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, March 26, 2015

Coming Right Along

The lace tablecloth is coming along nicely. I've been working on it pretty much every evening, if only for a little bit. I'm happy to say, I've passed the first cutoff point for the doily and I'm pretty close to the second point. So far so good.

The bad part about being this far along is that it's nearly impossible to get a good progress picture. Well, I suppose I could get one if I took it off the needles and put it on some waste yarn, but I'm not going to do that. No sense in tempting fate. With my luck, I'd probably step on the loose end of that waste yarn and pull it right out.

Not going to take that chance. You will have to use your imagination skills.

I'm going to have to take a couple of quick breaks from this, though, since I am only halfway through my swap ornament for this month and then end of the month is closing in on me. Plus, I have another swap that I am working on. Of course, I can't post either one of these until the recipient gets them, so I will just have to talk about them very vaguely.

Another update soon.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Big Crunch

Yeah, we are down to the wire. I just read this article today. Apparently that Big Bang thing was just temporary and the universe is going to collapse back down on itself in The Big Crunch.

Well, that sounds scary-ominous, doesn't it? I was under the impression the universe would end with a whimper, not a bang. The Big Crunch sounds more like a bang to me.

Of course, this event isn't going to happen for a few tens of billions of years, so I think I can get all my WIPs done in that timeframe. I might be able to knit through my stash, even!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Making Progress: Center Lace

The really nice thing about knitting from the center out is that it doesn't take very long to knit a whole lot of rows. This is something like the first 25 rows of the lace tablecloth. You can see the center flower pretty clearly now and there are enough stitches on the needle that I've switched to a circular needle.

Of course, there are only 144 stitches on the needle right now, but this thing is only going to get bigger. Still, I've got about 45 days left to knit itm, so I think I'm doing pretty well.

And you know, I can always stop at the doily stage if I don't have enough time to knit a whole tablecloth.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Funny How That Happens

So this lace tablecloth I'm working on starts with a crocheted ring. It's a chain, with double crochets in it. Then loops are pulled up through those DCs and put onto the dpns to be knit.

SO much easier than casting on a couple of stitches onto dpns and then trying to work with them until you increase enough to actually keep them on the needle, amiright?

Listen, when I was a brand-new knitter I made a lace tablecloth. I didn't know any better. Ha! No, seriously. It never occured to me that it would be difficult or complex. Nothing ever did. I had a book with a lace tablecloth in it, so why wouldn't I be able to knit it, right? I just started knitting and when I got to something I didn't know how to do, I just figured it out. This was before the days of the internet, you understand. So all my knitting instruction (after my mom had taught me knit and purl and my college roommate had taught me a couple of other things) came from magazines I bought, books I checked out of the library (and this was back before knitting was a hipster thing to do, so there weren't very many knitting books or magazines out there), or from just futzing about.

Some things were easy to figure out. Yarn Over? That's pretty self-explanatory. K2Tog? Knit two stitches at the same time? Sure. Knit through the back loop? Seems pretty straight forward. It was all just one stitch at a time. I really never thought that anything would be difficult to do.

Ah youth.

That lace tablecloth was the first thing I had ever knit on dpns or circular needles. I had never heard of such a thing as dpns. But, I approached it logically. If I wanted to put 6 stitches on 3 needles and work in a circle, it was pretty obvious how I had to cast on and get started. The problem was, I just couldn't manage crochet thread on dpns with only a few stitches, working in the round.

I don't remember with 100% accuracy, but I'm going to go out on a limb as say there was some swearing involved.

Anyway, I kept dropping these stitches or the needles would slide out of the stitches, or I couldn't manage a yarn over at the end of a dpn... I was very frustrated. I knew I could knit this tablecloth, but I was just having problems with that one part. So I improvised. I made a crochet ring. Then I drew loops up through the ring and put them on the dpn. It gave that beginning bit so much more stability and I was able to knit the rest of the cloth with no problem.

So, it's funny now when the pattern calls for a crochet ring to start.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Time Has Come, The Walrus Said...

...to start a special thing
A lacy, wacy tablecloth
For when they've exchanged their rings.

That's right. I'm a flippin' poet and you didn't know it. Or, I'm... What do you call it when you take someone else's poem and pervert it with your own words? A literary vandal. Yes. That's what I am. I am the walrus. Coo-coo-ca-choo.

Oh man. That was a tangent before I even got started. I've got to stop eating paint chips.

The time has come, seriously, to cast on for this lovely tablecloth for R and Bre's wedding present. It's a vintage pattern and I think it's especially pretty. I know they will love this. (If I haven't fiddled around too much to finish it on time.)

The last lace tablecloth I made took me about 6 months to do.

Of course, I had only been knitting less than a year at that point. I'm much faster now. Still, the first quarter of the year is so filled with birthdays and other events and holidays, that I have not really had a chance to cast on for this until now. That's another beautiful thing about this particular pattern... There are 5 different sizes.

So, if I run out of time to finish the full 5' diameter tablecloth, I can make a smaller one. Or a large doily. Or a medium doily. Or a coaster.

Crazy like a fox? Like a walrus, maybe. Coo-coo-ca-choo.

Friday, March 13, 2015

FO: Ringbearer Pillow

Cue fanfare.

Ta-DA! Finished the Ringbearer Pillow for R and Bre's wedding. And I have 49 days to spare! Whoo-hoo!

So, here are the stats on this pillow. I used Ring Bearer Pillow pattern by Susan Dirk. It's from the 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders book, which is a great book when you are looking to do something special but not something big. I knit this using Loops & Threads Woolike in White. It took very little yarn to do this. It is, after all, an 8 inch square. But I didn't meaure or weigh the skein.

I went down two sizes on needles, to a #3, because of my loose guage. Worked perfectly. This blocked out to exactly the right size. The beads are clear #8 seed beads. I had bought some opalescent cylinder beads too, but when I went to string them, I couldn't fit the needle through the hole. So, I used 7 seed beads in a row instead of seed-cylinder-seed-cylinder-seed-cylinder-seed. I actually like it better this way. The pattern calls for 24 charms and I couldn't really tell what kind of charms they were, with my bad eyes. I used these little silver balls, with a textured surface. Again, good call. These look perfect. I reused the ribbon topper from the original, since it came off in one piece and still looked great. (It was literally glued to the satin pillow. Yikes!)

Despite it being lace, this actually didn't take long to knit. I think the reason it took me so long is that I had so much time to knit it. I had so long that I could wait for the yarn to go on sale. I could wait until I had a coupon for the beads. I could wait to buy the beads and the pillow until I needed to use them. So, you know how it goes: Why put off tomorrow what you can put off today?

If you have a desire to knit a ringbearer pillow, by all means, go for it. Don't let me be the example of how long it takes to knit. I'm one of those people that need the deadline to motivate us.

Hm. I've got less than 50 days to knit a lace tablecloth for a wedding present. Is that motivation enough?

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Ring Bearer Progress

Making some real headway on the Ring Bearer Pillow for R and Bre's wedding. I've completed the knitting and blocking, and I purchased this satin ringbearer pillow.

No sense reinventing the wheel, eh? Besides, Michael's had it on clearance. I don't know. Maybe it was last season's style ring pillow? Anyway. It looks good this way. It just looks like everybody else's ringbearer pillow. And I want R and Bre to have a special pillow for their rings to be born upon.

Sorry. Got a little crazy with that sentence. I just think ringbearer is kind of a funny job. Like, the whole job is carrying the rings. Ha!

Plus, I'm not a huge fan of this mesh. So I took it off first.

I think it looks good this way, too. But I want it to be super special. Plus, you know, I knitted the lace top and all.

Now, silly me. I didn't take any pictures of it once I pinned the lace to the top of the pillow. Yes, that's right. I pinned it in place so that I would sew it on correctly and only have to sew it on once. Your old friend Patwoman isn't just sexy. The brain is a 10, too.

Sorry. I just hurt myself laughing. Not as much as I hurt myself pinning this thing down, though. Geez, how hard could it be to not stick my fingers every time?

A little blood on the satin is ok, right?

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Not Knitting, But Knitted

Check this out. It's another birthday present for Bre--a felted purse.

Now, full disclosure: I didn't knit this. It's a 100% lambswool sweater that I got from Goodwill a while back. It wouldn't fit me and frankly, I couldn't wear it if it did--it would be way too warm for me. But the cabling is just fantastic on this sweater and I could not pass it up. I felted it in the washer and made it into a purse.

These wooden handles are perfect for it. So is this gold satin for the lining. (I learned, during the sewing of the lining that satin is very slippery to sew.)

I must say, I'm really happy with the way this turned out. It's a great size, super cute, and really kind of classic looking. I think I want one just like it.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

FO: Birthday Lantern

This quick little knit is super cute. It's called Summer Lantern, but as you can see by my back yard, it's never going to be summer again.

Still, it's very pretty and a very easy knit--once you correct the pattern. There are a few typos in the pattern, but also two places that there are missing stitches.

Yeah, imagine me, going "What? That math doesn't work."

But it's pretty easy to figure out, if you look at the picture. I added my corrections into the project notes on my Ravelry page. Then I noticed some other people had added the same corrections. Still, the mistakes are minor and it knits up quickly.

I put this around a jar candle and tied it up with this delicate ribbon. Then, because it looked cool, I added the skeleton key.

This is a birthday present for Bre. We'll be celebrating Sunday and I can't wait to give this to her.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Winter Will Never End

It's warmer today. Warm enough to rain instead of snow. (Although the weatherman says it's going to change to freezing rain tonight and snow tomorrow.) That is not to say it's warm. It's about 40 degrees. That's still winter.

And the sky is still grey. The rain is killing some of the snow so the brown lawn is showing along the sidewalk now, like receding gums along the cement. This weather is killing me. If only there were some green or some blue, I could maybe hold on. But this dull, dirty, blandness of winter... It just feels like despair.

And snow again tomorrow. It's March, damn it. We should be done with snow. We should see some grass starting to shoot. We should see some animals coming out of their winter homes. We should see some damn sun, for crap's sake!

Why do I live in the midwest?

Monday, March 02, 2015

Fast FO: Black And Blue

Did I show you these #50s R and Bre got me a while back? Really nice wooden ones. You know I love the feel of thick wood in my hand.

What? That's not dirty. I was talking about knitting needles.

Anyway, one of the best things to do with these bigass needles is to knit something with a million strands. It just comes out so highly textured and thick. So I decided to put some yarns together and make a quick-knit scarf. Here's what I used:

  • Two strands of Bernat Max in Blues. I have a bunch of this super bulky thick and thin yarn that I've never known exactly what to do with. It's discontinued now.
  • One strand of Yarn Bee Airy in Royal. This is a partial sken from a while back. Also a discontinued yarn.
  • One strand of I Love This Yarn in Black.
  • One strand of Vanna's Choice in White.

So that's 5 strands of yarn. It's a thick scarf. Maybe too thick. But I'm not one of those people who love the winter, you know. I'm a delicate hot house flower. I don't want to feel the chill of wind on my neck at all.

Is it too much?

Yeah. It's too much, right? Don't care.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Not Knitting: Bead Craft

This is another gift I made for M's birthday.

We always see these slumped bottle cheese platters at craft shows and M has always liked them. The problem is, both of us kind of balk at the $45+ price tag we always see on them. I don't know. I think $45 for a melted bottle with some raffia tied around the neck is a little steep. So, when I found a naked slumped bottle at Goodwill, I knew this was my chance.

Here's the bottle. I like that it's clear. I think that just lends itself to more options.

I'm not a fan of raffia in the first place, but also, I just like the look of beads, wire, and glass. So I got some jewelry wire and some beads and just started wrapping. I really just put these on however I felt would look good. And I just wrapped. I twisted the wire in back and added a dab of E6000 under a couple of the big beads, just to keep things on.

These beads are amber, clear, black, gold, and rust. This will fit M's colors perfectly.

I also wrapped the cheese knife. I used the same beads and same technique, adding a dab of E6000 under the big bead and the 3 bottom beads to keep everything in place.

This turned out better even than I expected. M loved it and I will definitely be on the lookout for another bottle so I can make one for myself!

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