Posts tagged ‘things to keep in mind’

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.

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October 2, 2011

Craft has stalled. Immediate action required to regain control.

I know I have been uncharacteristically optimistic in my plans for everything I’m going to get done in the next three months, but now I’m starting to think I may have really taken it too far, and I’m kind of looking at the list in my head and going a bit tharn.

I think I should write (or type) out an actual list, so I have something concrete to go on. Things to do for Nerd Wars, the things I’m designing, the gifts I plan to have made in time for Christmas and Monkey Day, the mystery KALs, the test knit for Tinyknit . . . I’m sure there’s more. It’s always nice to be able to physically cross things off as finished, which I could do if I’d make a list.

I’ll put making a physical list on my mental to-do list.

April 8, 2011

Nihil novi sub soli*

AKA pride goeth before a fall.

I was really proud of myself when I designed the D4 Bag of Dice Holding. I thought it was very, very original. Unique even.

I’m on the Interweave Press Knitting Daily mailing list, and not long ago they plugged a free download (you have to sign up for the mailing list to get it) for six knitted bags, including one called the Pyramid Project Bag (here’s the Ravelry page for it). It originally came out in August 2010 (I think, it was the Interweave Knits Weekend 2010 Edition). (The D4 Bag came out in November 2010, but I had been working on it for, what, two years already by the time I released it?)

Guess what? Its construction is very similar to the D4 Bag’s. Not at all the same, but still very similar. The finished size is even about the same, and I had thought, since finishing the very first prototype, that it would also make a good small project bag.

I had already been having a crisis of . . . some sort . . . conscience maybe? . . . when it comes to designing. Why bother “designing” something when it’s basically just another pair of fingerless gloves with a cable pattern on the back of the hand? Or yet another lace circle shawl? But the D4 Bag, that was still worth it! It was different! Innovative! And then to find this Pyramid Project Bag . . . it was really disheartening.

I’m mostly over it now. They are different, and just because someone else came up with a very similar idea, around the same time, that doesn’t invalidate mine.

Between my whatever-crisis and not having much time to knit, I had already decided to stop designing for a while. I am (finally) almost finished with the scarf/cuffs pattern, and once that is sent off to Knit Picks, I’m going to take a break. I have a lot of projects from other people’s designs that I really should get going on. I still haven’t finished Sweet Baby F’s Hoover Blanket, and she’s ten months old now! So, maybe later in the year I’ll go back to designing. But for now, I’m just going to knit.

Okay, that’s enough self-pitying whining for tonight. Besides, Sweet Baby F is refusing to go back to sleep.

*Nothing new under the sun.

January 21, 2011

Still not a millionaire, but I’m working on it

The scarf and cuff set is being test knitted (test knit? What is the proper past tense form?) by a couple of people! Whoo-hoo! Of course, one of them sent me an e-mail with a big list of things even before she started knitting. I felt kind of dumb, but this is why it’s a good idea to have things tested. I’d have felt much more dumb if someone bought the pattern and pointed out the problems to me. I’m re-knitting the cuff, doing an extra pattern repeat to see if that will make it fit larger hands and wrists better. Okay, I’m taking a break from re-knitting the cuff right now. But I am working on it.

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January 8, 2011

I don’t do resolutions

I’m not promising myself that I’m going to learn twelve new crafting skills this year, or that I’ll knit twenty six pairs of socks, or even that I’ll knit (or otherwise do something crafty) every day. But, there are some things that I’ve been wanting to do, and this post just happens to be coming at a resolution kind of time.

1. I want this blog to be more active. Hence, I am joining the Post a Week 2011 Challenge. We’ll see how I do.

2. I want to learn how to spin. I want to be like those obnoxious people who talk about using this gorgeous yarn they spun from a batt that they hand dyed, and now they’ve turned it into a spectacular shawl, making those of us who don’t know a batt from a ball feel as lazy and useless as someone who would throw out a bra because the underwire broke through (here’s a tip: get a sewing needle and coordinating thread, poke the wire back through the hole into its channel, and do some whipstitch to close up the hole, it’s a five minute job you can do in a bathroom stall at work if need be). Years ago, I got a video on how to handspin silk from hankies, along with a couple silk hankies and needles to use for knitting something with the resulting yarn. I never managed to spin anything worthwhile from it. I still have it, I’m pretty sure. Anyway, I ordered some roving earlier this week. We’ll see how I do.

3. I want to learn how to weave. My mom bought my sister a Brio loom . . . probably about thirty five years ago. It’s a little table-top thing. I don’t know how much my sister actually used it, but it is now in my possession. I don’t know if I have all the parts, and I don’t have any instructions, but I’m going to find out how to use it, and see what happens. I’ve been saying that I’m going to do that for years now. We’ll see how I do.

4. I want to work more on designing.

KnitPicks did get back to me about the D4 Bag of Dice Holding, and they think they’d like to include it in the IDP. I mailed my sample to them the other day. They should have gotten it today. By the end of the month, I should know for certain if they’re going to pick it up. I didn’t get an e-mail confirmation on the scarf and cuff set (the FAQ says you should get one in about a week), so I wrote to make sure they got it, and they did. They’ve been busy because of the holidays, and just hadn’t gotten to it yet (so if anyone else has submitted something, and you feel like you’ve been waiting a long time, that might be why).

I have another pattern idea that I’m sending to Twist for their Fall issue. Yes, I remember what I said about how vague they are about compensation, but I’ve met a lot of designers since then who think the world of Twist. I’m willing to bow to experience.

I’m still working on the re-working of that vest/tank top that I’ve been talking about for freaking ever, and hopefully I will have it finished in time to submit to Knitty for the First Fall issue.

I have other ideas in me head (that’s not a typo, it’s a movie reference!). We’ll see how I do.

December 14, 2010

The State of My Mind Address

Or . . . something like that.

The jeans I patched in that tutorial a couple weeks ago? I’ve patched them again, and they need more. What Grace really needs to do is buy a new pair and let this one get relegated to being patch material.

I submitted the D4 Bag of Dice Holding to the KnitPicks Independent Designers Program. I don’t know if they’ll take it or not. It’s a pretty niche-y, although nifty, pattern, so if they say it doesn’t have a wide market appeal, I’ll agree with them. It took me all of two minutes to write up the e-mail. It took longer to actually send it, since the .pdf is 5 MB, and I have dial-up. Still, it would be nice to get a little more exposure.

I have another pattern that I’ve finished writing that I’m going to submit to the IDP, too. I had originally planned to send it to Sanguine Gryphon for their Spring 2011 line, but I didn’t get it done in time. Since then, it’s undergone some changes. Like, it started out as a really simple scarf, and now it’s a really simple scarf with matching ruffly cuffs. As I said, the pattern is pretty much written. I haven’t finished making the test cuff, and I’m not making a whole scarf until I (hopefully) get yarn support. I want to finish one cuff, though, so I can make sure it works well, and so I can get a better estimate of yardage. If I get the time to knit, I’ll probably be done with it today.

I’m working on another pattern, too. It’s a tank top. My original plan, like ten years ago, was that it would be boxy. Now, I want to make it close-fitting. I have an off-the-rack tank that fits great, and I want to make this one kind of the same. My problem is, do I learn how to do short-row bust shaping (I know how to use short rows in general, I just haven’t used them for that) and include that in the pattern? Do I not include it, but try to make sure that the pattern is adjustable using it? Do I bury my head in the sand and go back to the boxy idea?

I still haven’t finished that skirt.

The Baron Munchausen quote on that one post still gets me the most hits, I swear. (Except for the day that I wrote about The Ladies of Mischief. That was kind of crazy.) I should use more obscure but very popular movie quotes as post titles. Maybe the thing from The Princess Bride where Miracle Max is talking about nothing being better than true love, except maybe a mutton, lettuce, and tomato sandwich, “when the mutton is nice and lean.”

September 2, 2010

Something to remember

I made a patchwork afghan for my good spouse many years ago. It is mostly squares of different patterns taken from Barbara Walker’s A Treasury of Knitting Patterns, and maybe some from A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns.

I just happened upon The Walker Treasury Project, where they are asking for volunteers to knit and photograph squares of the patterns from all of her books. I need to get the books back from my mom so I can look up what patterns I used, then see if those patterns are still open on the project. I can’t remember the names of them! (Besides things like “stockinette” and “moss,” that is.)

Also, the good spouse has hinted that I could make another afghan, similar in construction but with different patterns. I could look at the patterns that are open, and choose from those, helping out the Project, and making the spouse happy at the same time.

September 2, 2010

Shall we dance?

I decided it would be a good idea, from a design standpoint, to do some test knitting. I’d already joined the Ravelry group, Free Pattern Testers, so it was just a matter of finding the right pattern to try. I was looking for something small and fairly simple, so it wouldn’t take a lot of time away from my already burgeoning to-do list. It wasn’t too long before I spotted the Quadrille Knitted Lace Doily by Tiny Knit.

From the pattern description: “Quadrille is a lace doily for experienced beginner to intermediate knitters, using basic stitches in a repetitive pattern.” The pattern is knit in the round and comes with both written and charted instructions. I tested the written instructions.

Quadrille Doily

I’m far from a beginner, or even intermediate knitter, but I found this to be extremely simple. I think it would be a good first lace project. It was a nice, quick knit (if the knitting took five hours, I’d be surprised) that was easy to pick up and set down — I didn’t have to look back at the instructions every other stitch to figure out what to do, or spend five minutes figuring out where I left off. I did most of my knitting on it while sitting at long stop lights and walking up and down the stairs at work. It is (if I remember Barbara Walker‘s definitions correctly) knitted lace, where every other row is simply knit. (As opposed to lace knitting, which has yarn-overs on every row, or do I have those backwards? Or am I wrong, and it wasn’t Barbara Walker? I never should have given my mom back the extra copy of the First Treasury.)

There are helpful links for a couple of recommended techniques (Emily Ocker’s crochet cast-on, and a crocheted bind-off), and also pictures in the pattern to help with the bind-off.

As well as being a fun, easy knit, it was a good learning experience. I did find one error in the original pattern (fixed), and it was the sort of thing that is easily overlooked. I almost didn’t catch it myself! It gave me new appreciation for the worth of test knitters, and the difficulties they can face. You can’t just read and knit the pattern as you normally would, filling in missing bits and correcting minor errors without really noticing them. Noticing them is what you’re supposed to do!

August 16, 2010

Socks on Chicks and Chicks on Fox*

*From the song “Socks On” by MC Frontalot — Seuss-inspired nerdcore rap, you gotta hear it)

I finished the first sock, complete with having Grace try it on (so I’m definitely not being sneaky anymore, but she was nice and pretended to be surprised they’re for her), and weaving in the ends.

I put the last 16 stitches on a couple safety pins before she tried it on, so if need be, I could rip out the toe and make it longer or shorter. It fit fine as-is, but when I put the stitches back on the needles to graft them, I apparently put a needle through the yarn, instead of through a stitch. I figured this out when I tried to tighten up the grafting. I wound up ripping out six rows before I got to a point where I could knit it back up.

I don’t think the yarn (KnitPicks Stroll) is really particularly splitty, but since I started working on this sock back in . . . February? And I pulled that skein from the center, the outside of the skein got a little abused. I noticed a lot of problems with splittiness towards the end. I have the skein for the other sock on my wrist-yarn-ball-holder-thingy, and am taking the yarn from the outside. That way the yarn on the outside of the skein should never get too abused, because it’s getting knit into the sock. At least, I hope it works that way.

In other news, it’s been too damned hot to do any hand-felting, which is all I have left to do on the dice bag. It’s nicer out today, so maybe tonight I can take a little time and finally get that DONE. I also need to draw a diagram for the pattern, because I cannot take a picture that shows what I want. I can’t draw, but I think I can handle this. I hope.

August 6, 2010

A change is gonna come.

I was looking at PDXKnitterati‘s ‘blog and saw that she has pages set up for each of her patterns. I don’t know why I never thought of that, except that I’ve only got the one pattern so far. Anyway, I decided that’s an excellent idea, and I’d rather start it now when I do only have the one.

So, here is a list of patterns I have available.