Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Few Needles Short of a Commission

On Wednesday night, Perky asked me if I could make her another (Fort) Knox beanie. This time she wanted it in black.

I thought about it, for maybe a millisecond, and agreed. They are fairly quick knits, they make for good movie/social knitting, and I had plenty of good black wool in the stash. In an impetuous moment (so out of character for me...), I told her I would have it Sunday morning.

Then I got home.

I found the yarn.

I could not find the needles.

I went through my entire bag of needles.

Then I saw them. My 16" US size 6 circular needles.

They were attached to half of a rust (Fort) Knox beanie that I had cast on a couple of weeks ago.

I had two options:

1. I could move the rust beanie over to waste yarn and recover the needles.
2. I could finish the rust beanie, and then cast on the black one.

Option 1 was probably the smarter and more practical choice.

So of course I chose option 2! (I knew in my heart of hearts that once that rust beanie was on waste yarn, it would languish in the stash...never to be heard from again.)

Luckily I knit FAST!

I finished the rust beanie Thursday night at Preach and Psych's house.

I cast on the black one Friday night.

I finished the black one Saturday night.

I even wove in the ends!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Be Kind To Your Barista Day

...actually, I have no idea if there already is such a holiday...but I am proclaiming that yesterday was "International Treat Your Starbucks Barista To A Really Nice Gift Day"!

Every time Miss-A and I walk over to the Starbucks near the library (which would be daily), the baristas comment on our lovely hand knit and felted coffee cup cozies. (You may recall the insane knit-one-for-every-coworker jag I went on last Christmas...that lasted till MLK Jr. Day?)

One barista in particular, Bubbly, has gone beyond commenting to coveting.

So, I asked her what her favorite color was.

She didn't have one, she apparently loves ALL colors.

I asked what type of colors she preferred...jewel tones, brights, rainbows, autumn.

She answered yes.

So, I just found some colorful Noro that was sitting in my coffee cup cozy scrap wool bag and knit her up a cozy.

...she offered to pay for it...but I said this first one was on me...

...she said I made her day.

In the end, isn't that what knitting is all about? Spreading warmth and joy to the masses?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Proud Moment

One of the retirees from the library branch took my Get Knittin'@ The Library: Felted Purse Edition class. Well, she finished her felted purse, and brought it by the library so that I could see it.

I am so proud. It is beautiful.

Now, in all honesty and fairness, she already knew how to knit...so I can't take a lot of credit for her creation.

However, I do like to think that I inspired and encouraged her to try something new!

I love it when students/class attendees show me what they have made!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Shop by Text

I had the following text message conversation with Miss-A on Friday:

A:Do u have any wrist or leg warmers made and ready to buy?

M: Teal legwarmers. But I can get either done in a couple days if there is a color you want.

A: How much? We need tomorrow. Just thought of it.

M: [Price]. I'll bring them to work so you can check them out.

A: Perfect. This is easier than internet shopping. Shop by text.

M: :-)

A: :)

(I took them to work. She bought them. Everybody is happy. It was all very convenient!)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Chaperon Knitting

I host the teen book and movie club at the library. The teens read the monthly scheduled book, then meet at one of the libraries to watch the film version. This provides me with a lot of time to knit "on-the-clock".

The knitting I do during the teen movies has to be even more brainless than what I typically take to the theaters. During the movie my attention is divided between the film and the behavior of dozens of teenagers.

I am shushing.

I am glaring.

I am evicting.

I am shaking my knitting needles threateningly in their general direction. (Which is usually greeted with gales of laughter, thereby defeating the purpose of my waving them in the first place!)

Well, I have finally discovered the best possible project for chaperon knitting: a patchwork baby blanket. It is all garter. All the time. And each section of the blanket is large enough that I can work on a single section for a whole film without having to change colors/pick up stitches.

It is also helping me meet a looming deadline (or birthline, as it were...) BFF is having baby number three, so I am making her/him the "Baby^3". (Get it? The blanket is cubed because it is the third baby, and it is made up of boxes! Oh, the cleverness of me!)

My design is loosely based on the "Moderne Baby Blanket" from Mason Dixon. Only loosely based, since I have changed the number of colors, the yarn gauge/needle size, and the shape/size/direction of every patch. No plan. I'm just winging it

I would show what it looks like, but that would ruin the surprise for BFF...so instead...here is a look at the yummy yarn!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Another Episode of Cuteness!

I went to Preach and Psych's house for a bible study last Monday.

Before class started, I was sitting on the floor knitting a coffee cup cozy.

Angel walked in, and asked if she could help. She wanted to knit, too.

Angel is only three years old. Barely three, in fact. Three years and 17 days.

Even I think that is a wee bit young to be entrusted with sharp pointy objects.

Still, who was I to crush her little creative instincts?

I invited her to sit in my lap and "help" me.

JoNo was there, and took this video for me, and texted it to my iPhone. I would have posted it sooner, but it took me this long to figure out how to get it off the phone and onto the computer...

video

The cutest 14 seconds ever! (She actually "helped" for quite a while.)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Scissors of Doom

This weekend I took a road trip down to SoCal to spend time with some of my old friends.

I did NO knitting. (Knitting while driving is not recommended...)

On Saturday, two guys I went to high school with took me out to a Renaissance Fair in Corona. I had, shockingly, never been to one before!

One of my favorite places was the shop that sold swords. I seriously considered purchasing the hardwood broad sword. It would be so much cooler to attack intruders with a sword than the baseball bat currently residing under my bed. (It would be ideal to never have an intruder to attack in the first place, but it is generally wise to be prepared.)

There also appeared, at first glance, to be a very pretty sheathed dagger lying on the display table next to the swords. It was silver, with red "rubies" on the hilt.

But it wasn't a dagger.

Or, it wasn't only a dagger.

It was, in actuality, a pair of scissors! It has four cutting edges, all of which were very sharp!

I looked at the scissors of doom. I looked at the wooden sword. All of a sudden my baseball bat seemed like sufficient intruder protection.

I bought the scissors. They are now in my knitting bag.

Cutting yarn has never been this cool...or dangerous!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

D(one). C(omplete). Socks

I finished the Gotham socks while I was stuck at home sick on Wednesday...seeing as how I didn't have the right size needle to finish the Tilney sweater.

I think they are great!

I had never used this yarn before (Crystal Palace's Panda Superwash), and it is very cushy. I also used my new knitpicks sock needles, which were a delight as well.

The only slight issue was that the needles are very slick, and the yarn was a bit slippery. If I knit with this yarn again, I will most likely use my Susan Boyle needles which are coated with something. But, the new needles will be amazing with some of my wool sock yarns that tended to stick to the old needles.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sick Day

I called in sick to work yesterday. (We are tentatively assigning blame to either the hard boiled egg or the fresh spinach I ate the night before.)

Vodka called to see how I was doing, and asked if she could pick anything up for me.

I thought about it for a minute, but could only think of one thing...

...and somehow I figured that a 16" US size 3 circular needle was NOT what she had in mind...

...so I thanked her for the offer, but said I was ok.

Tilney's neckline and sleeves just had to wait.

Bummer.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Magazine Review: Knit 'N Style

I looked in my library's catalog to see if any of the branches subscribed to knitting magazines since my branch does not. One branch gets Interweave (yay!), and another gets a title I hadn't heard of, Knit 'N Style.

I placed holds on the two most recent issues that were available for check out. They came yesterday in the shipment.

I quickly realized WHY I hadn't heard of this magazine.No one has informed the editor or the art department that the year is 2010, not 1989.

The layout is sloppy and hard to read. Articles and features are virtually indistinguishable from the advertisements. The photos of yarns being reviewed are muddy and unappealing. Worst of all...the projects are...well...ugly. Most of the looks are dated, and the ones that even flirt with currency are made out of the least attractive yarns possible.

Quotes from myself and others who also looked at the magazine in the break room:

"Well, that is unfortunate."

"It looks like someone vomited yarn on that woman. And ugly yarn at that."

"That poor girl. She is actually a very pretty model."

"No way would a MAN ever in a million years wear that sweater. Seriously? A turtleneck with giant buttons on the side? On a guy? I think not!"

In short: I do not like this magazine. I do not recommend subscribing to it. Not only does it not meet my required 3 patterns to purchase policy*, it doesn't meet a minimal standard of graphic design aesthetics.

As my dear friend would say...it is less than ideal.

*I won't buy a book or magazine unless I can honestly say I'll make at least 3 of the patterns in it.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Innovation on the Fly

I had some yarn left over from Jester's latest beret. Since it was Cascade 220, and therefore feltable, I thought about using it to crank out a couple of coffee cup cozies.

It was very pretty yarn, with various colored plies twisted together.

I got ready to cast on my coffee cup cozy, and then my mind wandered...

...what would happen if I cast on an oversized coffee cup cozy and made it into a hat?

And thus the Java Beanie was born.

Because the stitch pattern I use on the coffee cup cozies is an offset rib, it made the decreases on this hat, well, a wee bit interesting. I actually did quite a bit of tinking and frogging as I worked on it.

Also, that very pretty yarn didn't exactly show up the actual pattern at all.

Still, it is a nice hat. And it fits well. I may try again with a solid yarn and see if I can refine the decrease process a bit. The other option would be to *gasp* try a top down hat.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Sameness

I am fairly predictable when it comes to color.

My favorite color is orange.

I knit a lot of oranges/rusts/reds/browns.

When people give me yarn they tend to give me a lot of oranges/rusts/reds/browns.

The other color I knit a lot of is grey. I love grey. It doesn't show dirt like white, and it highlights stitch patterns better than black. It is elegant. It is neutral. It is classy.

I decided a few months ago that I needed to break out of my mold.

I needed to try knitting things not in oranges/rusts/reds/browns and not in grey.

So I ordered a bunch of yarn from KnitPicks. I bought yarn at my yarn shop.

...and everything I bought color coordinates.

It is all turquoise/blue/green/purple.

All of it.

(Proof of this is visible in the picture on my knitpicks package post.)

I guess if I really want to experience knitting hue variety I need to print off a picture of the color wheel and work my way around clockwise from project to project or something...

Predictability. It is a curse.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sometimes Life Gets In The Way

Today I have gotten, and will continue to not get, any knitting done. Not a row. Not a stitch. My projects just sit there staring at me.

Why? Because I have a project due for my algorithmic thinking class tonight by 11:45 pm. It involves writing three different JavaScript programs. Three.

I am not a programmer.

I don't want to ever be a programmer.

But I want to pass this class.

Priorities.

Responsibilities.

Sometimes "Life" gets in the way.

...maybe I can knit tomorrow...

Monday, May 3, 2010

Arrival of a Package

A package came LAST Monday.

A package from KnitPicks.

It was patiently waiting on my patio when I got home from the airport.

Pretty yarn.

Very pretty yarn.

Very pretty pettable yarn.

I had to ignore the pretty pettable yarn for a week as I rushed to finish my schoolwork and work work.

But now I opened the yarn.

The pretty yarn.

The very pretty yarn.

The very pretty pettable yarn.

Will I be able to stop petting it long enough to pop some of it on the swift and ball it up?

That remains to be seen.

...

...

...still petting.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Birthday for Angel

Today is Angel's 3rd birthday. (Wow! She sure is growing up!)

In honor of our shared love of tu-tus and frou-frous, as well as my known proclivity for book giving, I presented her with a copy of "Tea For Ruby" by Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York.

And, since she is so much fun to knit for...a pink and purple boa scarf as well! Doesn't she make an adorable birthday princess?