If you're not knitting, the terrorists win

(My mostly on-topic ramblings about knitting. And life in general. My life in specific.)

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Location: Indiana, United States

I'm a middle aged mother of 2 grown children and wife to a man who doesn't seem to mind my almost heroin-like yarn addiction. I spend my time writing, knitting, and generally stressing out.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Yarn (Window) Shopping Trip

There are so many new and wonderful yarns out right now. I wish there was time to try them all.

Lion Brand's new yarn is DaVinci. It's a really pretty super bulky yarn with gradual tone changes. It feels very soft and looks very sophisticated. I could definitely see this as a scarf or a hat.

I don't think you'd even want to do more than a simple stitch pattern with it--ribbing or moss stitch or a cable at the very most. The color changes and texture of the yarn is enough.

Speaking of changes...

This is Red Heart Boutique's Changes. It's "Six Different Yarns In One," according to the label. You can see some of the different textures here.

This would make a great wrap, or one of those really deep cowls. I think the different textures would give a wrap a kind of Boho look, very arty.

Comes in a lot of different colors. I like this one, a jewel-tone purple and there's a very deep forest green, too.

And look at this! Another Red Heart Boutique yarn called Swerve. It's got this loopy texture and multi-tonal effect going on. (Well, not on this particular skein, but some color choices are multi-colored.)

You know I'm a fan of these highly textured novelty yarns, especially for scarves. I'm definitely going to have to get some of this to make my own winter scarf. It always makes me laugh--the scarves that garner the most compliments, the ones that non-knitters are absolutely amazed by, are the ones that are the easiest to knit. I think this one is going to be that scarf this year.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Not Knitting: Rings

I learned to make wire rings at Gencon this year. It was really cool. The CATS ladies who taught the dichroic glass class were so very generous with teaching their skills.

I made this one while I was there, to match the dichroic bracelet I made this year (and the dichroic necklace from last year). It was really quick and easy and looks so sharp!

It was so easy and fun, in fact, that I was showing it to everyone. "Hey, look what I made!" The only thing I really didn't love about this project was the realization of how fat my fingers actually are. I guessed my ring size to be much smaller than what it actually is. Like two and a half times smaller.

Fat little sausage fingers.
Sad face.

Now, I didn't have a ring mandrel at home yet, so I used a big fat wooden knitting needle that I thought would be just the right size for a child's ring. And I made this one for my niece. I don't have a small child to model this, so here it is in my hand. I used a clear bicone bead in the center and two red seed beads on the sides.

But then I bought a mandrel so I could do rings for myself. I made this one today.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

So Tiny And Tasty

Have you seen Lion Brand's new product, Bonbons?

It's a package of tiny skeins of yarn for use in tiny projects. Very cute. And the title is pretty appropriate. Bonbons. That's like something small and cute enough to eat, right?

Just so you know, I don't eat yarn any more.

Anyway, I haven't gotten these yet because... well, because they're tiny little skeins of yarn and it runs about $8.99 a pack. Sorry. I have a million tiny little skeins leftover from some other stuff. And the patterns LB has put out for them are not... Well, come one. Don't we all know how to make a pompon or change colors to make a stripe?

But I really want to buy them. So, hey, Lion Brand, maybe you could come up with a really clever way of marketing them? Like creating some tiny Christmas ornament patterns with them and package them together as a kit? Or tiny baby shower favors? Or Easter Basket favors? Or amigurumi?

A while back, I was given a bunch of little skeins in a plastic bag. This bag came, I think, from a child's knitting kit or something. I'm going to be using this yarn to make some small Christmas ornaments like sweaters and stockings and mitts.

Stay tuned.

Monday, September 10, 2012

White Starflaked

Starflaked is such a nice pattern. It just works up so quickly. I really enjoyed making the two blue/silver thread ornaments (except the first row on dpns and I really can't be blamed for that, can I?) so I thought I'd try the pattern with a larger gauge.

So here it is with size 6ers and Bernat Handicrafter Holidays in White Sparkle. This went super, super fast. Maybe because of the larger needles and larger yarn. Maybe because this was the third time I'd done it.

I used the crochet chain down the leg of the star method this time, too. (Giving those crochet hooks a workout! Yeah!)

I did this one in an hour. Or 50 minutes. Whatever an episode of Dr. Who without commercials is. I'm gonna make a bunch of these for the tree.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Shopping Trip: Halloween

Is it September already? Yikes! That means the year is 3/4 done. It also means Halloween decorations are out. And you know I love me some Halloween decorations.

Dollar Tree had some pretty nice stuff. Here are shelfloads of ravens and those creepy pictures that change when you walk past.

And Michael's had some really awesome ready-to-paint ceramic stuff too. M and I had a lot of fun fooling around with these.

"What are you doing? Are you picking your nose, Broomhilda?"

"You don't know me, Boney."

"Mmm. But I do."

Yeah. I know. We're five year olds.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

I'm Gonna Need A Robot

I hate it when you start a project, but you don't have all the tools you need to finish. Like this one. I got this stand-up display in at the store and I would love to feature it, but I apparently don't have the necessary equipment, according to the instruction sheet.

Yes, I read the instruction sheet. Not that there was much reading involved. It was all pictures.

But, as you can see, step one is to get your robot to unfold the display. Bad luck for me, I guess.

I could really use a robot these days. Especially one like this one:

Our big Pancakes: the Gathering event is coming up soon. It just keeps getting larger and larger. Last time around, I made 10 pounds of pancake mix--somewhere between 250 and 280 pancakes. And not just any pancakes.

Mine are awesome.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Friday FO: Starflakes

Well, they are kind of a FO. They still have to dry. I'm going to count them as FOs, though, because I'm done with what I have to do to them.

This is the Starflaked knitted snowflake pattern from Victoria Smith. Found it on Ravelry. I wanted to do some knitted snowflake ornaments to give to R and M this year and to put some more ornaments on my tree. (You can never have too many ornaments, you know.) And Starflaked is great pattern. It's simple, quick, and looks way more complicated and fancy than it is.

Really, the only thing about these that causes me any problem at all is that very first row on dpns. I find it mildly annoying to cast on 6 stitches over 3 needles--size 1 needles!--with crochet thread.

Gracie says "Language, lady. Tsk."

But it's really only mild annoyance. And it's really only that first row. Besides, if you've done socks, you can handle these snowflakes. They are not even as complicated as turning the heel on a sock.

I did the first one in about 2 hours. It probably would have gone quicker if I were wearing glasses.

Here's what it looked like halfway through.

You'll notice the cut ends hanging off the points. There are two ways to do these individual points. One: you can do what I did and cut the yarn when you finish one of the points, and then reattach it when you start the next one. And two: you can use a crochet hook to chain down the side of the point and then pick up working the next point from there.

I highly recommend you use the second method. It's just so much nicer to only have to weave in the start and end pieces, instead of 12 separate threads.

So that's what I did when I made the second one. Chaining down the side is the way to go, folks.

Also, I used size 4 dpns on this second one, with the same crochet thread. Big difference there. Less swearing, for one thing.

It's hard to tell from this picture, because it's not yet blocked, but the larger needles really helped the lacy look of the snowflake. So I think I like this one a little more.

Here they are, side by side, blocked and stiffened and drying.

By the way, I used Plaid brand Stiffy to stiffen these because I am, at heart, a 12-year-old. I was giggling my butt off about my Stiffy. Ha!

Monday, September 03, 2012

Constructive Destruction

I've been going to Goodwill every week or so to check out sweaters to deconstruct, felt, or otherwise re-purpose. Most of the time, I'm looking for 100% wool. But when I saw this sweater, I knew I had to get it.

It's a wool blend and the sweater will fit no one I know. Frankly, it would probably be too warm of a sweater for anyone to wear. But look at the color! It's fantastic! It's like the lovechild of a roll of Lifesavers and a sheep!

And it was half off so, really, I had no choice but to buy it.

The hard part of this process was taking the sweater apart. Apparently the textile worker who assembled it (It's a hand knit, so the label says.) did not want it to ever come apart. Look at this shoulder seam. It's seamed and backstitched and the ends are knotted and woven in.

No, Mr. Scissors! No cutting! I've got this!

Once I got beyond the shoulder seams, it went more smoothly. Of course, it probably would have gone even smoother if I had not broken my glasses a few weeks ago... (Oh, don't be sad. It's not like I ever wore them, anyway.) But glasses definitely would have helped me see those seaming stitches.

Luckily for me, it was all stockingette stitch, with a little bit of ribbing at the bottom. So it all frogged out nicely. I think it looks kinda cool, all kinky like this.

And here is some of it, tied up and ready to wash and dry.

Not sure what I will do with this. I want to do something that really shows off the color. Ah, well. It will have to wait until the Christmas knitting is done anyway.

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