November 25, 2012

one of the best posts from one of my favorite bloggers,
and not just because i get several shout outs.
(though, that doesn’t hurt)

and keep your eyes on the prize page
because there’s going to be some amazing last minute additions, bitches!

completely cauchy.

Re-Published: with fundraising giveaway info below

The thing with euphemism samplers is that they are unending: there are always more themes and there are always more euphemisms (or variations of euphemisms) that one could include. There is a sense of adventure in embarking on a new one just because playing with language is fun and it is fascinating to learn about new-to-me English usage. But sometimes the research to source the text can be stressful—I have seen things I wish I could un-see and I’ve read about some things I could safely have died not knowing existed. Gunshy is too mild to describe my state of mind after last week’s Really Redwork.

So I was quite grateful for an email last week from my buddy Steven. He said he sourced most of his list of vaginal terms from an episode of The L-Word. After playing with…

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dear blog,

September 22, 2012

i have some sad news.
it’s been more than a month since i’ve knit a stitch.
all hope of a rhinebeck sweater went out the winder after my first week.
even my as yet unmentioned handspun shawl sits untouched.
my wheel is gathering dust,
my loom lays loosely warped on the table.

unforeseen additions to an already inhuman workload means i have absolutely no time to ‘write for myself’ let alone create any actual content for the blog. in my desperation, i even thought about how i could turn the gift of a bath bomb from lush into a post. but once i’d finally deluded myself into thinking i could spin it in such a way that you all would actually care, i found i didn’t even have the time to write the post.

and so i’ve finally come to admit something i’ve been trying to avoid:

the blog must go on an indefinite hiatus.

it’s not that you’ll never hear from my again on here. i hope i’ll be able to pop in every now and then, and i am going to rhinebeck, which i plan to document thoroughly. it just means i can no longer be a ‘blogger’ and must content myself with being ‘a person with a blog’.

i realize this means i’m going to lose most of my precious readership that i’ve spent three years building up, but i see no other option. if you want to make sure you’re aware of those rare times when i may be able to post this semester, make sure to sign up for email notifications for my posts.

i hope to return in earnest next semester;
i’m working hard now so there will be a lot less work then.
fingers crossed, eh?

so this isn’t goodbye,
it’s see you later, bitches!

love,

steven a.

westward ho!

August 23, 2012

i’m kind of sick.
i’m that kind of sick where spending the day in bed isn’t a choice.
i’m that kind of sick where my body feels the need to be entirely empty.
i’m that kind of sick where i hope mo will just pee on the floor so i won’t have to get out of bed to take him outside.

but for you, blog,
i’ll crawl all the way to the next room
to get my power cord out of my bag
to recall a happier time
just last sunday.

though i’ve been enjoy my summer hermitage,
i discovered lynae and adrienne,
dear friends of the knot hysteria variety,
were coming to my state for the michigan fiber festival.
lynae undertook quite a twitter campaign to ensure my presence.
and if she and drin could come from chicago,
i could make the trip from lansing.

i’m thoroughly unfamiliar with this side of the state
and my initial impressions reminded me a lot of my childhood;
allegan is similar to the small towns i used to frequent as a michigosling:

almont
armada
berville
capac
imaly city

though allegan seems to have held up better.
it felt like time passed a little bit slower there
and has been a lot kinder than in towns of my youth.
once i got over the initial uncanny nostalgia,
i felt right at home at a country fairgrounds
especially at a fiber festival.

the michigan fiber festival is what i’d call a diamond in the rough.
the fairgrounds are perfect for a really large festival,
something comparable in size to rhinebeck, honestly,
but it’s much, much smaller and lower key.
add that to the fact that i arrived at church time
and i got to enjoy the fairgrounds without the stress of the crowds.

perhaps that’s what’s reflected in these photos.
i didn’t feel the need to ‘just document everything’
and sort it all out later as i normally do.
instead, i took a more leisurely approach.
this is what i saw.

wait!

before i continue,
i have to preface this by saying most of these photos were illegally obtained. the man on the loud speaker announced that everything in the booths was proprietary and photography was forbidden. that little admonishment came right before the one telling parents not to let children maul the yarn with their sticky hands. (needless to say, being put in the same category as a child with chocolate-covered digits miffed me to no end) so this is just to warn you that, if you enjoy these photos, you may be aiding (and abetting?) in a crime after the fact. i just feel it’s my responsibility to warn you. and if any vendor sees a photo of her booth and takes issue with it, i’ll be happy to remove your free publicity.

first up
i need this sweater in my life.
it’s sticks and stones by ann hanson knit with briar rose glory days
(as the tag clearly indicates)

briar rose definitely has one of the best booths, aesthetically.
it has a great mix of organization and planned carelessness
(read overflowing baskets of yarn here and there)
i’ve never had the chance to actually look at her stuff
since normally there’s a mob in the booth at rhinebeck.
overall i was drawn to her color aesthetic,
and she has some really nice bases,
but nothing needed to come home with me.
still, it wouldn’t have hurt to throw a ‘hello’ my way
as one of only two people in the booth at the time.
just sayin’. can’t hurt to be friendly.
(don’t worry. you weren’t alone. i wasn’t greeted at most of the booths)

then i saw this old familiar signthis bitch is at every festival.
i swear she must live for these shows. honestly, i loved that she was there. she’s like 10 feet tall and looks exactly like storybook spinner. i totally observe her every time i see her. she has this potent energy that just exudes ‘fiber festival’. someday, i’ll work up the courage to kinnear her, not just her sign. though part of me believes she’s a witch. i’m not sure camera’s will work on her. (her name’s even morgaine for christ’s sake! i’m just sayin’. don’t spill water on her, just in case)

then i yearned for boat shuttles.
the weaving goddess lisa kobeck told me using a boat shuttle will improve my selvedges, so i’ve been in the market for one for a bit.
(she also says buying a floor loom will help, but i need to be realistic)
i knew i wanted something handmade and fancy looking like these guys,
but they were just a bit too pricey for me.
i often forget my taste far exceeds my budget.
i think this display was part of the kessinich loom booth,
but i might be wrong.

i strolled the ‘midway’
(just noticed that little dude in the corner popping his hip. work!)

listened to some real country tunes as i passed the carousel corral

stopped in on miss babs
(if you like that shawl drin’s wearing, go here. she designed it)

miss babs is another one of those booths that’s generally mobbed
so it was nice to be able to take my time and really see her yarn.
again, i left without buying any yarn
(a testament to either my will or my poverty)
but did return for some fiber i just couldn’t pass up.
funny how the only thing i bought was from the place where someone actually said hi to me. it wasn’t the most enthusiastic welcome, but it was nice to have my presence acknowledged.
(these are presents so it doesn’t really count as buying anything right?)

there was this dress
about which i have no information because i was unprepared and had no notebook. i vaguely recall overhearing the pattern is forthcoming in knitty, but that could be total lies. i did give her my card so if she sees this, hopefully she’ll leave a comment and i’ll update the info.
(outtake: i even accidentally kinneared the dress. it needs to be seen!)

there was also this sweater
about which i also have no information
(so i was off my game a little)
again, i gave her my card.
hopefully she sees this.

i saw this coyote
(he looks like he knows, ya know?)

and these foxes
(zing!) i took their photo for my fiber festival friend in absentia, andrea,
who has ‘a thing’ for the farm boys at these fiber events.
thus far, she hasn’t gone home with one.
(that i know of)

then i suddenly found myself right in front of the parade of sheep
in costumes no less.

this girl and her sheep are obviously the best in show.
diy sun costume + diy solar system on your black sheep (space!) = ?
genius.

but i’ve forgotten the best part!
a giant fucking rooster at the entrance!
i take this as a sign tina will one day come with me.
the chicken/rooster is, after all, her totem.

(we visited your yarn at the fold booth, tina!)
all in all a lovely day.

p.s. thanks for being my sugar momma, lynae,
when there was no atm to be found.
p.p.s while i began this post last night, at one point, i just couldn’t go on. i finished it this afternoon. i’m feeling better, but i’m still afraid to eat.

blog love, german style.

August 20, 2012

my dear friend, deb, over at first we read, then we write
nominated me for a liebster blog award.
as i read her post,
about how it wasn’t a real award
and how it was basically a chain letter
wrapped in an ‘i like your blog’ love note,
i prayed that, when i reached the bottom,
my name wouldn’t be on there.

of course it was the first.

i’ve spent three years building this blog from the ground up.
i don’t design, or sell anything, so all of my traffic
comes from people who like to read what i write.
how could i possibly taint the blog
with this drivel?!

then. . . . i got a grip
and decided there were two very good reasons to ‘accept’ the award:

1. the opening of deborah’s post echoed my own childhood too much to ignore the bizarre connection. whereas she dreaded getting a chain letter because she,

“didn’t have ten friends to pass a letter on to.”

and

“There is nothing more frightening than hocus-pocus to a girl than the embarrassment of not having ten friends to forward a chain letter on to.”

i was the exact opposite.
i prayed for a chain letter to arrive in the mail.
it’s presence would act as proof that i did, indeed, have friends.
life as an only child growing up in the country a solid 30 minutes from the closest of any of my classmates meant i didn’t really do the whole ‘sleepover birthday party play date’ thing. add to that the fact that i was, well, ‘different’, and i think i desired any affirmation that i was liked.

2. this may be the only blog award i will ever receive. i don’t know how people get nominated for those things, but i do see them occasionally on other blogs (usually ones i feel don’t deserve to be read let alone awarded). i also don’t know if people even care about that kind of thing. but just in case, i won’t turn down what might be the only ‘official’ validation that my blog is liked.

and so,
i present
my liebster award post!

parameters:
1. each person must post eleven things about themselves
2. answer the 11 questions the person giving the award has set for you
3. create eleven questions for the people you will be giving the award to
4. choose eleven people to award and send them a link to your post
5. go to their page and tell them
6. no tag backs

i tried to think of ways to make this more creative,
but i think the great thing about parameters is
you don’t really have to think.
so here goes.

eleven things about me:
i ripped off my style of cursive in the fifth grade from amanda niedszwiecki (sp?), which required switching from holding my pencil on my middle finger to my ring.

one of my biggest childhood traumas is when i was at a farm and was chasing a duckling because i wanted to hold it. i accidentally stepped on it. it did not die quickly. the image haunts me to this day.

when i was about three or four, this boy (paul?) and i used to make a pillow fort and make out. when we got caught i was interrogated. i cried.

i’ve been romantically attracted to exactly one female in my life. her name was sally.

i kinda want to have a kid of my own one day (i think), but doubt it will ever happen.

my (friendly) prejudice against continental knitters makes me think of the doctor seuss story, the sneetches.

aging is one of my greatest fears.

mo’s official akc name is henri’s molière the antimisanthrope.

i bruise easily, and my skin takes color like you wouldn’t believe.

i remember that, as a child, i hated how adults would never listen to me or take anything i had to say seriously. i was determined that, when i was an adult, i would treat children with the respect they deserve. as an adult, i can’t stand children.

i often blog in the nude.

answers to deb’s eleven questions:
Who? – miss scarlet

What? – murdered mr. boddy

When? – last night

Where? – in the hall

How? – using yvette the call girl to do her dirty work (candlestick)

Why? – to protect her business of ‘secrets’

And your favourite word is? – cooooooock! (inside joke)

And your favourite sentence is? – ‘it is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife’

Do sheeps shrink in the rain? – nope!

If a taxi goes backwards, does the driver owe you money? – when you enter a taxi, you give up any and all freedoms. you can only pray he’ll let you leave his domain alive and unharmed.

Really? – really.

my eleven questions to the bloggers i will soon nominate:
how was your first sexual experience?

what is your greatest prejudice?

who’s your favorite knitting blogger that isn’t me?

what is the achievement about which you are most proud?

what is your biggest grammatical pet peeve?

what is your most prized possession?

do you enjoy lying?

do prefer men, women, or other?

what is your drink of choice?

what is the best place in the world?

do you think, like i do, that continental knitters are like the sneetches without stars?

my nominations (in no particular order):]
completely cauchy
hizknits
makes the things
martinimade
the daily purl
the panopticon
the yarn harlot
craftivore
blue moon blog
yarn over matter
un joyeux foullis

done!

i’m going to skip the last couple rules.
i’ve frankly done enough work already on this post.
besides, i doubt i would be able to get them all to ‘accept’.
but it would be cool if a couple of them played along.
it wasn’t so bad.

114

August 10, 2012

though the random number generator refuses to embed today, it did pick the winner for the bitches get stitches third blogiversary giveaway.
it chose number 114, so medora is the winner!
(you can all hate her now)

congratulations, medora!
you should have an email from blue moon with your $100 gift certificate.
(do contact me if you haven’t gotten it)

to everyone else,
thanks so much for entering.
here’s to another eventful year of blogging!

(i hope)

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!

frustration 2012

August 7, 2012

i am frustrated. (get your head out of the gutter and focus, please)
i have literally been swatching for days for my rhinebeck sweater,
and frankly i’m thinking of throwing in the towel.

i want to make dale of norway’s liberec,
but i cannot for the life of me obtain the proper gauge.
(things might get technical and mathy after this)

the pattern was designed for either falk or heilo,
both of which are listed as sport-weight yarns.
i’ve decided to use blue moon fiber arts bfl sport
(which is amazing and if i ever figure this out,
you’ll get to see my amazing colors).

the gauge i’m supposed to obtain is 24sts/4″ on 3mm needles.
(my needle gauge says that’s a u.s. 3 but the internet says a u.s 3 is 3.25mm. anyway) on that needle, i was getting 30-32sts/4″.

i began to worry.

after swatching 5 times (5 times!!),
i’m up to a size 5 needle (3.75mm)
and i’m still not on gauge.
not to mention the fabric is loose for my taste.

how on earth are these norwegians getting that gauge on that needle?

then it hit me.

it’s not a sport-weight yarn. it’s dk.

ravelry says it’s sport.
the dale of norway website says it’s sport.
but it’s not. it can’t be.

i returned to ravelry. yep. heilo and falk are listed as sport.
then i saw the little ‘comments’ tab and my heart sank a little.
i clicked on it and what did i discover?
ravelers say it’s really more like a dk than a sport,
and even thicker than some yarns that are listed as a dk!

the only thing i can think of is dale of norway is calling their yarn sport-weight because they are knitting a dk yarn to a sport gauge on a smaller than standard needle (which will of course make a lovely thick fabric for skiing and improve stitch definition) rather than look at the actual diameter or wpi of their yarns.

in my despair, i considered just finishing the vest i was knitting/spinning for rhineback last year (and have secretly been working on this summer) since i was unable to complete it on time and has been hibernating ever since. then i remembered i’ve been emailing the designer because the pattern is wrong. i found one big error, and they sent me a corrected pattern. then i went to continue and found another. what really baffles me is how several people have ‘successfully’ knit the vest. how? the pattern it wrong! and it’s not something one can just figure out. i need the information from the designer!
(at what point should they offer me a refund?)

anyway.

i have a decision to make.

since ravelry tells me the only colorwork sweaters i can knit with sport-weight yarn are by dale of norway, i must either do some math to make this sweater happen at the gauge i’m getting (we won’t even go into the horror of row gauge and color work). or i can just give up.
i have a significant amount of extra yarn for the main color.
maybe i’ll just forget colorwork all together.

regardless,
i need to decide soon if i have any hope of finishing by rhinebeck.

suggestions??
i could use the advice.

tina killed my chicken

July 12, 2012

it has come to my attention,
that the chicken tina named in my honor,
ambrosia,
has gone missing in the woods.
i believe she decided that living with her comrades was boring,
and ran off with a lady-coyote with whom it had fallen madly in love.
the only question is, where will they make their home?

(tina thinks the coyote killed her, but that just seems silly to me. right?)

but let this be a lesson to all of you;
never let your daughters out the coop!
ambrosia, wherever you are now,
i dedicate this song, to you:


you’ll be missed, ambrosia.

luckily,
steven jr. is alive and well.
nice and cool after his first shearing.
i might even get the fleece!
alpaca allergy be damned.

read the post and
send debanhams an email
i think hand knitting should count for something.
help kate show them it does.

on my table

June 21, 2012

in case any of you worried about my week-long silence,

fear not!

i was fulfilling the familial duty required of all sons:
i helped clean out the garage.

now while for most people,
that would be a job for one person
and could be completed in half a day,
our garage is larger than most apartments.
it’s really more of a huge barn where the cars live
(it has a second floor)

my mother and i spent a few days
lifting,
cleaning,
sorting,
swearing,
sweating,
bickering,
and tossing aside with reckless abandon a couple decades worth of all things found in a country garage. a dumpster that could house an elephant was our ally.

a weekend of generally manliness,
where my y chromosome shone with pride,
left little time to blog about my life of fiber.

this evening,
i’ll catch you up.
let’s see what’s on my table, shall we?

first, a f.o.
yarn – socks that rock medium weight
colorway – rare gem dyed by yours truly

this cowl has been done for ages but honestly, i’ve felt a little ambivalent about sharing it. this is my first go at a design (sort of). i learned a whole lot while i knit it, but it didn’t come out as i envisioned it. some things exceeded my expectations, others,
i couldn’t get to do what i wanted.

still,
with a few tweaks,
i can imagine it being something i could be proud of.
time will tell.

next, another f.o.
yarn – luscious silk
colorway – copperline

now this, i’m proud of!
it’s a simply-woven scarf, true,
but there’s something beautiful about perfecting simplicity.
think about how long it took you to master your knitting gauge
and how lovely a flawlessly executed stockinette sweater is!
that’s what this scarf is about to me. (check out that sexy fringe)

i was really worried about the evenness of this scarf.
i’ve never woven with silk before
and it was difficult to manage;
it lacks wool’s forgiving nature.
it was especially difficult to maintain the selvages.
but for once in my fibery existence,
that shit blocked right out!

just in time to give it to its intended recipient.

and look!
i still have a whole other skein!
note that this is an older skein of luscious silk, over 300 yards.
newer ones only have 218 yards

this weekend,
i’m headed to the knot hysteria gourmet retreat (jealous?)
whenever i go to a fiber event,
i check my stock of business cards.
i use them to promote the blog (bien sur)
and make it easy for people to friend me on ravelry.
since i was running low,
i placed an order.
i may have over done it.
i don’t remember ordering this many.
i bet it was after midnight.
(the box is full too)

as you can see,
the loom is re-warped.
(the color in that photo is so off as to be laughable)
this is supposed to be a gift for this weekend.
i haven’t started weaving or anything,
but i can finish,
right?

so i’m a little out of touch with reality. big whoop.
i mean, it’s not like i think i can finish this sweater.
but i am going to try to pull it off for rhinebeck.
let’s check the facts:
yarn weight – sport
needle size – u.s. 2 & 4
size – fuck that shit!
like i’m telling you my size.
let’s just say,
it’ll be dude-sized.

this will be an extreme test of my knitterly endurance.
but hey, it’s rhinebeck.

and it’s not like i’m the only delusional knitting blogger around.