three years

August 9, 2012

***comments are closed, bitches! the winner has been picked and notified. thanks for playing!***

so i got this little notification yesterday,
that today is my blogiversary.
my third, to be exact.

i recall starting my blog roughly around the time i first moved to pittburgh in 2009. i’d left a vibrant group of friends, a burgeoning knitting group, and the best paying job i’ve ever had to pursue my academic career and live with my best friend. i don’t remember why i began blogging, per se, by which i mean, i don’t rememeber the specifics. i do know that all i wanted was to stay connected to the knitterverse, and try to be part of the conversation, as it were.

whatever the reasons, i never imagined what this blog would become. i never thought people would actually read and comment (i love every comment, especially from the regulars) i never thought total strangers would stop me to tell me they read the blog (the first couple times terrified me!) even though it was my goal, i didn’t think my blog would ‘succeed’ and, frankly, i’m surprised i’ve stuck with it this long.

of course,
the only reason i have
is because of you, bitches.
if people weren’t reading,
i’d’ve quit ages ago.

and since it seems like the industry standard
(and because it’s been ages since i’ve had one)
i’m doing a giveaway in honor of my third blogiversary.

the bitches get stitches third blogiversary giveaway!

the rules:

1. spread the word – you can do that anyway you see fit; reblog, tweet, e-mail, ravelry, phone call, whatever. just let another knitter know about the giveaway. it’s completely on the honor system. i trust ya.

2. leave a comment – it’s the easiest way to assign someone a random number for the all-knowing random number generator to pick a winner. make sure to comment on this post. you’d think i wouldn’t need to specify that but >shakes head from experience< and for the sake of fairness and my personal sanity, please leave only one comment.

3. this one’s most important – you only have the 24 hours from the time i posted to ‘spread the word’ and ‘leave a comment’. the winner will be announced tomorrow, august 10th.

the prize:

i’ve given this a lot of thought. well, as much thought as i could in less than a day. because it needed to extra special, and because it’s my favorite yarn company, i decided to give away a $100.00 e-gift certificate to blue moon fiber arts.

sound good?
thanks for sticking with me, bitches!

knitting archaeology

August 3, 2012

we all have skeletons in our closets.
as dude who grew up with pack rats,
mine is perpetually at capacity.

my recent retirement at my parents house*
allowed me to wade through and eliminate some of the actual crap
that my room has accumulated over the past twenty-seven years.
in the depths of my closet i discovered, among other things**,
a horrifying treasure from my knitting past.

that’s right.

i found my first knitting/yarn.
i thought it long lost, cast off and out of my life.
i should’ve*** known this yarn would haunt me for all of my days.

if you dig around my blog somewhere at the beginning,
you can find the story of how i first learned to knit.
i won’t reiterate that (awesome) story, now.
iet’s just say it was two in the morning,
i had a limited selection from which to choose,
and i like green.

because i love you, blog, so very much, and maybe because no amount of sin can ever wash the catholic completely from my blood, i feel compelled to confess my most grievous of knitterly sins to you. i just hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive me for buying this yarn.
t’was ignorance, the folly of youth.

however, i refuse to post a photo of that yarn on this blog.
that shame would be too great to endure.
rather,
i’ll link you to it;
follow at your own risk!
post continues after the jump. nsfw!

>exhales<

i think i'll be ok now.
i needed to get that off my chest.

seriously, though, i was totally happy to unearth this yarn.
how many people have the first thing they've ever knit?
(don't burst my bubble and tell me it's a totally common occurrence)
and while the idea of finishing the project is beyond appalling,
i'm happy to keep this fun fur on their size 10½ boyes
rather than quietly disposing of the evidence.

just know that my time on the dark side was short lived,
and i quickly purchased some much better yarn.
(angry cat mug from danmade. totally ripping off cauchy’s style)

that’s right.
i found my second piece of knitting/yarn, too!
the seed of a stash that never grew.

there’s no ball band for this yarn,
but the receipt says its an alpaca/silk/cashmere blend.
(talk about going from yarn zero to sixty, right?)
though, the astute observer can still tell this is the work of newbie.
notice the yarn is still in a hank and i’m knitting directly from the skein!

i can’t tell you the number of times i’ve warned new knitters never to do this unless they want tangles and heartbreak,
and yet, somehow, it worked out for me.
i guess when you don’t know any better,
you just go for it.

go figure.

sadly,
shortly after knitting that patch of garter,
i stopped knitting.

there were a lot of reasons, really;
the yarn was wicked pricey, and i thought if this is what real yarn cost, i was in trouble (i didnt realize of course, there was a range of yarns from which to choose) more than that, i didn’t have a positive experience with the store from which i bought it.

but if i’m honest, all of that didn’t matter.

it was the purl stitch.

this was back before you could google anything and learn how to do it from watching a video online. (i think it’s important to remember such times) i don’t know how i was learning to purl, but it wasn’t working. years later i would realize the crucial information that was missing was to move the yarn forward.

constantly doubling one’s stitch count
whilst knitting green fun fur
would make anyone quit.

i’m just glad it was only a temporary condition.

à demain, mes amis!

*i always write ‘home’ and mean ‘my parents house’, but it confuses people. i makes me sad to have to make a distinction.

**like my louis vuitton shoes, bitches!! i miss the old economy. *sigh*

***for all you fellow grammar nazis, i’ve noticed a trend among my students. they write could’ve/should’ve etc. thusly: could of. i remember one student being shocked when i corrected them. makes me want to die.

yarny goodness

April 25, 2011

as promised,
i’m gonna get this blog back on track,
and give everyone some yarny goodness to peep.

though i don’t have a wheel of my own,
when i was working at natural stitches,
i could use a shop wheel.

in between helping the fine customers,
i worked on my first ever 3-ply yarn.
once i got all the singles spun,
i plied like the wind!

of course yarn isn’t done once it’s plied.
there’s always something more to do, right?
like the brutal weaving in of the ends after endless knitting.

personally, i follow judith mackenzie’s directions for finishing yarn from her amazing book the intentional spinner: a holistic approach to making yarn (every knitter should own it. even if you don’t spin, it’ll change how you knit. go on. buy it.)

first, you count your strands to calculate yardage.
doesn’t do us much good if we don’t know how much yarn we’ve spun, right?

then we “full” it a little by swishing it in hot soapy water.
(in the book, judith is shown using a small plunger and is really going at it. this scares me. i choose to “sauté” my yarn.

then we rinse/swish it in cold clean water.(remember to scoot your roommate’s papers out of the way, and put down a towel. never incur the roomie wrath during finals)

then i squeeze out the excess water in my own way.
i start at the top, and sort of pinch and roll with my hand.
it’s kinda like milking a cow (look it up).

then the fun part: the thwacking!
i beat the shit out of my yarn against the side of the tub.
(if only you knew how hard it was to get this shot)

after it hangs up for a while to dry,
poof!
yarn is born. (these were the first two skeins)

if i’ve done my math right,
i’ve got roughly 466 yds of a dk/worsted yarn.
not too shabby if i do say so myself.

and just to spice things up,
how about i give the yarn away?
here’s the rules; it’s a little complicated.

if you want the yarn,
you must get one of your knitter friends to leave a comment for you.
then, i’ll pick someone at random (it’s only fair).

are we clear?

you can’t comment for yourself.
your friend must comment for you.

just promise me, please,
if you win, you’ll actually make something with it!

who wants it!?

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