fall shawl

October 7, 2013

i am so. behind.

in the past two weeks or so,
i’ve been fighting off some kind of plague
and been dealing with the death of my grandpa.
it’s been one of those times when one is reminded
that being an adult fucking sucks.

(it also means there might be some big life changes in my future)

but for right now,
i have a lot of catching up to do.
skeletons in the closet
20131007-165145.jpg
20131007-165221.jpg
20131007-165238.jpgso of course i’ve cast on a boneyard.
i never get bored of a plain triangular shawl.
i imagine it’s what sock knitting is like for sock knitters.

and so i’ll sit here a while longer,
ignoring the pile of work in the other room,
trying to remember what it felt like before i had responsibilities.
20131007-165301.jpgthose were the days.

*t-10 days to rhinebeck.

rhinebeck 2013: countdown

September 22, 2013

because my (likely vain) pursuit of becoming an “academic”
requires a gradually increasing inhuman amount of work
such that anything that involves fiber
has been all but completely eliminated from my life
my annual trip to rhinebeck is especially important to me this year.

these are the things i love about rhinebeck:

1. the homeric two-day road trip with my fiber buddy andrea; epic driver, designer, yarn hocker, networker, and the brains (and brawn) behind yarn superhero llc. we laugh, swear, gossip, judge, eat, harmonize to joni mitchell for hours, and peep the shit out of some leaves. this drive is the initial decompression required for me to (try to) forget my real life and put me in the rhinebeck state of mind.

2. i stay at the cool kids house. while i’m not famous, and there are definitely houses with more famous yarny people in them, our rhinebeck house is by far where the real cool kids stay. fuck the ravelry peeps and their damn baby. fuck whatever cabin in the woods the yarn harlot or clara parks might be staying in. we stay here. while most of the details are completely confidential, let me just say that there’s some extraordinary inappropriateness that goes down at our house.
you wish you were invited.
but you’re not.

3. this year, my old friend, coworker, and yarn-store sibling, anna, will finally be coming to rhinebeck. she will be staying at the cool kids house. (the details aren’t clear, but i think there was a horrible death in the group that led to an opening. i don’t ask question)

4. my lack of vagina combined with intense undiagnosed sleep apnea means i get my own room. as an only child, this makes my soul rejoice.

5. the food. people have strong opinions about the food at rhinebeck. after a few years, this is what i think. the artichokes are not worth the line. the lamb ravioli with a side of garlic spinach is. i skip the shitty breakfast sandwiches and load up on apple donuts and cider. bring your own booze.

6. the ghost chili challenge. this will mark the third year of andrea’s and my masochistic indulgence at the hot sauce counter, thus making it into a tradition. the ghost chili is the world’s hottest pepper (last year, we had some fellow tasters, one of whom vomited after) but we just can’t seem to resist becoming high school boys for a few minutes to relish the feeling of doing something stupid for its own sake. this year, if memory serves, there’s a rumor that the hot sauce man has acquired the new, even hotter scorpion chili whose spiciness supposedly makes the ghost chili look like a lovely glass of milk fresh from the cow’s teet.
pray for us.

7. judging famous knitters based on their outfits.
(no elaboration necessary).

there are other things,
things i can’t put into words,
things i can’t even think of at 2:34 in the morning.

but the my favorite thing about rhinebeck
is “nips with steven: a rhinebeck photo essay”.
(check out year 1 here and year 2 here, if you need a reminder)

my goal is to outdo the previous year.
so if you’re going to rhinebeck,
or know someone who is,
look for me
and be a part of rhinebeck herstory.

it’s for art.

in other news,
the clockwork is on the move.
it was last seen with some new hampshire knitteratti:
photoright to left: thea colman (babycocktails), dawn catanzaro, diana (bestitched), julia farwell-clay. unseen & across the table were cecily glowik macdonald, bristol ivy, ellen mason (odacier), & erin m.
(who is rather immune to internet stalking so no link for her!)
photo courtesy of misa

clockwork visits turkey

September 13, 2013

the country, not the bird.

my friend misa, queen of colorwork,
knitter of the owl and the pussycat dress,
took the clockwork with her on her trip to turkey.

she blogged about it here.
IMG_3543go check out the pics and let me know what you think!

permafrost.

round 128.

5-st gather.

Knit 5 stitches together without slipping them off L needle, *yarn over, knit into original 5 stitches again; Rep from * once more

fuck you, jared flood;
just fuck you.

things finished

July 27, 2013

DPP_1689
DPP_1687
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.
DPP_1686i love the heels. (pattern details: here)

my tipsy socks are also finished.
DPP_1697that’s right, bitches.
two f.o.’s in a month.
(i may have an emotion)

however,
unlike my mes chausettes pour p.-mcphee,
my tipsy socks do not match.
DPP_1696at all.

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.

finally,
(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.

that’s all.

so what would you recommend?
is the baby surprise over?

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.

but this?*
this new “tripartite”?
this lace-weight linen thneed?
raventhatsnotgood
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.
just sayin’.

she does know how to work her angles to her advantage though,
looking all young and thin and such.
#shadybitch

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 fools knitters
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.

second sock

July 14, 2013

last night,
i knit into the wee hours
to finish these socks*, liberate my needles,
and get started on the second of my tipsy socks.
20130714-162902.jpgi have a hand cramp.

*it’s in the bath. pics to come.

gallerista

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**
DPP_1382(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
DPP_1387ok 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.

24 hours ago

March 24, 2013

i was drunk and dancing.
there’s something about dressing up,
knocking back one or two shots of jameson,
keeping the buzz going with a bud light,
(which, before you judge me,
i enjoy for their cheapness, lack of flavor,
and because you can dance with one in your hand without
some flailing drunk-ass soaking you in your hard-earned pin money)
while a room full of gays and gay adjacent folks all sing—in tune!—to any number of pop songs from the 80′s – now (in tune) that i find to be
. . . rejuvenating.

on this particular evening,
i was helping a boy ‘celebrate life’.
he’d passed through a rough patch and found himself in a good mood.

can you honestly think of a better reason to celebrate?

and so i danced. hard.
and though today i find i’m a bit sore,
which is likely more a combination of
pretty-but-useless footwear
liquor toxins
age
and crashing in not my bed,
it was very worth it.

why am i telling you all this?
why should you care?

sure, if you’re reading this, you likely like me
(though it’s possible you’re just waiting to see if you won a book.
no worries. we’ll get there. keep reading)
and, since you like me, you like
when i’m happy.

still,
maybe you’d like more.
since, really, i can’t even provide a picture to entertain you.
blurrexcept this one i accidentally took while dancing.

you see, the reason why this story is important is because
last night, i took my first steps toward accepting the aging process.

i’ve had a problem with getting older basically since i turned twenty three. and while i realize that this is an irrational issue and that, in the scheme of things, many people would consider me to still be young, i’m confident that every single person who reads this post also has his or her own “thing” with which s/he obsesses, irrationally.
(do tell me you do so i feel better about myself)

last night, however, two things happened that made me glad i was older (relatively)

1) i ‘pre-gamed’ briefly a the boy celebrating life’s friends house. on average, i was the oldest person in the room by about six years. sitting there on a broken couch, eliciting laughter that was grossly disproportional to the effort i was putting into my repartee, there was a moment in which i left my body and thought, “thank christ i am not this silly”, and then smiled to myself, sitting in blissful ignorance while they talked about the import of something called snapchat.

2) later, in the middle of the dance floor, i ran into a friend from college i haven’t seen since i graduated. i literally screamed multiple times in the highest pitch of which i am physically capable. in that moment, the past six years flashed before my mind’s eye. i’ve been around the world, gotten two masters degrees, kissed all the boys, got mo, fallen in love, kept up a blog (mostly) for nearly four years, almost died, moved four times, lived abroad, taught at a big ten university, and learned to fucking knit, to name only the big things i can think of at 1:30am.

my only real goal in life
is to live a life i can be proud of.
all i want to do is be able to look back on my life when i’m old old
and be able to say that i wasn’t boring.
so far, i’m not doing too badly.
and i guess my progressively sagging skin and longer recovery time isn’t that high a price to pay to maximize fabulosity.

still, i’ll totally blow you for some botox.

***********************************************************

the random number generator has spoken
and the following people have won one of my extra copies of colours of shetland:

2 – cauchy09
9 – stepahnie
12 – ashely

you can now all glare at them in jealousy.
however! i will be giving away a handspun and knit fo in the next day or so, so stay tuned, bitches!

green thumb

December 6, 2012

i always credit the yarn harlot for getting me into knitting,
and i suppose she’s part of the reason i got into blogging.
though really i think the only similarities between our blogs
is that they’re both humorous (mostly) and center on knitting.
after that, we pretty much have nothing in common.

let’s compare:

  • the harlot is a
  • short
  • thin
  • canadian
  • oldest child
  • married
  • straight
  • vegetarian
  • mother of three
  • in her forties
  • and i’m a
  • tall
  • chubby
  • american
  • only child
  • single
  • gay
  • everythingavore
  • dog owner
  • in his twenties

and yet somehow, despite all that difference,
i find her blog and life to be thoroughly compelling.
very rarely do i ever ‘not like’ what she writes.
one of the rare exceptions is her annual gifts for knitters.
i find the hole thing to be irritating,
not because the information she provides isn’t useful or accurate,
but because it is completely ridiculous that anyone should have to go to an outside source to find out what to get for a friend or loved one. you either know him or her well enough to get them what they want, or else you should be able to be a grown up and just ask. this whole need to ‘surprise’ someone with the perfect gift is, frankly, asinine and too much pressure. what people want is a gift they’ll enjoy. so why not ask them?

but more importantly,
no one seems inclined to buy me anything. maybe it’s because i’m a december baby (my birthday is exactly one week before christmas); i’m highly sensitive to gift giving at december time. it just seems like, if one doesn’t have a family of one’s own, after the age of 21,
no one is inclined to get one (me) a gift.

all of my friends are too new to my life
to feel inclined to get me anything.
they’re also grad students,
so they have no money.

and my parents,
my dear dear parents,
they get me things throughout the year that i need,
things like food,
or a new phone,
or my gas bill in the winter.
making them exempt from any familial obligation to get me a gift.

that just leaves mo, and frankly,
he can’t be bothered.

i’m an only child,
which means i have deeply ingrained belief
that i deserve a gift a christmastime.
no amount of rationalization
or lies about the joys of giving
or reflection on how much i have compared to others
will ever wipe away the feeling that i’m getting jipped at the holidays.

and so in the spirit of ‘the secret’
(which has inexplicably been working for me this year
even though i’ve never actually read the book)
i’ve decided to ask, believe, and receive some gifts i want.
nothing unreasonable or outrageous, mind you,
just some shit to make my life
a little brighter.

gifts for steven 2012
days 1-6.

a starbucks card. perhaps you think that making this the gift for days 1 through 6 is a cop out, and i’m just doing it to catch up on the days of december. you would be wrong. the amount of time and more importantly money i spend at starbucks is obscene. i go every day, sometimes multiple times a day. i write at the starbucks on grand river, and i frequent the starbucks in my building at least five days a week. it’s eating a whole in my budget, and size orman specifically told me not to buy coffee in her book young fabulous and broke, but since i’m beyond addicted, it’s up to you to solve my willpower problem.

stay tuned as i tell you more things you can get me for this,
my birthday and christmas season.
(i also happily welcome channukah and solstice gifts)

oh yeah!
i almost forgot the whole point of this post.
after less than one year in the pot,
not only is my christmas cactus thriving,
it’s fucking blooming, bitches!
DPP_1358this is the very first house plant i have every kept alive. ever.
while i grew up gardening in the country,
and can easily cultivate flora out of doors,
that skill has never translated indoors;
i’m absolute rubbish with potted plants.
but this, this christmas cactus,
one of my favorite plants,
it’s fucking blooming!

i’m telling you, bitches;
ask, believe, receive.
oprah wasn’t lying.

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