Saturday, June 30, 2007

Wherein I shout from the rooftops with joy

That I am now a test knitter for Knit Picks!!! Hurrah! I found out yesterday and I am eagerly awaiting the yarn for my first project. I'm so excited I could burst. I will now be getting paid to knit and play with yarn. It's so freakin' cool. I just had to share that with y'all because its right exciting for me. I hope y'all are having a beautiful day and a wonderful weekend. I'll probably be posting more later on so stay tuned my friends.
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*Edited to answer questions in the comments:
I landed the gig by sheer luck, it seems. I belong to a knitwear designers message board and a Knit Picks representative asked for test knitters. You can imagine how enthusiastically and quickly I responded.
I will be able to share photos of the finished objects I have test knitted after Knit Picks has published/disseminated them. I'm really looking forward to doing the work for them and trying my hand at things I wouldn't normally choose to knit (as is often the case with test knitting). I feel it will be a really good learning experience and add to my ability to design garments and hone my knitting skills.
Thank you for all the encouraging comments so far. Y'all are the best blog readers ever!!

Thursday, June 28, 2007


So I finished one of the baby socks last night and needed a model for it for the photo:
A Cat! In a sock!

I am evil. Hahahahahaha.

And Sharon, over at her blog, Chickenlips Knitting, tagged me as a Rockin' Girl Blogger, and I thought that was uber-cool/nice of her. Taking a page from her clever and interesting book, I'm tagging Emily B., at her blog The Red Hat Blues, and Valerie, at her blog My Little Piece of the Net. Ladies, pass on the love.

I hope y'all are having a wonderful day.
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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Summer Stash Swap Has a Blog!

It's official. The Summer Stash Swap has its own blog so all SSS talk can go on over there. In news of my world:
I have officially kicked my Coke (aCola) habit. I used to drink one can of Coke per day and I switched to herbal and black tea. Less sugar and it still has caffeine. My liver is thanking me. I also read that you can gain like seven pounds a year or something absurd like that from drinking Coke or other sodas every day so, in an effort not to take up more surface area, I've stopped drinking Coke, with the notable exception of at the cinema and on road trips. I will be writing an ode to shoes in an upcoming blog post so watch out for that one.

  • I'm about halfway through my little felted cosmetic case that I'm making for my sister. It's simple and boring and whatev. I'm about to knit the gusset into it and then start with the other color of yarn. Then I'll stitch up the sides, felt, and sew in a zipper. I plan on doing some needle felting on it, some flowers or something so it will be noticiably cuter after that. I'm winging it on the pattern because I wanted to see how it would turn out. The yarn will felt and I knit it up wider than it is longer, because of the nature of felted knits felting up more width-wise than length-wise, but, because it's a cosmetics' case, I'm not uber-concerned with dimensions. Photos will be usual
  • I'm finishing up a baby sock with the same yarn (Schachenmayer Micro-color) and needles (US 3) of the Previously Jill socks. Since Sensational Knitted Socks didn't have a baby sock size, I decided to do my own thing. I cast on 32 stitches and haven't looked back. They are being done in a 2x2 rib and I made the leg long enough to fold over. Baby socks are ridiculously cute. I'm be kitchenering the toe tonight and casting on for the matching sock at the same time.
  • I thinking tonight may be the night to weave in ends. I need to weave in the ends of the Chevron scarf, the baby sock, and the cosmetic case. I like to weave in ends as I go, when I can, so I don't have to face a mountainous number of ends at the end of a project. I only have two ends to weave in on the scarf and the sock and one, thus far, on the cosmetic case.
  • I cast on some MAN socks for Travis, using a pattern from Vintage Socks, by Nancy Bush. Travis and I both agreed that the "Gentlemen's Fancy Sock" was a nice looking man sock so, armed with bamboo size 2s (US) and enough Sockotta to knit four pair of socks, I started them. Unfortunately, there are no directions for multiple sizes and I had to tweak the pattern so they would fit Travis. I'm still crossing my fingers in the hopes that they fit. If they don't, my papa is getting a new pair of socks and I'm going to try again for Travis. I'll keep you updated. I've already learned something from these socks though. I don't like bamboo DPNs for socks. Metal needles work so much better for me for socks.
Partaking in Culture:
  • We went to see a number of films: Shrek the Third (hilarious and cute), Pirates of the Caribbean Three (silly but cool special effects), 1408 (scary and delicious and GREAT), and my mama and I saw Mr. Brooks (the ending was a cop-out. Does anyone know if this is a remake? It has a remake kind of quality to it. Also, it was hard to believe Dane Cook as a serious character.)
  • Big Love is back in full swing and all I have to say is "Hurrah!" I love that show and now, with Sopranos over and the Riches and Lost taking a break for the season, its nice to have another show to tune into. I need to start DVR-ing The Closer, because I like that one too.
Well, bloglings and blogettes, I will return, armed to the teeth with photos for your viewing pleasure. Penelope has been doing her obnoxious meowing again, starting around 5a.m., which means I am grumpy lately from lack of sleep. My newest solution to her meowing is to go out to wherever she is meowing in the house and whack her with a small pillow. It works for about 10 minutes. Then she starts up again. This morning I had to chase her around the family room with the pillow. She's wise to my tricks. I hope you are having a wonderful day.
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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Agonizing over prizes...

This post is for all the Summer Stash Swap participants and those thinking of joining in. I'm agonizing over the prizes for y'all. I have so many good ideas and I just can't decide on three of them. I've looked at yarn (all soft, beautiful, non-acrylic, non-novelty type yarns, of course), notions and needles, and storage options. I can't decide on sock yarn or not. I can't decide between undyed, or bare, yarn for those who like to dye their own or not. I don't want to be all lame and offer gift certificates because that just doesn't seem very creative to me and that's what the Stash Swap is all about...creativity. I'll quit being ambivalent soon, I promise. I just needed to get that out on the table, so to speak.

The sky just opened up over us and the rain, she is pouring. I love a good thunderstorm. I spent the earlier years of my life in a very rainy area and it reminds me of being a kid when the sky turns grey and the rain starts coming down. Ah....lovely.

  • I finished the Chevron Stitch scarf from LMKG I randomly decided to do. I made it out a skein of Alchemy silk and Alchemy bamboo. It is darn near the softest thing ever. After I weave in the ends, I will photograph it and post the photos. I don't know why I randomly decided to knit the scarf. I saw the yarn in my stash and it called out to me and a week later it became a scarf. It's nowhere near as long as the one in LMKG but whatever. It wraps around my neck once and has enough to hang down in the front. I think I'll wrap it around my face because it is so soft. The whole time I was knitting it, I made people feel the bamboo yarn. It's delicious. Enough of that for the moment though.
  • I grabbed like 16 ounces (or one pound, whichever you prefer) of some ooooold Bernat acrylic I had stashed at my mama's house. I have three balls in this kind of blue-green, jade kind of color and one in a rose color. My first thought was a mitered blanket heavy on the blue-green and light on the rose, to donate to the local women's shelter. I have since, of course, changed my mind. I grabbed some size ten (6.5 mm) needles and my new copy of Runway Knits and I'm going to make the Vintage Shawl and donate that instead, probably to an elderly care facility. It'll be soft, beautiful and washable so that's a good thing. Which brings me to my next point...
  • Runway Knits by Berta Karapetyan totally rocks. It's amazing and beautiful and beautifully photographed. Berta gives you a bit about her heritage (Russian) and life before knitting (finance degree) before showing off her skills as a knitwear designer. Karabella yarns are used throughout the book (her son owns and operates Karabella) but she is gracious enough to include a substitution guide in the back for those of us who have thinner wallets. The designs are the amazing part. I mean, seriously. There are probably four things out of the 30 projects in the book that I don't currently want to knit but that is primarily because I don't have a great love for knit dresses (they always seem so bulky). There is one shrug/cardigan pattern in the book that's a little weird but there are at least four more cardigan and shrug patterns that make up for it like the Ruffled Cardigan, for instance. There are three scarf patterns (two with matching hats) and I have to hold myself back from immediately casting on the Cascading Petal Scarf. The construction of the pieces is elegant, beautiful, and innovative. The directions are straight-forward and schematics and charts are included where necessary. I had previously checked out Fitted Knits, which I had heard really good things about, before picking up Runway Knits and I'm so glad I chose the latter. Check it out for yourself and you'll most likely be pleasantly surprised.
Alright, dear bloglings and blogettes, I'm off to knit for potentially the rest of the day. I've got itchy fingers after not knitting for a couple of days. If you haven't signed up for the Summer Stash Swap yet, you still have until the end of June to do so. Have a wonderful day!!
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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A Brief Update and some photos

Hello my friends! I've been absent from blogging because I've been spending time down at my mama's house in South Florida. Travis met me down here so now everything is perfect and the weather is beautiful and we are having a real, relaxing vacation, despite the fact that Travis is actually down here to do a guest spot at a tattoo shop here. He'll find out his "work" hours today and we'll be able to factor that into our plan/not plans (we're not big on making plans) for the rest of our time here. Anyway. Here are some photos of the cats at my mama's house. She has six and I'll get around to photographing them all and posting the photos for you because they are all cute as can be.
This is Candy, aka Kitty, aka Fluff-buns, aka Old Cat.
Kitty rocks!

This is Marco, aka Baby Huey. He's 31 pounds (or about 15 kilos). He's huge and snuggly.
Big cat is big.

  • I finally got around to washing, photographing, and half-delivering the scarf I made for one of my mama's clients. I made the scarf about a year ago and it sat in a knitting bag (the one with the cat pee) for almost a year. I dug it out, washed it, and photographed it. It has, thus far, made it to my mama's house and it is now in her charge to give to her client. Her client lives primarily in Minnesota so she'll have need for a scarf again soon. hehehe Details on the scarf: It's a 1 x 1 rib in worsted weight yarn with two inches of boucle yarn edging at either end. It's about five inches wide and 48" long. I'm sorry I don't have more details on it but I made it so long ago I don't remember much....Heidi's scarf
  • I finished, blocked, and photographed the Previously Jill Socks. Details: 2 balls of Schachenmeyer Micro-color yarn (100% Microfiber (Acrylic)). Size 3 needles. About a week's worth of time, on and off. I used a four-stitch pattern (the purled ladder) from Charlene Schurch's Sensational Knitted Socks. I love them. When I only had one finished, I was wearing it around the house, alternating feet. I'd like to call attention to my very pale legs. I've also included a close-up of the socks for your viewing pleasure. Previously Jill Socks.Close-up of Previously Jill Socks
  • I got the new issue of Cast On and Interweave Knits. I'm eagerly awaiting the arrival of Runway Knits and Knitting Fashions of the 1940's. I'll give you the skinny on the books when they arrive.
Well, dear bloglings and blogettes, that is all for the moment. Oh geez, I nearly forgot. I will be going prize shopping for the Summer Stash Swap this week so I'll be posting pictures of the the prize goodness. Stay tuned for more details and, if you haven't already, sign up for the Swap. I hope you are having a beautiful day.
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Friday, June 01, 2007

The Summer Stash Swap

Here are the eagerly anticipated details, rules, regulations, etc., of the first Summer Stash Swap.

This swap is supposed to be fun, creative, and economical. Swap partners will be secret until you receive your stuff, at which point, you can include a little personal note or something to your swap partner. Here's the specifics:
  • If you want to join the swap, leave a comment below and be sure to include your email address. After you leave a comment, I will email you a questionnaire to get an idea of what you like, what you have, and what you have to swap so I can appropriately pair up swap partners.
  • This swap is primarily for yarn and fiber but it will include fabric, needles, notions, patterns, books, and magazines related to the fiber arts as well. Questions about what you have and what you like are on the questionnaire and the details will be shared with your secret swap partner.
  • Ideally, everything you swap will come from you stash, including needles, notions, patterns, magazines, and books. If you don't have a pattern to swap, create your own and send that along. Make a set of stitch markers or give some cool tops to needles you have in your stash. Be creative. Be ingenious. Show off. If you don't have a stash or you don't have needles and notions to spare, using yarn you hand dye, spin, were gifted, or purchased is okay. Really, it's fine. If you don't have a stash, then you can't very well swap from your stash now can you. If, for some reason, you have become a cucumber and your family has had to sell your stash to keep up with your insatiable thirst as a result of morphing into a cucumber, stay in the shade, stay hydrated, and bum yarn for the stash from your non-cucumber friends with the promise to pickle yourself at a later date for their eating enjoyment.
  • The last date to leave a comment and have your information in to me is June 30th and the last date to have your goodie box sent out to your swap partner is July 31st. If, for whatever reason (money, laziness, busyness, lack of stash), you will not be able to participate after you have already signed up for the stash, please notify me as soon as you know so someone can take your place. Nobody wants to wait patiently for a super cool box of goodies to arrive and hang their head in disappointment for days after, eating nothing but cucumbers.
  • It's entirely up to you what you decide to swap and how much you decided to swap. You may build your goodie box around a specific pattern and include enough yarn to make the scarf pattern you put in the box, along with some tea and groovy needles. You may put in enough yarn or fiber to make a whole sweater and put only mitten patterns in the box. It's up to you and there is no pressure either way. This swap is a way to unload stash and get new stash while spending a minimum of cash.
  • You do not need to have a blog or a flickr page or any of that to participate. You do need to have an email address, so we can communicate, and, ideally, you should be able to send me pictures of your received goodie box. Why? you ask. Well, because then I can determine who gets the prizes.
  • Prizes will be given to the most generous swapper, the most creative swapper, and the most WTF swapper (WTF can include but is not exclusive to funky yarn/fiber/fabric, strange or cool needles and notions, funny and/or interesting patterns and the like). They are all positive designations here. Prizes are being given here so that participants are all the most encouraged to be generous, creative, and a little bit crazy. I will keep you updated on what the actual prizes are when I get them as they will largely be determined by the participants.
  • Have fun!! This is not a contest or a pressure situation. It's a way to get rid of some stuff that has been sitting in your stash for too long and to get some new stash. Swaps are fun and this one should be too.
If you have any questions about the swap, please do not hesitate to ask. I will be more than happy to supply you with answers. Come join the swap and have fun!

The first of two posts

I decided to do two posts to address two separate things: 1) General life and 2) The Summer Stash Swap.
First things first, I would like to say "Thank You!" to the new commenters on my blog (Chris, Elan, MommaCat, Sharon, and anyone else I may have missed). I appreciate you taking the time to comment and check into my blog. I love new comments, I admit it.

  • I frogged the MAN socks, to start them anew at another time, and again, it felt good to clear out some psychic space. I'm a frogging machine lately. Hmm...that gives me an idea. Could anyone build me a frogging machine?
  • I started swatching/making a cosmetic case for my sister. I'm forever trying to make her stuff. She says she loves the stuff I make her and uses it so I gladly try and crank out stuff for her. I say swatching/making because, while in the process of swatching, I decided to just make the swatch in the intended shape of the to-be cosmetic case, in case it felts up perfectly. Then I'll have a mostly finished product instead of a felted swatch. It is made from Lana Grossa wool in royal purple and lilac. I'll keep you posted (no pun intended) on the progress, with photos too.
  • I have successfully squashed SSS (Second Sock Syndrome). I frogged the first sock I ever made (see post below) and started anew, using a totally different pattern. I had the first sock all finished up, ready to kitchener stitch the toe (see? I've learned.), when I realized that it would only fit someone with short, fat little feet. Needless to say, I ripped back to before the toe decreasing and kept knitting until it happened to fit my foot. I was so proud of my handiwork that I kept modelling the single sock on alternating feet. It turns out that it's not really for fat feet (I have skinny feet. See my profile picture.) and, like I said, it just so happened to fit me so I'm keeping them for me, for once. I'm nearly finished with the leg of the second sock and plan on turning the heel today. Hurrah! Does anyone else feel like a freakin' genius when they turn a sock heel? I'll have photos of said socks when I finish both of them.
Partaking in Culture:
  • I'm still plugging away at The Mysteries of New Orleans, wholeheartedly enjoying it. I generally only read it before bedtime so I don't make a lot of progress on it but I'm further along in it now than I was before so that is good.
  • We're nearly up to the fifth season of The Sopranos, thanks to Netflix (I swear they should start paying me). If anyone knows whether Steven Van Zandt (formerly of The E Street Band) wears a hairpiece, please let me know. His hair is crazy sculpted.
That about rounds it out for this blog post. Enthralling, I know but I've been editing a lot lately and thus have little time to do much else, other than knit, apparently. I'll be posting details, rules, etc., of the Summer Stash Swap so check out that and participate! Bloglings and blogettes, have a wonderful day.
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