Tuesday, April 25, 2006


I've been a busy little bee...and yet I have no pictures of finished goods to show you. How can that be?

While held up in a New Hampshire hotel during two days of rain, I managed to finish knitting the "wild stripes" baby blanket. I also had time to sew in all of the edges & cut off all of those nubby leftover bits. It kind of looks pretty all on it's own, doesn't it?

The required piping & gingham backing has been purchased. Personally, the stripes & the gingham pattern are a little too busy for my tastes. It didn't seem that way in the pictures. I keep wondering if the mother is going to think I am crazy, or think I am trying to hypnotize her or something. Oh well, too late to turn back now.

This project was my first experience in blocking. I doubt I did it the proper way, but it worked which makes it good enough for me. I just kinda sprayed the hell out of it & pinned it down into my carpet with whatever pins I could conjur up. At some point, I need to invest in some non-rust blocking pins.

Blocking is kind of weird. I felt like I was setting up my cute little blankie for dissection. I was having visions of that poor little adorable frog in Ms. Goldstein's science class...

Speaking of frogging..what I ended up actually dissecting was my way-too-large-orangina. Even though I've already started version 2.0, I had been using spare yarn. But I decided it was time to let her rip.

[WARNING: The proceeding images may be too painful for some. Those with heart problems or weak constitutions are not recommended for further scrolling]



Truth be told, it was actually kind of fun & liberating to take it apart. When I first started knitting (not even a year ago!), I collected the orangina pattern as my "someday" project. I imagined that at some point, maybe years and years from now, I would be skilled enough to knit such a garment. I pictured myself as a sassy old(er) woman wearing this shirt. And here I am just a scant 7 months later with enough confidence & skill to create this shirt, not just once, but twice!! I think that's something to be proud of.

I have more than half of my new one done already. I'm optimistic that I'll be able to complete it in the next two weeks, if not sooner.

In other knitting related news, I received my "Denise Interchangeable Needles" in the mail today! wooha, I am going to be on fire! Mostly this will enable my wandering eye when it comes to knitting projects, which is good because a) there is another baby on the way that I must begin knitting for & I only have about 2 and a half months to do it! (It's a long story why that's so last minute notice) and b) I have just formed a new love for Interweave magazine. My to-do-list has just doubled in size.

Also, my mom got me Mason-Dixon Knitting. I haven't read it all the way through, but I'm really enjoying it thus far. It's got me thinking about breaking out of certain knitting conventions, such as the "preciousness" of everything. So I have a rug in mind & some dish towels planned for some of my cotton stash.

Last, but certainly not least, my partner got me an easel for my birthday! I know what you're thinking-"what the hell does that have to do with knitting?!" My answer is, absolutely nothing. But I plan for this blog to go beyond just knitting & I've been really missing painting in my life.

So the point is- I may not have much in the finished category right now, but keep your eye on me. I'm a gal with big plans.

Friday, April 14, 2006

little ms. fickle

So I took Diamonique apart...two times. One of which was after I had knitted about 14 inches of it. I can't tell if I'm just a lunatic, or if I just don't care for how this pattern is written. I am willing to accept that it could be both.

After the second deconstruction, I decided to hold off on it for a week or so. One, because I got the yarn I was waiting for & need my #5 needles to finish the baby blanket. And two, because Heather is fantastic & will be sending me more of the yarn for Diamonique so I don't run out mid project (as I so often do these days).

The baby blanket is so close to being done, I can almost taste it! Of course, then there is the sewing...

Also, Orangina v.2.0 is back on the needles. I've decided to make it two sizes smaller than my first. I'm determined to complete this in under a month. My last one I managed to do in that time, so this one should be manageable considering it's smaller.

Hopefully, I'll have photos of finished products to post soon.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Rinse, Wash, Repeat

Alright, now the baby blanket & the zapatista doll are on the back burner for yarn supply related issues. (I really need to learn to plan those things ahead of time) I don't have it in me to re-start orangina yet, so Diamonique has been put on the needles.

Actually, to be acurate, it's been re-added to the needles. I started it sunday, then took it apart sunday night after I realized a mistake made at the beginning. I was too afraid it would mess with the pattern if I forged ahead. I even checked my guage on this one! That's a first. (I think that means I'm becoming one of those fancy knitters.)

In the interest of stash busting, I'm knitting this pattern in Caron "Super Soft". It's a cheap yarn, but really soft. Besides, my wardrobe is severly lacking in the electric blue department.

In other knitting related news, my mother is getting me Denise Interchangeable needles for my birthday! I will definitly miss knitting with bamboos. However, the biggest benefit of this, as I see it anyway, is being able to snap my needles off the cords and just pop it onto another cord while I put projects on hold. Anyway, my birthday needs to happen quicker for this reason & this reason only.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

New Projects

I got to knit with Heather this evening & I must say it was quite lovely. There's something more enjoyable about knitting with a friend. I was quite happy with the amount of knitting I completed today on my zapatista doll. I'm getting really anxious to get it done because I want to use those needles to get crackin' on my orangina v.2.0.

I don't know what my problem is lately though. I've become a rather restless knitter & four projects in the works seems boring to me.

I know what you're thinking- I need to get out more, right? Well I've thought of that too. And I've also thought about what fabulous knitted pieces I want to be wearing when I go out in this lovely spring weather.

And here's what I've got my eyes on...
.Cleo, which is more of summer wear but might as well get it done in time to be able to wear it.
.The Lelah Top, which to be honest I wouldn't have thought of doing if I had seen how beautiful this version was. Besides, it would be a really good stash buster.
.I am also just a few clicks away from breaking down & buying the jems patterns. I haven't purchased patterns in quite some time, so I think I'm due.

Also, picking up stitches is my least favorite thing to do in knitting; hands down.

plain janes

So I finished my plain janes! I really liked this pattern. Besides the end product being really cute, I used some of my leftover stash & I learned a few new techniques along the way:
1. This was my first time turning a heel. Easy as pie!
2. I finally tried the technique where you slip the first stitch of each row so your ends come out straighter. Heather is always telling me to do it, but I always forget. (I'm a creature of habit) But I really liked how neat the edges came out, so I'll have to get in the habit of doing that.
3. I learned the "three needle bind off". Crazy Aunt Purl has a really good tutorial for it.

Knowing these techniques will make my zapatista doll a hell of a lot easier. Oh, and I used these duck buttons I've had lying around for quite some time too.
I couldn't get a good picture of them. I'm not sure if it's my camera that sucks, or my photography skills. But hopefully this is something that this blog will inspire me to improve.

Speaking of things that I've had lying around for some time...I'm trying to be good & not buy crafting materials unless I have a specific project in mind for the product. I find cute & beautiful things, and they accumulate in my house. This is why I have an entire drawer full of fabric that I have to find ways to use. Who am I kidding? I have drawers (plural) full of a lot of stuff that I need to start inventing uses for. I got a wake up call on this when I cleaned out my crafting stuff. And my partner keeps yelling at me for stealing all of our bowls, which I place all over the house full to the brim with parts of my yarn stash. Apparantly, these bowls are intended for cooking or some such nonsense.

April & I have had talk of doing a "craft supply swap" in the near future. I think that would be a hell of a good time. Also, there is talk of a garment construction class at Year of the Goat which I am pretty pumped about. (And by the way, if that class sounds like something you'd be down for, let me know or stop by the shop & talk to Melissa)