I am trying to say, despite my saying it all wrong. (It's ok you know, I'm southern.) It felt good to laugh too, and we did so much laughing my cheeks hurt.

So thank you Columbia Knitting Group aka Sucky Knitters. You made my day!

New Spindlicity

Go here to check it out.

As for knitting, I turned the heel on shmoo's sock, but I don't like it and I am ripping it out and redoing it.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

117 feet of purply goodness.



I finished up the rest of my purple roving. I am very happy with it.



Here it is soaking in the sink so the twist will set.

This bit ended up being about 63 yards. So add that to the previous 54 and I end up with roughly 117 yards of fingering weight handspun for 2 ozs. of fiber. That's enough to do a little something lacy I think, or perhaps mix it with some of the green handspuns (after I do a little more) and make a Flower Basket with it. There's a similar shawl coming out in the next IK so perhaps I'll choose that one instead. No idea! But it will, at some point, become lace.


On a technical sidenote, I tried posting photos directly to the blog from flickr and I hate how it does it. It doesn't let you post more than one per entry, and they look rather blurry from the crappy way it's handling the photos. So you have to come and edit and tweak and if I am going to do all that I might as well do it myself, like how it looks, and be done with it.

Monday, July 10, 2006

cheapie light tent.

Need a small, cheap light tent to take fabulous pictures for your blog?
Go here and enjoy.
I believe the author called it a macro-studio, but *shrug*, it's a good little instructional guide regardless. I plan on making one as soon as I find a box I like.

And now, because my posts have distinctly lacked both knitting and photos lately, I present my distraction from shmoo's sock and the onset of gifting season panic.

Aka The Clapotis (2).






As you can see, I went ahead and did some early drops all the way across. I wanted to be positive that I was ok with the final product early on so that I wouldn't be frogging it once I was half the way in. This was especially important to me as it's a cotton yarn and I was very unsure how it would look. I am fairly pleased and hope the recipient will like it just as much.

Of course, there's no way I'll know this until at least 6 months from now. Holiday Panic - 1, Laura -0.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Knot me.

Once upon a time, at a knitting group far away, the lovely and beautiful Princess Coleen said, "There are no knots in knitting!" To which I responded, "the hell you say!"

I'm a knotter. I admit it. I mean... sometimes you just can't felt every join, for whatever reason. And I always worry about the ends I weave in coming undone. It does happen at least once in a while doesn't it? After all, once it leaves your hands, it's out of your control and well... it could happen!

So Make Blog had an entry on knots for needle work, and an alternate non-knotting entry link as well, for those of you who are not knotters. I am passing this on because... well, it just might be useful to someone besides me.

Celebrate your individual style this weekend! Tie one on! Or knot.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Tacky.

Today I stumbled across this article.
And went to this website.
And then clicked to see how much money they were charging for this crap, and found that out here.

That's right folks, you too can have a marvelously super-tacky 9" pair of straight needles for the low low price of 38 bucks plus shipping and handling.

If you like these, I'm sorry, we obviously have different tastes. I won't condemn you for them; you might still be a cool person, but know that I might think your knitting uber-tacky.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

At last.

The new knitty is up. With a assload of sock patterns.

Ok, it's really an "extremities" issue and it would appear from reading the scoop that it's another mini issue (and the last!) rather like the men's issue last summer.

Glancing over it quickly, I like....

Baudelaire -Yes I know it's by the same person who made the failed Pomatomussusses and Hedera, I know. But I'll end up trying them anyway. And this one... it's toe up. I will not curse the attempt of making them by using the red yarn again however. I am just going to save it for another pattern that I know will be available soon.

Lickety Split -I'll never make them most likely, but I like them.

Fetching -I've yet to actually complete a pair of armwarmers, but these have potential, even I personally will extend them further up the arm if I make them.

Swell -I'm always looking for things to use up leftover Clapotis yarn, and this just might be one of them.

So yeah, that's about it. Not saying you'll be seeing any of these soon. I still haven't made Topi or Nautie from the last issue.

Now, that being said, onwards and upwards! Shmoo's sock is progressing. I'd model it for you but it's a little saggy on my foot. I'm fairly close to being at the heel. Hoorah.

And the promised picks of the red/black/white roving spun up. I need to call this something besides red/black/white. But I can't decide between something desertish, like chococherry delight, or something blood-n-goreish/gothy/vampiric, like.... carnage... or something.

Let's go with desertish. Chococherry ftw.


It's my new usual, a fingering weight, and this skank is a tidge over 28 yards.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Baubles.


Last week, the wonderful and fabulous Coleen gave me some beaded stitch-markers (seen above) she made.

And then, last night, we had our knitting group at Border's, which is right next to JoAnn's. And we were talking about the fancy stitch-markers. And that they were easy. And that I had no clue what a jump ring was, nor did I know what kind of dooflachie to put the beads on. So Erin, Coleen, and myself took a little field trip next door. I bought jump rings and dooflachies. I bought one of those boxes of different kinds of beads in the same color, and a little tube of mixed random beads in the same color family. Lucky for me, I already have 2 sets of beading pliers from previous futile attempts at beading stuff. (and a ton of seed beads, but I digress....)

So today, while toodling around waiting for shmoo to be done at work so we can go see fire-works, and listening to the thunder and rain outside, I went nuts.


And I still have tons of stuff left to make more!!! Sadly, we could not find the larger jump rings so these lovely danglies will be for smaller sized needles. That's ok. They were fairly quick and easy.

I did a tiny bit of spinning on the black/white/red stuff, and it's currently soaking in the sink, so picture tomorrow perhaps. And while I have not knit a lick today, I did do some crocheting on the baby afghan I need to get done. Yay me.

Happy Fourth!!!!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Socks and Rovings.

I worked up the ankle a bit on my Badcaul sock. And while it's lovely snug on my footsie, it's not so great on my heel and ankle. My shortrow heel was a bit sloppy and then it was tight around my lower ankle. I'm guessing I should have adjusted the pattern and used 60% of the stitches instead of the 50% the pattern uses. I know I have big ankles, and I should have thought of that. So, I have halted knitting Badcaul. I might do it with my Knitpicks Dancing yarn instead, since it has elastic in it and is more stretchy. And possibly use sz 2 needles instead of sz 1s.


So yesterday I said, "screw this!" and started a sock for shmoo instead. It's just a basic toe-up with the baby cable where you k2tog and then keep it on the needle and knit the first stitch and slide it all off every four rows.

Friday night we had our first spinning group meeting and I picked up some roving while I was there. I wanted something that wasn't green. Don't get me wrong, I love my green rovings, boht of them, but ... they are both green! So I picked up 2 ozs of marvelous purple! 3 ozs of wonderful intense blue, and 2 ozs of red/white/black. I picked up the red/white/black because I am curious how it will spin up with the way the roving is dyed and it has silk in it, which is new to me (so is the Alpaca in it as well). The purple is 20% mohair/80% wool. And I think the blue is all wool.

And here's a close-up of the multi-colored stuff.

And of course as soon as I got the purple, I started spinning on it. I was aiming for a heavy lace/fingering type weight. And I think I got there. I'm very pleased. This skein is about 54 yards, and is the longest yardage I have spun to date. I am thinking I'll have enough to do my second Flower Basket shawl with it if I keep going. Woot!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Overdue.

I was looking forward to July 1st with great anticipation.
Not only are we going to a cookout this weekend to celebrate the 4th, but it should have been a good knitting day.

Knitty was scheduled to have a new issue out today. It doesn't. I would complain more, but it's free, and you get what you pay for.

Spindlicity is now a month overdue for a new issue as well.

Magknits is on time with it's July issue, and there are two things I like in it, so there is hope there, not that I will get around to making them any time soon anyway.

And Interweave doesn't have it's preview up for the fall IKnits yet. And it comes out on newstands August 8th. My renewal notice said it had already left (it lied I am sure) and was on it's way to me, but that was a week ago, and it's not out for another month. I figured at the very least if it had "left the building" there would be a preview for it. Nope.

So all in all, I am disappointed. And Magknits is becoming my favorite online knitting mag for it's monthly updates and timely updates. It may not have but 6 or so patterns at a time, but if you hate them all, you only have to wait a month.

Enjoy the weekend, and earlyHappy Fourth!