July 27, 2013
photographing these socks was a bittersweet event for me.
as you may recall, i began these socks with the intention
of giving them to stephanie pearl-mcphee
at the next knot hysteria retreat.
it’d become a tradition of mine.
but of course knot hysteria is no more,
so god only knows when and if i’ll see her.
when i finished the socks,
i was in the tipsy fog.
and it didn’t hit me
until i took their picture
that these socks are basically homeless.
so as i see it, i have two options:
a. – give them away on the blog to someone with similarly tiny feet.
b. – use my super secret sneeky plan to get them to canada.
what do you think i should do?
still, i’m totally happy with how these turned out.
they’re as close to perfectly matched as one can get, even the heels.
i love the heels. (pattern details: here)
now i ask you,
because maybe this is just my ignorance about dying,
but how can two socks be so different when:
1. same knitter
2. same needles
3. same pattern
4. same gauge
5. same fucking yarn.
can someone please explain that to me?
while i do love the second sock
and recognize that it is beautiful,
i still completely prefer the first one.
there’s always gonna be a favorite,
as with any siblings.
these socks are not homeless, though they will be a surprise.
luckily, i have the recipient’s address this time.
(and believe me it pains me to say this)
i need advice on . . . a baby sweater.
let me be clear: i’m cool with babies.
it’s parents of babies i can. not. stand.
which generally results in the same thing: avoiding babies.
but this universe has a sick sense a humor
and frequently makes us deal with things we’d rather not.
so i’m going to knit my friend a baby sweater.
it’s not going to be any degree of cutesy;
nor will it be even the slightest bit wootsy.
if i see any baby blue acrylic yarn, i’m pulling the plug.
i want to make something dignified and stylish for a small person.
so what would you recommend?
is the baby surprise over?
July 18, 2013
i began this post
in the middle of the night
in a guest bedroom in scappoose, oregon
with the intention of recounting my day’s activities
and proceeding thusly for the rest of my mini-vacay/retreat from life.
it soon became obvious
that scappoose lacked the bandwidth necessary
to blog on a daily basis, at least if i wanted to show you my pictures.
so now i am home
literally weeks after my return.
and must resort to the recap format for today’s blog
this might take a while.
coffee at ristretto roasters
which was the only coffee i had in portland that lived up to the hype
(this mocha was not fucking around)
there were a couple trips to grand central bakery
where i was more impressed by their breakfast sandwich and shrimp po boy (scroll down) than their sweet stuff.
in portland proper,
there was the ubiquitous
homeless/punk/beggar with cute animal entourage.
this group was outside powell’s where i had a pretty amazing haul
the next day,
tina and i went to black sheep gathering
where we saw judith mackenzie judge the fleeces,
a thoroughly delightful and educational experience.
(note: apparently, shetlands are in this year)
(the aforementioned shrimp sandwich)
we ran into beth hansen of hansen crafts
she is . . . a character. if you meet her,
and it feels like she’s making fun of you,
that’s because she is.
it’s totally normal.
i have strong feelings about the miniSpinner,
but this is all i’m going to say about it: i’m a traditionalist.
if you’re not, and aren’t bothered by the electric component
you should definitely buy it;
it’s a pretty fucking awesome product.
i won’t be buying one because
i am a fuddy duddy.
i stopped by black trillium fibre studio‘s booth,
one of the only booths i thought worthy of documenting, really.
the problem with all of these shows,
especially the smaller ones,
is that these people aren’t business people.
sure, i bet 90% of them make an amazing product,
but that doesn’t mean they know shit about how to sell it.
you’ve got to make a booth that makes people want to come in,
or you might as well not even bother to show up.
melanie knows how to work with what she has;
simple set up, a few beautiful samples, wide open
so people can get in and out easily.
similarly, the men at the clemes & clemes booth knew what was up!
these dudes are professional, know their product, work well together,
have their demonstration down, and there’s something to be said for a uniform. this dude had me wanting a fucking drum carder
something for which i have no use or space in my life.
that, my dears, is a salesman!
(sorry for the shitty photo)
then i met some west coast knitters
though i can only remember angela davis (the knitting one)
with her amazing mustard eye shadow (right) and parna
(with the broken hand), both of whom i hope to see again.
(sorry angela, not the best photo, i know, but better than the other one)
the next day,
tina took the misses newton, heidi dog, and me to the beach
before which we hit up this joint,
pacific way bakery & caféwhich, was fucking amazing…last year.
but made us a but queasy this time around.
and our waitress?
then we returned for more chicken time, but with a twist.
i don’t know what it is, but i fucking love deer.
maybe it’s from watching bambi as a kid, i don’t know.
but i can not get enough deer.
and i got way close to this guy.
i was then treated to a ________ about which i cannot tell you.
what i can tell you is that it was a moment when i felt
humble, special, and kinda fancy.
because it was fancy.
and more than a little pantsy.
though likely wasted on my middle class ______.
the whole tripped was capped off
by an amazing meal at cocotte bar & bistro
a meal totally worth live tweeting. which i did.
(click pics to read descriptions)
then i immediately hopped on a plane and headed home.
this trip was my vacation,
a flight, really, from my incredibly stressful summer.
there were whole swathes of time when i was not seized
by crippling work-related anxiety.
that level of ease is only surpassed
when i escape to my parent’s house,
or as i still think of it,
tina’s guest room
is a close second.
she’s the kindest host.
i even get my own bathroom.
*there was an undocumented fabulous indian dinner with tina, megan, and deb, friends from three very different epochs of my life, followed by a night out with megan at a former bowling alley dive where, once the lyons’ club bingo night rapped up, we watched the mentally challenged and tone deaf sing karaoke.there’s no picture in the world that can capture that.
July 16, 2013
or to be more accurate,
his work, as we’ve never met.
we have corresponded a couple times
and he seems like a lovely person.
now, you all know me.
i am not one to utter any unkind word
especially against a tall, handsome, ginger-gay
who could probably take me in a scrap.
this new “tripartite”?
this lace-weight linen thneed?
gurl. i know probably spent a lot of time on this,
and that linen probably tore up your fingers.
but no t no shade, not everything you knit
is a publishable design.
she does know how to work her angles to her advantage though,
looking all young and thin and such.
anyone is, of course, free to disagree with me.
you’d be wrong, but still, if you do,
you can purchase the pattern here
and join the other
who’ve cast this on.
*you gotta click the links to see the pics.
normally, i’d snag them, but as they’re copyrighted,
you’ll just have to visit westknits’ flickr to see the madness.
July 14, 2013
July 10, 2013
i shouldn’t be up.
to say that it’s late
and that i have a very full, important day tomorrow,
would be to laugh in the face of anything resembling “understatement”.
but i promised you all a sock
and i so rarely finish a knitted thing these days.
(though if you’d prefer, i have more korean food i could share)
i saw this skein
et les membres de sa même famille
during my last visit to portland, oregon.
(i know i know i owe you a post)
the tipsys had just been born
and i kept eyeing this skien.
if you’re lucky to visit the tina newton
and you stare at one of her skeins long enough
and she likes you
she might give it to you.
apparently she likes me.*
i only had the one set of needles with me
and they were already in another sock.
well i’ll tell you what, i ripped the needles right out the sock in progress and cast this puppy on. though it occurs to me now
that i was staying with a woman
who specializes in sock yarn.
i bet she has some needles i could’ve borrowed.
i chose this pattern,
not only because i basically have it memorized at this point,
but because this is a brand new colorway,
and i wanted to see what it would do.
and because the pattern is so easy,
i was able to revel in the color,
how it built in each new round,
seeing what would change
at the heel flap
i am completely enamored of the swirly flashing;
the copious amounts of white make it for me.
and i should have taken a pic of the wrong side.
the reverse stockinette made me want to knit something
for a baby.
i was actually walking around saying,
"but have you seen the inside? look at the reverse stockinette!"
"someone needs to knit something for a baby in this colorway!"
i said it several times to anyone who'd listen.
luckily, someone else took a pic for me. go ahead, take a look.
now you tell me, don’t you think someone needs to knit something in reverse stockinette for a baby in this colorway?
as i was finishing up this sock
while watching silent hill: revelation on netflix,
it ended up being about an inch longer than i had indented.
(would that i always had such problems)
i wonder who i’ll give this pair to?
how will i decide who gets them?
i’m open to suggestions.
it’ll have to wait.
i owe it to the other sock i left hanging.
*there may or may not have been a chocolate mousse involved in this decision
June 20, 2013
May 22, 2013
May 12, 2013
March 27, 2013
as you know,
i give away almost everything i knit.
i try as much as possible to put random positive energy into the universe, since, as @p12tog points out, i’m often an* horribly elitist person, especially when it comes to knitting.
(though i might actually be ok with that)
and since i feel that brighting some random person’s day through the power of the internets is a good investment in my karma because god knows my ubiquitous sarcasm, sass, and bitchiness
require a bit of equilibrium, today’s post
is an attempt at a double dose of karmic balancing.
first, i’m going to give away this boneyard shawl**
(it’s been a bit overcast the past few days)
the yarn is a two-ply fingering-sport weight spun by me
from some into the whirled bfl top i got at rhinebeck back in 2011.
this shawl’s been a loooong time in the making,
what with having to sneak time to spin and knit it
in the 5 free minutes i have every day.
just look at that craftsmanship
ok so maybe i couldn’t get the best macro shot.
just trust me.
it’s very well knit.
i knit it on 7’s and blocked this shit out of it
so it has a great drape and just enough wooliness for you traditionalists.
and here’s where the second dose of good karma comes in-
i rarely ever endorse anything,
(mostly because my readership isn’t large enough to warrant them)
but in this instance, i feel compelled to make an exception.
the short story is a very dear friend of mine in chicago, joshua herrington, started a business called gallerista. i’ve never seen this much drive and passion out of this guy before, and i find i’m quite impressed with his work ethic. recently, he began an indigogo campaign to turn his online business into a brick and mortar enterprise. i decided to blog about it, not just because he’s my friend (because a lot of my friends have some pretty far-out enterprises), but because i believe in supporting both queer-owned business and the arts. neither one has it very easy this days, and since i have no money of my own, really,
i do what i can.
and this is what i can do:
give away my shawl to help him raise some money.
how to win in three easy steps:
1) go to gallerista’s indigogo page and make a donation. my suggested minimum donations is $30 (so that you all can join me at the super secret launch party!) but if you can’t afford 30 dollars, donations in lower denominations are totally fine.
2) share the campaign somehow (tip: there are tools right there on the gallerista indigogo page to help you do that.
3) leave a comment so the random number generator can pick a winner.
i realize we’ve all been flooded with kickstarters and the like.
maybe you don’t even give a shit about queer-owned business or the arts. but i’m pretty sure you do like you some knitting.
so why not spin the wheel?
it’s not every day i spin and knit a shawl!
if you don’t want the shawl
or just don’t feel like donating,
if you could at least tweet or facebook or rav it,
i’ll personally reward you with some karmic princess points.
and if you’re reading this blog,
i’m pretty sure you could use some.
*i even use “an” before h-words.
**can i just say i love this pattern. i may even knit another one.
December 3, 2012
if you’ve been at this knitting thing long enough,
you’ve probably been exposed to a certain amount of spinning.
you may have even gone down the dark path to bliss that is weaving.
if this is the case,
then you’ve heard of judith mackenzie.
if you haven’t, please do crawl out from under that rock;
it can’t possibly be comfortable under there.
judith mackenzie is a textile ‘goddess’ as they say,
personally, i prefer the term ‘witch’,
but potAYto potAHto, right?
her book the intentional spinner is an invaluable, wee tome,
a must have for anyone who takes their fiber arts seriously.
(for real. go buy it now)
she’s also the artist in residence at the rainforest arts center in forks, washington. or rather,
last month the place burnt down,
taking all her fiber, wheels, and looms with it.
and one can’t really be an artist in residence if, well,
there’s no residence in which to be an artist.
including my good friend tina newton,
the maniacal brain behind blue moon fiber arts.
in order to help raise money for judith,
tina is auctioning off a day with her (and the chickens) in the blue moon dye barn.
this, my lovelies, is the treat of all treats. just imagine it:
a barn is tucked away just outside of portland oregan in the hilly hamlet of scappoose. in the middle of the woods, you see the chimney smoke and hear the of the ladies of the barn, a faint cackling as they dye up some lucky bitch’s sock yarn order. you also hear the gentle clucking of chickens and cheeping of chicks in the distance as tina takes your hand and shows you the magic happiness that is yarn, dye, and vinegar, a joy that has as yet been missing from your life. eight hours later, you walk away with an armful of yarn and a few extra points on the the ‘nice’ side of santa’s list for helping a fellow fiber artist get back on her feet.
(ok so the actual details can be found here, but my version sounds better and is equally accurate)
you have less than a day and a half to place your bids.
this is a serious auction, bitches; they’re not fucking around.
but if you’re looking for a once in a lifetime experience,
and i can guarantee you it will be,
then bid away, bitches!
if a day with tina is out of your budget, check out this website for other ways to help.