April 23, 2017

Being Noticed

I knit in public all the time. I knit while I’m in waiting rooms. I knit on the bus. I knit while walking to the post office. It is always awesome when someone notices and comments, even if they think I’m crocheting (well, sometimes I am crocheting, but you know what I mean). And when it’s a fellow crafter, and they ask what it is you’re making, and want to talk a little shop, that can be even better. I was at the garage, getting an oil change, and a woman came in to drop something off for the cashier, but she spotted me in the waiting area and came over to see what I was making first.

Knitting with wire

I knit with wire. It doesn’t hurt me.

It’s really awesome when you can say, “I’m knitting with wire!” and your admirer’s eyes widen a bit in appreciation. Continue reading

April 14, 2017

It only seemed fair.

I figured, if I’m not going to bake while wearing all black, the least I could do is work on my off-white angora scarf.

Unfortunately, the lovely angora fibers all over my shirt and skirt don’t photograph well.

And now I’m eating pizza, so I’ve put the scarf away.

March 11, 2017

Slippin’ Out, Slippin’ In

There are a bunch of things I’ve been wanting to write about, but I’m going to take them one at a time.

A couple weeks ago, I found myself working on two projects that both use slipped stitches. It wasn’t intentional, and it wasn’t one of my big Proof They’re Watching kind of coincidences (seeing as how I was the one who picked the projects), but I thought it was worth noting, especially since the slipped stitches have completely different purposes.

I bought a Swiffer a year ago or two, with the intention of making a reusable cover for it. I started one that was crocheted, in some obnoxious hunter orange acrylic that I had, only to find out when I ran out of the first ball that it wasn’t the obnoxious hunter orange acrylic that I thought it was, and I didn’t actually have any more to finish it. I got busy with other stuff, and my Swiffer sat in the laundry room, unused. I finally made a different cover for it, the Ballband Dishcloth Reusable Swiffer Cover from Strange Yarns;;Skull Charms. It’s based on the Ballband Dishcloth from Mason-Dixon Knitting. I should have done a full three repeats of the pattern, I think. I haven’t tried using it yet, but I imagine it will still work, even if it’s a little small.

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It’s a simple pattern, and a nice way to use up some cotton leftovers. I should make at least one of the dishcloths, too. I’m pretty sure the point of the slipped stitches is to get the reverse stockinette to puff out and make it better for scrubbiness.

My other slip stitch project is a Mermaid Tail Blanket for my little Cindy Lou Who (who is much more than two). There are a bunch of patterns out there for making these. I’m not sure why I picked this one, but, I did.

Mermaid Tail Blanket Top

Mermaid Tail Blanket Top

For this one, the slipped stitches give the illusion of scales on the tail. Purely decorative, and since starting it, I’ve realized how handy they’ll be for my Cindy Lou Who to loop her toys through and pull the stitches out. I really like the way it looks, but I know how good she is at destroying knitted things, and I’m wondering what made me think this was a good idea. But, I bought the pattern, I’ve already started, and if I can keep her from mangling it up, I think she’ll really like it and it will get a lot of use.

The tail is worked in a pattern of welts, knit one row, purl two rows, knit one row.

Mermaid Tail, Not Just a Fluke

Mermaid Tail, Not Just a Fluke

Of course, I misread the instructions where it talked about ridges, and was making it about twice as wide as it needed to be. Luckily, I caught my mistake just before I got to the decreases.

I’m still working on the top part. I took theses pictures today. It uses large needles (US11, I think), and my carpal tunnel syndrome has been giving me fits lately, so I can only work on it for a few rounds at a time, and then I have to switch to something else on smaller needles, or, really, not knit for a few days.

But there you have it. Two different uses for slipped stitches. Well, I thought it was interesting!

February 28, 2017

Spiraling Back towards Center

I have two patterns in the February 2017 issue of Knotions! There are lots of great patterns in this issue, or course, and Magical Spirals Hat and Magical Spirals Cowl are no exception.;-)

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I started working on them last summer, but with one thing and another, they didn’t get done soon enough to go in an earlier issue.

They’re knit up with Knit Picks Bare Wool of the Andes Superwash, in a 2×2 cable over 2×2 ribbing. This makes for a very stretchy fabric! Then, a slip stitch chain of Lion Brand Fun Fur is crocheted onto the bars between the cabled stitches. There’s a step-by-step tutorial for the crochet, complete with photos.

October 14, 2016

Pom Poms and Stuff

So, here are my pompoms. Pom poms. Pom-poms. Hmm. However you spell it, they came out pretty damned awesome.  The picture isn’t, but they are.

pompoms

Now my problem is that I’m casting on 576 stitches. In laceweight. Black. (Well, “Midnight Heather” which is kind of a blue-black, but it might as well be black. But I guess the answer to how much more black could it be is not, in fact, “None, none more black.” It would be, “Some, some more black.”) I’m using the Chinese Waitress Cast-On with Crochet Hook, which is generally awesome, but for some reason, I’m having trouble occasionally getting the hook to go through the loop. Oh, well. I’ll get there eventually.

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September 22, 2016

Hell Is Making Pom-Poms

I refuse to act surprised at how long it’s been since I posted anything on here.

I’m making an Official Kittyville Hat for Thing One. I’m all done with it — ends woven in and everything — except for the dreaded pom-poms. Continue reading

November 24, 2015

Borne on the Waves has been, well, born!

Finally, finally, finally.  Some five years after I made the first prototype, the pattern for Borne on the Waves has been released.

 

Well, kinda.  It’s a Mystery Knit-Along (MKAL), which means that it’s being released in sections (commonly called “clues”), and right now, the only thing you can get is the planning packet, with materials, gauge info, abbreviations, and general pattern notes.  The first clue will be released next Sunday, November 29, 2015 sometime around 3pm CST.  The other four clues will be released one each Sunday after that, through December 27, 2015.

 

If you’re a Ravelry member, you can follow the link in the pattern description to the MKAL thread, which has a contest to win a free copy of the pattern.  The contest ends on November 29, 2015, so you’ll have to hurry if you want a chance at it!  The pattern is available at half-price ($2.50US) through December 27, 2015.  After that, it will be available at full-price ($5.00US).

 

If you aren’t a Ravelry member . . . you should be (assuming you knit, crochet, spin, or weave, at least).  Go to http://www.ravelry.com, and sign up!

August 9, 2015

He’s Everywhere

Bruce Willis is not our favorite actor. Really. We just happen to own an awful lot of movies that have Bruce Willis in them.

One of these technically isn’t ours. Over the Hedge is one of the kids’ movies. But it just proves that we can’t get away from Bruce Willis, even in cartoons.

Anyway, this isn’t really about Bruce Willis. Continue reading

July 25, 2015

At a loss

I need help. Serious help.

Little Cat Z is like her mommy in a lot of ways. One of them being that she overeats. In particular, she sneaks food. (She’s ten years old, and I think she’s 120 pounds, and probably not five feet tall yet.) She’s also got my body type: skinny legs, big belly, a type 2 diabetes dream.

I’m not putting her on a diet. I refuse to put her on a diet. She’s ten, for fuck’s sake. I started getting put on diets when I was nine (thanks to the doctor). It did absolutely nothing for my weight, and ruined my self-image, adding to my weight problem, I’m sure.

For a long time, I got mad when I’d catch her, or find the evidence after the fact, and I’d yell. I’m so worried about her having self-esteem and health problems that I’d just lose it. (My mom never did that to me. I think I thought that if I was more serious about it, it would impress her more?) After I calmed down, I’d try explaining to her that the problem wasn’t so much that she was eating, as what she was eating (she doesn’t sneak veggies, in fact, until I moved the sugar bowl out of her reach, she was eating sugar straight from it), and the fact that she was sneaking it, which was like stealing. I’d tell her that before she took something, she should ask herself if it was hers to take, or if she should ask.

Naturally, the freaking out and yelling didn’t help anything. I decided that if the big problem was that she was sneaking food, I’d tell her that if she wanted a(nother) snack, all she had to do was ask. I don’t know if that just hasn’t sunk in yet, but she never asks for an extra snack. And she still sneaks food. Candy and cookies type food. So still, the problem isn’t so much that she’s eating, but what she’s eating, and the fact that she’s taking stuff she knows isn’t for her, or at least not for snacking.

Then tonight, I picked the good spouse up from work, and we came home. When we got here, around midnight, someone was in the bathroom. It was Little Cat Z. When she came out of the bathroom, she had a mouth full of something. Turns out it was Extra Strength Tums. I opened that bottle about a month ago. The other day my stomach was upset, and I popped a couple, noticing that the good spouse must have been having real trouble, since the bottle was over half-empty. Nope. It’s been Little Cat Z, sneaking medicine. And not particularly candy-like (although it is the fruity kind) medicine.

I’m at my wits’ end. Am I going to have to move the refrigerator, and all the food from the kitchen cabinets, and all the medications that might be almost candy-like (cough syrup, chewable vitamins, chewable pain-killers, antacids) into the pantry, and put a padlock on it?

I should add that Little Cat Z has some learning disabilities. She’s “graduated” from Early Childhood Education, and she’s doing well in school (she’s one year behind), but her thought processes still sometimes seem a little different from most people’s.

I know I need to work on my own bad habits, and having less sweets in the house would help, too, but she’s sneaking Tums. There are snack crackers and potato chips in the pantry, but obviously this isn’t about being hungry. Am I too late? Is she already a compulsive eater?

I could really, really use some good advice, if someone has any to give.

July 11, 2015

I have business with the moon.

This post will deal with girly/womanly stuff, so any folks of the male persuasion may want to skip it. Continue reading