saturdays are for blogging

January 21, 2012

i’ve made a promise to myself
that i must knit at least an hour every day
and i must blog at least once a week
because i love myself,
and i love my blog.

i haven’t been doing so well with the knitting every day promise
but i refuse to fail on the bloging once a week.

so i here i am,
setting aside my huge pile of work
to show you some progress.

for a long time now,
i have been admiring the work of spillyjane.
there’s something about her designs that i just love.
if i had to put my finger on it, i’d say it’s her color combinations.
i feel pretty comfortable saying they aren’t typical, and yet,
they totally work.

however,
it’s been pretty easy for me to resist casting on one of her designs.
for one, i have a terminal case of second sock syndrome,
which can easily evolve into second mitten syndrome.
but also, while i love her designs,
i just didn’t see myself wearing any of them.
i love them and thought they’d look amazing on other people.
just not me.

that is until i saw these bad boys.

one look and i was harassing her to publish the pattern already.
(really. i emailed and tweeted her. i was pushy)

a copy found it’s way into my mailbox
and away i went.

here where they stand:
and here are my thoughts:

1) i love colorwork. i. love. it.

2) i love this pattern. i am thoroughly enchanted with the chart. more than once, i have talked to it with a kind of cutesy voice i use to show affection to mo or other adorable mammals. i am not ashamed.

3) i’m glad i went up a needle size. otherwise the mitten would not fit.

4) this does have me worried about row gauge, however. i hope they don’t end up too long. i refuse to do them math to find out.

5) i have some concerns about the thumb construction. i have very strong feeling about how mitten thumbs should be worked. however, spillyjane makes her living on mittens. i do not. i’m gonna let go and let god on this one.

6) the lighter of the contrasting colors could be little more contrasty. however, i did that on purpose. i love the fact that there’s enough contrast to tell that those are skulls without having my mitten scream, “look here! skulls on a mitten!” sometimes my plans work out.

7) i’m knitting them two at a time (on separate needles) in order to avoid second mitten syndrome. so far, it seems to be working. it has instilled in me a kind of “race” like feeling where i can’t let the other mitten get too far ahead. weird? yes. but it’s working.

8) a while ago, i wrote a post in which i listed my concerns about shelter. i decided it was high time i actually tried it out, and the fact that spillyjane used it to knit these mitts seemed like the perfect excuse. now that i’m knitting with it, i have some opinions:

a) i love how it looks. the color is impeccable and the subtle rustic heatheryness of it speaks to the old school knitter in my heard.

b) however, i’m not a big fan of it’s hand when i’m knitting with it. yes, it’s very light, and while i usually love the feel of a wooly yarn, something about this particular blend . . . well i just don’t care for it.

c) it’s also very easy to break which makes me worry about how it will hold up with wear. it didn’t actually break while i was knitting with it. i don’t cut my yarns to switch colors, i just break them. and shelter breaks with very little effort. i’m hoping the fact that the mittens are knit at a very tight gauge will help with the ware factor.

d) i do like the fabric this pattern creates with this particular yarn. it’s knit on much smaller needles than one would normally use. i think it works because the yarn is so lofty. and quite frankly, i feel like shelter would knit more accurately to a dk gauge than a worsted anyway, another reason i think this pattern/yarn combo works with such small needles.

e) i don’t know if d) can be said to be representative of how the fabric will feel for other projects knitted at the recommended gauge.

f) my hypothesis is this yarn would be great for an old school textured sweater, but i doubt i can afford it at this point. american made ain’t cheap!

g) all that being said, when i try the mittens on, they feel comfy and warm. i plan to use them as my driving mitts. i do not regret buying shelter for this project, i think they’re beautiful, and i recommend other people spend the cash to give it a go at least once. but i just don’t see myself buying it again.

9) do you think jared flood will blacklist me for this?

10) have i mentioned i love these mittens?
(i think the back is my favorite part)

i’ve also got this little lovely going:
pattern: spruce forest by nancy bush
i have a serious love hate thing going on with this shawl.
this is the story:

for about a year now, i’ve wanted to design/knit a lace shawl in marine silk sport in my absolute favorite blue moon color way, ‘spruced’. i wanted it to be a triangular shawl and i wanted it to be a kind of ‘tree’ shaped lace pattern. the fact that i am not a designer and don’t yet intuitively understand how lace works meant that i was seriously struggling to realize this dream. then along comes fucking nancy bush and designs a perfect fucking shawl. (i am not above thinking that somehow she stole the idea using some kind of psychic probe while i was in her sock class). i hate that it’s a bottom up shawl and that, because it is, all the trees will point upward exactly as they should.i hate the nupps that make it so fucking adorable and perfect that i can’t help but be delighted every time i purl 5 together on the ‘resting row’. despite the fact that they totally slow me down and are frustrating, i hate that i love them. (and hate that i would never have thought to put a nupp in shawl, even though they are clearly amazing) i hate that there is a solid garter border because i absolutely believe in a thick garter border and bam! there it is.

and god damn i hate that there’s a perfect looking slip stitch edge so that when i have to pick up stitches for the lace edging, it will be a snap.

god damn nancy bush and her perfect fucking shawl pattern!

i shake my fist at you in gratitude, bitch!

i’m knitting this shawl as a present for someone who i really like and i think deserves to have it. really, i shouldn’t be blogging about it, but shit, i need all the material i can get. i don’t have time for secret knitting!

so that’s what’s on the needles bitches.thoughts?

** ps i am thoroughly annoyed with the fact that i am unable to capture the true color of ‘spruced’. it is much greener than the photo, and has a subtle blue hue in it. my guess is it has to do with the silk and sea cell content being all reflective. any help from my photography peeps?

microblog 10

January 15, 2012


any guesses?

have i mentioned

January 10, 2012

how much i love getting packages?
because i really, really do.

back around my birthday,
when i was in new york turning twenty seven,
a package was sent to my old pittsburgh address.
(this happens when someone moves as often as i do)
it was from blue moon fiber arts.

generally speaking, i know when a package is coming from blue moon
because, generally speaking, i’ve placed an order with them.
not so in this case.

(i think i remember getting a little aroused)

luckily, veronica still lives at the old abode.
i knew it was going to be a while before it was sent on to me,
since, with all the holidays, veronica wasn’t there to forward it.

yesterday, it finally arrived on my stoop. i may have squeed.
(note: can you imagine being me, knowing you have a package, and then having to wait for three whole weeks to get it? brutal)

then i thought of the blog, as i often do.
i thought, this is totally blog worthy; it must be blogged.
(i have so little material these days)
but it was dark out when i got home
and therefore i couldn’t take a good photo.

so i waited.

yes people, i waited until the sun came up so i could properly document the moment and share it with you all.
i believe this shows some growth on my part.

so when the sun shone through my windows,
i went to work.
yarn!
a skein of twisted in ‘grawk’
and a skein of mopsy in ‘pining for ewe’

(i need to ask frankie for a refresher on how to shoot true colors)

regardless, these colors are perfect.
you can never go wrong giving me a green,
but this deep purpley blue has this acid yellow on the back
that just. kills me.

the crazy thing is i’ve been planning my rhinebeck sweater
(yes i know rhinebeck is in october, but i will not fail this year)
and i wanted to try knitting some mopsy for it.
it seems like it might be meant to be.

but i kinda don’t want to knit this yarn.
it might go into the precious ‘keep forever’ section of the stash.
we shall see.

the card is unsigned,
but the sender has the handwriting of a serial killer.
that can only mean it came from one person.

thanks santina!

edit: i just looked up the description for grawk – raspberries in pond scum drowned in black. loud and just a wee bit obnoxious. attention is what he craves and he will get it. from the primordial ooze, he has risen to wreak a bit of havoc. trickster? definitely! hmmm

on dec 1,
at midnight,
the bitches get stitches world aids day project will go live.

i could never have pulled this off without the help of my gracious sponsors. they run the gambit from big yarn companies, to independent dyers & designers, to some of my favorite knitter/friends.

with their help, i have gathered an amazing array of loot to give away to raise money for the pittsburgh aids task force.

make sure to be here on december 1 to find out how you can enter to win one of these amazing prizes.

***you will only have the 24 hour window on world aids day to enter, so make sure you’re here on dec 1***

below is just the list;
there will be a gallery of photos for you to drool over later.

dah loot!

1. 5 e-patterns
sponsor – spillyjane

2. 3 e-patterns
sponsor – jane richmond

3. 2 braids of gradients merino/silk top – 1 in the ‘bitter lime to rose’ color way & 1 in the ‘copper to verdigris’ color way
sponsor – fiber optic yarns

4. 2 skeins of kashmir sock yarn – 1 in the ‘blood moon’ color way & 1 in the ‘pomegranate’ color way
sponsor – fiber optic yarns

5. 1 skein manchester sock yarn in the ‘kimuru’ color way & 1 braid of 80/20 merino silk top in the ‘pasch’ color way.
sponsor – into the whirled

6. a pair of herrevott man mittens, hand-knit by misa erder & a copy of her original pattern, vagabond fingerless mitts
sponsor – misa erder aka craftivore

7. 3 skeins of handspun yarn – 1, 2, & 3
sponsors – yarn old kim, sarah aka paknitwit, and natalie servant designs

8. 1 sock pattern of your choice and one skein of sock yarn to knit it
sponsor – blue moon fiber arts

9. the mothership, handmade by yokoo
sponsor – yokoo scarves & accessories

10. 1 skein abstract fiber hepburn in marionberry color way
1 skein abstract fiber picasso in smith rock color way
2 patterns from fibre isle international, suitable for dk weight yarn
3-1 oz packettes unicorn power scour
1-2 oz jar woolen rabbit hand cream
3 jul pedestal buttons
1 stonewall bonnet pattern, plus the yarn to make it, snuggle, from the alpaca yarn company
sponsor – yarnsuperhero llc

11. 1-7 small shawls ebook, 1-7 small shawls y2 subscription, 1 pattern only subscription for the pins and lace club x1
sponsor – designs by romi

12. 1 skein hand-dyed serenity 20 sock yarn from zen yarn garden, in the exclusive ‘go pittsburgh’ color way
sponsor – natural stitches

13. 2 skeins of tess designer yarnssuperwash lace
100% Merino, approx 500 yards each
sponsor – yvonne a.k.a. knitnat

14. 2 skeins of wabi sabi yarns trumpet vine dk in magenta hibernating colorway, & three patterns: lilas cardigan, gemma, & cloudy sunday
sponsor – hilary smith callis

15. 1-4oz braid of yarn hallow mixed merino top in the ‘red rocks and spruce’ color way
sponsor – the spinning loft

16. 6 e-patterns – french press felted slippers, breckenridge cowl, montebello texture cowl, aravis, 3-in-1 felted baby booties, and legacy
sponsor – french press knits

17. ebook subscription for knitspot’s upcoming “bare naked club”
sponsor – knitspot

18. $15 gift card for knitspot’s online pattern store
sponsor – knitspot

19. $15 gift card for knitspot’s online pattern store
sponsor – knitspot

20. 3 skeins of kolláge yarns’ luscious in the ‘cherry’, ‘walnut’, ‘color burst’ color ways
sponsor – kolláge yarns

21. 2 skeins of roxi in the ‘signature red’ color way by the grinning gargoyle & 1 copy of schmetterling
sponsor – the grinning gargoyle & mushroom knits

22. HizVest e-pattern
sponsor – stephen hizknits houghton & blue moon fiber arts

23. 1 pair of hand-knit socks knit with silkie socks that rock, hand dyed by me.
sponsor – yours truly

24. 15 balls of cashmere trend in red
sponsor – skacel

25. 1 addi click set in your choice of bamboo, turbo, or lace
sponsor – skacel

whew! now that’s a list, bitches!

more tears

September 6, 2011

i promise nothing bad has happened here.
i’m gratefully re-ensconced in my apartment,
keeping the cold at bay with a mixture of down,
french bulldog, and homework.

i took a wee break from reading what i’m supposed to read,
to catch up on those few blogs that make me smile.
but when i came to tina’s blog,
i could feel the cold-wet of tears in my eyes.

truly good blogs are a scarce these days,
blogs that post regularly enough to satisfy
and with quality content to merit their existence.
i try to share as much of myself on here as is safe.
i try not to hold back. (hell i was even naked once)
and it’s rare to find someone brave enough to expose themselves in that way, to let perfect strangers have access to your life
in a genuinely personal way.

and here we have tina,
not only writing a post so raw it moved me,
but sharing her life experiences in the colors she gives us.

a rare gem indeed.
don’t take it for granted.

pass the xanax

February 2, 2011

so i probably should have blogged this earlier,
but i’ve landed my first ever knitting-related speaking thingy.

to be more precise,
i’m the mc for the centre county knitting guild’s “i heart knitting” event. i even made it in the local paper.
it’s free, and if i have any readers in the area,
stop by 113 east pine street, boalsburg, pa 16827
and say “hey bitch!”

this is a little surreal for me since, apparently, i’m their “star power”.
(their words. not mine. i don’t think of myself like that.)

i’ve also been told the people coming are a bit conservative,
and i should leave the hotpants at home.
this has made me even more nervous.
i mean, have they read my blog?
i’m kinda inappropriate.

i like to think i’m the kathy griffin of the knitting blogosphere,
telling it like it is, staying true to my inner extra vulgar knitter.
(and more recently, i’ve felt the need to channel johnny weir).
i fear i’m doomed to stand up at the podium or whatever,
and just blurt out something like “dicks taste yummy.”

luckily,
i was actually raised with superior manners.
you know, asking to be excused from the table,
and knowing which fork to use and when.
i tend to ignore that particular skill set,
but it’s time to dust if off i guess.

i will go.
i will be properly attired.
i will refrain from using words like “fuck” and “blowjob”.
everyone will have a lovely time, and leave thinking well of me.

i can do this.
(why the fuck did i quit smoking?!)

in sweater news. . . .
it is done. it is in the mail.
my model had a prior engagement,
so all you get are some tabletop shots;

while a bit stressful,
it was totally worth knitting.
and of course the yarn was a dream to work with.
the only alteration i made to the pattern was in the collar length.
it said to knit until the collar measured 7″, but after trying it on veronica,
that would have been crazy. the directions also read, “or desired depth” so i took a little license. the gauge was a little tricky too since it was given over a stretched rib. i mean, how far is one supposed to stretch it?
but using the recommended needle size,
it fit veronica (sample size),
if a little snugly.

i now await tina’s judgement.
just one more reason i feel like puking.

mmm. . .

February 1, 2011

buttons!

while it’s going much faster than the body,
this is the slowest sleeve i’ve even encountered.
(what is it you southerners say about molasses this time of year?)

i’m not complaining, really, i’m not.
i am actually loving knitting this sweater.
it’s beautiful.

just check out those double increases on the sleeve.
gorgeous right?

it’s just that, i consider myself to be a pretty quick knitter,
and this sweater is killing my confidence.

when i woke up this morning, i tweeted,
“i am going to finish this damn sleeve today if it kills me.”
with twenty minutes to go, i don’t think i’m going to make it.
we’re looking at an all nighter here peeps.

i can do it.
i will knit this shit out of this sweater!
it will be done. (by the end of jan i hope)
and casting off will be . . . a revelation.

here i go bitches.
wish me luck!

it occurred to me that i haven’t done an actual knitting post in a while.
i feel like i haven’t been as prolific as i was over the summer,
but i think i really burned out on the rhinebeck sweater.

so this is what’s been going on;
for the longest time, i’ve wanted a stephen west stripy neck accessory.
i specifically bought some yarn in rhinebeck for one,
but i couldn’t choose which i most needed in my life.

i finally decided on clockwork and i am in love with it.
the rows have gotten epicly long so i doubt it will be done for nyc.

oh well.

tina’s juneberry triangle is still on the needles,

mostly because i misplaced the pattern for a time.
i had apparently decided it belonged with all of my phd application paperwork. makes total sense.

i’ve turned the corner on the edging,
so i still have hope it’ll be done before 2011.

and of course, there’s the sample i’m knitting for blue moon.

anyone recognize what it is?

i was a little daunted when i saw which pattern i was supposed to knit.
i’ve never done a brioche stitch before,
and every other row is knit with laceweight.
that is some serious pressure.
but i’m a knitter. i can knit anything.
so after some practice, i got the body started.

yes that is the body of the sweater,
and before you say that i am in some crazy place of denial,
here are some important facts you need to consider.
this it the small size, with only 136 stitches cast on.
and it’s a brioche rib so it’s all sucked in.
when stretched, i’m getting gauge.

the fabric is slightly looser than i would normally like,
if i were knitting it for someone, i’d go down a needle size
and knit the next size up to have a denser material.
but i’m already working on 5’s.
there’s no freakin’ way i’m moving down to a 4.
it’s already taken a few days to get 5″ of sweater in.

still, sometimes when i look at it,
i get the fear.

feel free to jump in and validate me at any moment.

in other news, i’m may have something exciting to share in a couple days. hopefully. if things go well. if they don’t forget i ever said this.
in fact go ahead and forget i said anything.
i don’t want to jinx it.

obliviate!

to those who wait

December 10, 2010

the other day, i got an email.
which lead to one of the loveliest phone calls ever.
the specifics of that phone call are unimportant.
let’s just say there were plenty of laughs.

the result of said conversation arrived yesterday:

with this yarn,
i will knit my first sample garment ever
for blue moon fiber arts.

i literally got all misty just now typing that.
it just feels really special, having someone think your knitting is good enough, worthy enough to represent their company. tina is a busy busy woman, and she has poured her soul into blue moon. i mean, it’s literally her home for christ’s sake.

i just feel really honored to be a part of it,
if only in this small way.

and the extra money and yarn support ain’t too shabby either.
i’m going to do the right thing, listen to suze orman,
and put that money right into savings.
(i read the money book for the young, fabulous & broke, all of which i am. it scared the shit out of me.)

and that brown yarn,

that’s some handspun. my first birthday present of this year.
(tissue! i need a tissue here!)

oh you didn’t know i had a birthday coming up?
on december 18th, one week before christmas,
i will gain another digit.
to celebrate the end of my youth,
i’m headed to new york in six,
count ‘em, six motha fuckin days bitches!
(it’s my first time, new york. please, be gentle)
how can someone as young, fabulous, and broke as i afford such a trip?
no it has nothing at all to do with cramp in my jaw.
simply put, i’m scamming a free bed off a friend.
actually a friend’s boyfriend.
actually it’s his parents.
i have no shame.

i’m hoping it will be as fantastic as i’m imagining,
and i wonder how it will stack up to paris.
in any case,
the best gifts are still the ones you give yourself.

of course birthday gifts from other people still rule,
and in many cases are implicitly mandatory to maintain a friendship.

if you were wondering what to get for your favorite knit-blogger for their birthday or christmas, here are some suggestions
(purely a hypothetical here)

1 – money. nothing says i love you better, or is more personal than cash. a check or money order is also great, but traceable. better to leave no paper trail. (what? i went to school with mob children)
2 – gift card to a LYS. this says i love you enough to let you spend the money as you see fit, but i don’t want you spending it on drugs or alcohol. wool is much safer.
3 – membership in the 2011 rockin’ sock club. this gift says, i know you have a problem with sock yarn, and i’m totally ok with that. it also says you better knit me some damn socks already.
4 – moisturizer. this gift says, you’re looking pretty . . . fucking old. you need to take care of that hot mess you call a face.
(best birthday card ever tina!)

but if your holiday is going to be as tight as so many americans’
nothing warms the heart of a jaded, grinchy blogger,
like a happy birthday comment.

see you in new york, bitches!

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