One of my bosses (the one who drives us downtown and who I directly report to and will eventually replace when he retires) has been out a lot for the past two weeks because he's been sick. So, it's been pretty slow around here lately. Booooring. Although we supposedly have a "field trip" today...but that's going to be boring too. Blaaaaah.
So to alleviate my boredom and to perhaps incur boredom in you guys, here are a few patterns that I'm excited to knit (it's all in ze ravelry queue):
1. Noro Striped Scarf by Jared Flood (of Brooklyn Tweed) - Everyone's doing it or has done it, specifically the Yarn Harlot who is in 1x1 ribbed Noro obsession right now...
2. The Inga Hat by Sheila Macdonald - It's not a beret or slouchy, but it's damn pretty. I want it in gray and cream.
3. Entrelac Scarf by Allison LoCicero - Been wanting to make this one for FOREVER
4. Swiss Cheese Scarf by Winnie Shih (Ravelry download) - This calls for lace weight yarn which makes me want to gouge my eyes out, but gosh, it's a cute scarf. Maybe a mod is in order.
5. Selbu Modern by Kate Gagnon - This beret is sooooo pretty. And I had the pleasure of seeing it knit up at Stitches East. I want it. And I want it to be soft and fuzzy.
6. Cashmere Fingerless Gloves by Whitney at the Purl Bee - These are so simple and adorable...Purl Bee is my favorite knitting site as of late...
....and about a million hats. I'm really into them right now. They make big hair like mine look awesome. And it's balls cold outside.
My mom is in DC at her hotel in Dupont working, and I just got out of a 4 hour field trip/meeting. There was pizza though, so it was all ok. But I may sneak out early since I'm technically done for the day....yeeeeahhh. I could use some Caribou coffee.
Anyway. I'm going to finish the Little Gems Mitts this week....ish. I just HAVE TO FINISH SOMETHING. I already started to cast on another project last night until I had to smack my own hand. And getting that yarn in the mail won't help matters. Phooey. I WISH MY HANDS WERE LIKE LIGHTNING. So I could finish all this stuff, quick.
The top one is the yarn that I'm going to use to remake Melody's hat, but I'll be making it with the Big Blue Beret pattern. I think it suits her more. The other two I got just for fun (and they just happened to be on sale). 2 skeins of Noro Silk Garden Lite (in the above shown colorway) and 3 skeins of Misti Alpaca Suri Silk. You all know I can't resist Noro...or Alpaca.....
But! I do have a plan in mind. I'm going to start writing patterns soon. Yup! I'm starting with simple constructions like hats, scarves, and mittens, and then incorporating different stitch designs. What has brought on this new confidence, you ask? This book:
It's pretty amazing. It's a stitchonary type book, but one of the most extensive that I've seen. It has fair isle, lace, cables, decorative stitches, everything. So, starting out slow, I think I can create some pretty great patterns. It will have to wait of course, until my gift making is done. Wahhh.
I also bought Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow and Dostoyevsky's Notes From the Underground/The Double. I haven't read as much as I usually do lately. However, I did bring Murakami's The Wind Up Bird Chronicle with me on the metro today to slowly continue it. It's such a good book. So, so good. I suggest it to all.
My mom is coming in tomorrow! And then only a week until I'm in for Thanksgiving. Although I'm nervous about it, because I have to figure out a way to appease my family and my friends in Richmond by dividing my time. My mom of course always wins in the end but my friends are pushy too. I love them. I'm going to try and not stress myself out about it, because I miss KY and I want it to be a magical trip. I'm so excited to cook Polish food. No, my family isn't Polish, we just pick a different country every year to do food from. Because we're awesome. But we'll be without my little sister to help prepare the night before and morning of, so it may be a bit more laborous. However, Mel will be there, and hopefully in a good mood from recieiving the above mentioned hat. Yep.
It's a good thing I don't have babies. If I did, I may not be able to help as much with the food preparation because I'd have to divide my time, and if Melody/Constance couldn't help, well, my mom would get stuck doing all the work. Which I don't agree with, at all. Here's the thing: Blake and I see eachother everyday. We can be apart and with our families for the holidays. And honestly, even if I did have kids, I may consider switching every year with Blake so that we can each be with our families. I don't think that sounds bad at all. Sorry, on a little bit of a passive- aggressive rant. I'm just a little annoyed that my little sister is only going to be there for half a day. Argggg.
On another sort of rant-y note, I'm ready for Blake and I to move out on our own...LIKE, NOW. That's all I'll say on that one.
Give me words of praise and encouragment so that I may finish my knitting projects without collapsing. So much left to do!
eskimo kisses (it's effing cold)
A list of 10 movies that I love to watch because of what the interior of the characters' houses look like: (in no particular order)
1. The Baxter (have to agree with Peachcake on this one)...Baha Cuisine?!
2. Lost in Translation - This more relates to interiors in general, as it doesn't show anyone's residence (just the hotel). And this movie is set in Japan, so duh, of course I love it.
3. The Science of Sleep
4. 2046 - again with the asian influences, this time Chinese meets mid-century modern
5. Me and You and Everyone We Know - How can you NOT have cute interiors when Miranda July is involved?
6. Amadeus - Garish Austrian Rococo? I DIG IT
7. Me Without You - For two reasons: the cool interiors, and the fact that Michelle Williams is my super celebrity crush. Seriously. I love her.
8. Marie Antoinette - Once again, so over the top and amazing.
9. Blade Runner - Ridley Scott used a Frank Lloyd Wright house for this movie, and a lot of dim lighting effects. Schweet.
10. New York Stories - In no way is this movie Allen/Scorsese/Coppola's best AT ALL, but the use of loft space is pretty fabulous...
On the knitting front, I want to finish a project instead of continuing to start new ones. And I want to finish all you bastards' gifts so I can make awesome hats and such for myself. Yep. Hopefully I'll finish the other Little Gems Mitt and have pictures soon! In the meantime, you're the bosses, applesauces.
The variegated yarn makes it kind of cute, no? It fits perfectly, and the single ply wool that it's made from is sooooooooo cozy and warm. I love it. I plan on making many more, which I would love to shape into berets. I'm digging berets right now. Maybe it's all the classic French films I've been watching. Now I just need a new winter coat to go with my knitted goods.
So after knitting this perfect hat, another issue reared it's ugly head regarding a gift I'm making for my older sister melody. Remember the issue I was having with the dye and size of the Pithy Hat? Well, I did try another round of setting the dye. It worked okay, but not completely. Also, I've been blocking the hat to get the cast on edge to stretch a bit, as it's too tight. Well, Manos is sort of scratchy to begin with. Luxurious and beautiful, but not crazy soft. So, as I'm sure you can imagine, all these issues have aggravated the yarn just a bit, to the point where it's not felted or anything, but it's gotten rougher. And it's still a bit snug. And the yarn didn't make a very airy or drapey fabric, making the hat sort of stiff.
So I'm starting over with Melody's gift. This is kind of a risk, as her birthday is on Thanksgiving week which gives me very little time, but hey, I knit the above hat in about 4 hours, so I can swing this. I'm thinking that I'll purchase some Karabella 8 in kelly green for her project, as it's crazy soft and the colorway she requested. I can't say I'm not frustrated though. ARG. I can't proclaim total dislike for Manos' 100% Wool, but I probably won't be buying it again anytime soon.
So, the question is, do I use the Pithy Hat pattern again? Or do I find a new pattern? Hmmm....looks like I have a few hours to spend on Ravelry. yes.
So my weekend was pretty awesome! To be honest, the Washington Craft Show was cool at first, but became a bit boring after so many hours. Mostly because A) everything was WAAAAY too expensive for me to buy and B) although impressive, the stuff wasn't really my taste for the most part. I mean, there was some cool fiber stuff there, but again, too pricey for me. However, I did earn some extra money and felt good about helping out, so it was cool.
The absolute highlight of my weekend was Stitches East on Sunday. It was such a fun day, and Blake and I decided to take train/bus/light rail instead of drive, so it was kind of an adventure. Less talk, more pictures!
Blake and I on the Greenbelt bus.Blake likes to read to me on car rides or long trips. Here, he's reading "Little, Big" by John Crowley.
The WEBS booth....it was vast and amazing.
Blake looks silly here, but this is the only actual picture I was able to take with my camera inside Stitches until some cunt told me I couldn't. I was pretty sure she was just being cranky (as I saw others taking pictures), but the rest of my pics were sneakily taken on my phone. That aside, this HUGE bin had big ass bags of yarns for 50% off...pretty exciting.
The entrance into Stitches.
I don't remember this vendor, but I did manage to get a random picture of beautiful handspun wool...yum.
Blake picked out a silk/wool blend yarn for a nice cabled scarf that I'm going to knit him....
Me checking out my goods at Subway after.
All the yarn I bought....I was on a budget, but I still managed to come out pretty well. The jewel of my collection is the black and white yarn in the bottom left corner....100% alpaca from Pajolo Alpacas...their yarns were so soft and amazing that even Blake was struggling to hold back the drool. Pretty expensive for me, but totally worth it.
It was a really fun trip....I want to attend more fiber/knitting festivals, like Rhinebeck and maybe even Taos.
So, that aside, here's what I've been working on for the past few days...I need to finish my WIPs!
These are a birthday gift for my younger sister...I made her Knitty's Fetching last xmas, but they've come apart a bit because the yarn used and my past finishing skills left a little to be desired...so she's in need of a new pair of fingerless gloves. I think they are very cute...and very appropriate for her. A bit tedious though, as they're knit on teeny needles with teeny yarn...but the fun colorwork keeps me sane.
I miss Kentucky. I'm so excited I get to come home on Thanksgiving. And my mom is coming to visit me again in about a week. She makes DC extra amazing.
- At my day job until 5-ish
- To the Convention Center to work the Washington Craft Show from 6-9:30
- Washington Craft Show again from 11am to 6pm (extra money + crafts = GOOD)
- STITCHES EAST!!!! Figure out how the hell to get to Baltimore, and spend probably way too much money on yarn and things...from 10am-4pm. AND I'm dragging Blake with me. When I asked him excitedly if he was ready for the awesomeness of Stitches East, he said that he would have to practice his "oooohs" and "ahhhs" at the abundance of squishy yarn. I think he's got the gist of it.
So it'll be crazy. But, I'll make some extra money, get to see lots of crafts, and maybe even pick up a few handmade gifts. Be sure to check all this out if you're in the area!!!
I know he's a politician. I know politicians are full of sound bytes. However, this inclusiveness is something I have never seen in my adult life in our chief executives. Everyone I voted for had a victory last night: Moran, Warner, Obama/Biden. The downside of yesterday's election was the majority vote to ban gay mariiage in California. What a disappointment....you'd think CA wouldv'e voted differently.Last night I heard a story of someone who is close to me (not close by my choice, but close because of marriage) ask what our country was coming to, and referred to Obama as a Muslim and an additional horribly racist word that I do not have in my vocabulary. On the less extreme side of that, many blogs and internet resources are still very strongly anti-Obama and connecting him with everything they possibly can, from his middle name being Hussein (why does this matter so much?) to his election damaging the very fiber of our country.
Here's what I wonder...what's the big fucking deal? Sure, I know that it sucks when your side loses, us Dems had to deal with that for about 6 years until we finally crept back into the House and Senate. But bi-partisanship aside, I don't understand why there's still so much hatred toward Obama. He's a great speaker, a professional and empathic politician, he wants to pull us out of Iraq (finally), and he's someone who understands (as we all do) that out country is in a poor state. Even if you don't agree with his policies, he won the election, and I don't believe that fact is going to reign in anarchy and chaos on our nation. I mean c'mon. We've had Bush in office for 8 years. Could it get any worse?
I am sure that it comes down to race...there are so many people who will not support someone who is Black...a mentality I have never understood. However, on the bright side, we DID elect Obama, so we must be getting somewhere. Hallelulah. And boo ya.
In addition to my rant, I am having SERIOUS issues with the Pithy Hat I knit for my sister (see the green cable-y one in the posts below). The dye is....not doing what it should. I of course bought it already dyed, and it's coming off on my hands and bleeds when I wet it. I tried taking the advice of a person on a Ravelry forum by putting it in vinegar water and zapping it in the microwave, but it still bleeds badly. I do NOT want to scrap the hat...the yarn is beautiful and so is the hat. If any of you have any advice, it would be most welcome. Arggg.
Anyway, onto knitting! I found a new favorite technique over the weekend, and there's quite a tale that goes with it. It begins like this: Ok, so you know the "SECRET Project" that I was working on and finished? Well, after looking at it for a couple of days, I knew it wasn't right. The yarn wasn't right for the project nor the person it was made for, so I frogged the whole thing. It was a bit tragic, but most definitely the right thing to do. And, since that yarn will no longer be used for the SECRET project, I can show you the yarn!
Although it looks harmless enough, this yarn is extremely bright and rainbow-y when knit up. It has bright blues, oranges, greens, pinks, EVERYTHING. It's a nice yarn though, I think I'll make it into a nice hat/beret for myself later. Oh yeah, and the yarn is Noro Iro in colorway 70. Noro yarn rools.
Ok, so I bought different yarn and found a much more appropriate pattern. And I learned stranded knitting! Well, I had attempted it before when I was making the Matrix mittens for my mom (which I still need to make before her birthday), but I was doing it all wrong. I was holding both colors in my right hand and get the skeins all twisted up together, so at the end of each round I had to unravel them. Considerably time-consuming. So, after a few rounds of this, I thought, "Is there a better way to do this?" And there was. Except that it involved me learning the dreaded Continental style of knitting (I'm an English knitter)...
So, as you can see here, I'm knitting a knit stitch with my right hand (It's a dark picture, but I'm holding one color in each hand), as I do normally. However, I had to hold the contrast color with my left hand, and knit it Continental Style...
So, the stranded method uses both English and Continental style knitting at the SAME TIME. Crazy. Although I'm really glad I learned because I love the way Fair Isle knitting looks and it is, of course, created using the stranded knitting method. The back of the work (or wrong side) will look like this with stranded knitting:
Once again, I know ti's a dark picture, but you can see the yarn being "floated" behind, which give the entire fabric a double thickness. I like it. I think I may even like stranded knitting more than entrelac, and you all know how much I love entrelac. I've already put a bunch of Fair Isle and Selbu projects in my queue. Being a knitter is awesome.
Some upcoming projects that I have in the works:
-Jaime's Stripey Hat
-Katie Bell's Endpaper Mitts
-Little C's Little Gems Mitts and Kittyville Hat
-Dusteeno's Fingerless Manly Mitts
-Doug's Eraserhead Pillow
-Emilie's Pencil Scarf
Oh yes! And as per Jelly Donut's request, here is the link to the Pencil Scarf pattern, found on Zakka Life's blog. It's going to be my youngest niece's Christmas gift, as she's a little artist.
Things are coming along, and getting all of this done before Christmas doesn't seem that unrealistic to me anymore. Am I crazy? Maybe. But I'm also prolific and AWESOME.