color up

May 9, 2012

after turning in my final papers on monday,
a combination of
poor diet,
lack of sleep,
and caffeine overdose
reduced me to a bedridden shell of a man.

so of course i got up at the crack of dawn on tuesday
and drove forty minutes for a knitting class
with the yarn harlot.

i knew my knitter buddy melynda was going to be there
and that she was bringing friends.
so i re-upped my starbucks dosage,
hid my raccoon eyes with sunglasses,
and headed to howell.

while i learned all about color knitting techniques
(fair isle, stranded, intastia, slipped stitches etc.)
my favorite piece of info was how colors are put together
and how we are instinctively drawn to put certain colors together
unless, of course, one is color blind*.
(can you guess which block belongs to me?)

more than anything,
i was happy to hang with melynda

and make new knitterly friends.(erica is an excellent colorer)
(and knitterella can put away more burrito than you think she can!)

as usual, beth harassed me,
telling me how i needed to be a better spinner and knitteri retaliated with my camera.

most of the day, we all laughed hysterically;
i had the best table mates!
i have dubbed us
the heathers.

our one table mate, kelly, is actually a reader!
(i never, ever get used to the fact that people read my blog)
she called us the “knitterati”, and had us pose for a photo.(photo courtesy of knitterella)
while i would never put myself on their level
it was flattering of kelly to include me.

memorable quotes from the heathers’ table
that are probably only funny if you were there:

“it’s a different green!”
“i’m just going to make it done”
“sucking on a scone”
“something’s sucking something”
“i blew the blue”
“owl pellets”

as you can see, there was an . . . oral theme at our table.

after all the color hilarity and stress bombs,
i returned home to some neutral heaven.

*no, i’m not colorblind

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!

my first week as a phd student was rough.
i could tell you all the little whiney stories
that literally drove me to drink.

i could tell you about being behind in my reading,
or how my students were . . . less than talkative in class.
or how i (wrongfully!) received a parking ticket that i have to now appeal.
or how my online rent payment didn’t go through making it 8 days late.
or how mo snuck out of bed in the middle of the night to drop a deuce,
and i stepped in the puddle of pee that accompanied it.

but i won’t.
i’m classier than that,
and no one likes a whiner.

besides, i spent a lovely saturday afternoon with the ladies of the loft
that erased any negative feelings from the previous week.

this future spinner is the newest loft lady,
learning the ways of wool from her mimi, beth smith.
(who is far too young and hip to be a grandma!)

i’m not really a baby person,
but this one seemed pretty cool.
unlike some asshole babies i’ve met,
i could sorta see the appeal of this one.

but since she’s not for sale
i settled for taking my spinning wheel home with me.
this is mo’s little sister; i can somehow tell she’s a girl,
but i haven’t named her yet.
(suggestions?)
like any doting father
i think she’s the best wheel in the world.
the wood is absolutely beautiful.
she even has a knot-wood beauty mark.
she’s currently hanging out in my bedroom
until a proper place of honor can be made in the living room.

what’s that on the bobbin you ask?
why that’s what i’ll be wearing to rhinebeck of course!

with my hospital bills all paid (i hope),
and electronic ink still drying on my lansing lease,
i should be squeezing my pennies like a scotsman.

so the first thing i do,
when assessing my funds?
i decide to make a purchase.

it was eight and four months ago,
when i learned to treadle steady,
and witnessed the power of twist.

i was hooked.
it was magic
worked by my fingers.
there was no going back.

it changed me.

a year is a long time to want something
wanting a thing for that long means
i make it my business to have it.

you can’t always get what you want, they say,
no matter how deep the desire.
true.

but this?
this wheel?
this i can make mine.

and i will have it.

layaway bitches!

**this post is dedicated to the über cool beth smith of the spinning loft. you should give her money for things. i did.

more roman numerals

March 24, 2011

so in my frenzy to make my life into a list,
i forgot a couple of things that i wanted to write.
that and day two of my class should be enough for a post, right?
so let the randomness continue!

x. on friday, when i was still pretty bummed out, kristen, a.k.a. @carcosa, tweeted at me: My #FF crown this week is awarded too… @Faiche_Stiabhna for his unique combination of humor, fiber knowlege, and fierce glasses. that totally made my day. (are my glasses really fierce?)

xi. i apparently inspired one of my most loyal commenters and internet friends, miss sally of rivendale farms. or maybe more accurately, this photo of mo did. after seeing it, she went on a cowl binge. she wrote about it here.

xii. another besty from the internet, kim, is a nice person. she wants to help the people in japan. she asked me to spread the word, so do me a favor, and click here to read her post. go ahead. do the right thing. i dare you.

xiii. in my last post, i mentioned that i felt that, when you meet a knitting celebrity, maybe you should keep your cool and not act like you’re old friends reunited. this is how i try to operate. (don’t ask me about my success rate). PrincessFee left me the following comment:

You don’t know me, but I do feel as though I know you. Thank you for your humour, wit, & frankness. If we ever get to meet, I will act as though I don’t know you.

first of all, that is sweet. second, i’m so far from being a knitting celebrity that the sentiment is almost laughable. third, if you do read this blog with any kind of regularity, i imagine you’ve a certain amount of shamelessness in you. i would never expect you to show such restraint if you see me out in the real world. just don’t be disappointed if the dude you run into is actually pretty shy.

xiv. however, i find it ironic that i spent all of day one quietly sitting next to the lovely natatlie who, as it turns out, reads my blog. small world, eh? of course, she didn’t say anything until day two (class act, right?). we spent the first day like any other kids on the first day of school, making idle chit chat and nervous eye contact. but i’m totally glad she told me. it was great way to start what turn out to be a really hard day of class.

xv. i think that, while she doesn’t say it, stephanie doesn’t like to have her photo taken. i think this because almost every single photo i took of her is kinda terrible. she’s making a face in or blinking or possibly about to sneeze. somehow, i think this is done on purpose as a way of fucking with our heads. luckily, i snapped this one.yeah she’s a little blurry in this photo, but at least she doesn’t look like she’s in the middle of a seizure.

xvi. day one of “knitting for speed and efficiency” with stephanie pearl-mcphee was all about learning a brief history of knitting, understanding the strengths and weaknesses of english and continental knitting, and learning ways to improve our own personal styles of knitting. the most interesting concept for me was the idea that we get too comfortable with our own styles, and try to apply them to every type of knitting when altering our personal style, or using another method might make it easier for a given project. according to stephanie, we as knitters seem to resist using all the tools at our disposal to make it easier on ourselves. for instance, if you’re an english knitter (like me) why wouldn’t you use continental knitting to knit miles of stockinette in the round when it is so clearly the superior technique for that particular project? or if you’re a continental knitter, and have a project with lots of texture and decorative purl stitches why wouldn’t you use the method best suited to purling (english knitting)? it’s a good point. why not expand our personal abilities to improve ourselves as knitters? unless of course excellence doesn’t matter to you.

day two was dedicated to learning “lever knitting” (sometimes called irish cottage knitting) which is the method used by the people who knitted for their livelihood. it also happens to be the style the harlot learned from her bitch of a grandmother. rather than go into a long description of the method, here’s a video. because we all have a certain amount of knitting knowledge burned into our minds, changing our techniques is kinda hard. everyone’s hands were freaking out, fingers moving of their own accord as if our brains no longer had anything to say about what they did. natalie’s pinky finger kept trying to get involved to the point where stephanie had to immobilize itwhen stephanie asked how i was doing, i told her i sucked. the moment that followed involved a joke about my “sucking”. it must have pretty embarrassing since i can’t for the life of me remember the details (if you do, feel free to leave it in the comments. i’d like to remember that one) but whenever my face stopped being pink, i eventually got the hang of it.

even though i posted a link to the video, i wouldn’t recommend copying her technique from it; you really need to have it explained in person. it’s just too easy to think you’re doing it correctly when in fact you’re doing it very very wrong. i mean, we had an expert in the room, and each of us found a way to fuck it up to some degree. sometimes, you just need someone to hold your pinky.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 674 other followers