Thursday, October 30, 2003 

I'm still looking for some extra Noro Silk Garden. If you think you may have some, see yesterday's post.

I started my mother's multidirectional scarf (it'll be one of her Christmas gifts) last night. I'm making it with Artfiber's Chaucer in Afterglow. It's very soft and fuzzy, and I think she'll love it. Here's a picture of my progress so far.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003 

I NEED YOUR HELP! I'm a few yards short of enough yarn to finish my multidirectional scarf with. I need maybe 5 yards of Noro Silk Garden in color #71 (purple, green, black). By pure coincidence, the multidirectional scarf in the picture included with this pattern is the same as the yarn I'm using. So, even if you have a little bit of another color of silk garden that looks like it may match a little (like some black, or teal/green, or purple) that would help. I'm willing to pay you for it, if need be. I only need a few more yards to finish the scarf, and I don't want to have to rip it out and start all over again, and I don't want to buy another ball just for a few yards of yarn. So, if you have a little left lying around I'll love you to the end of time if you'd be willing to send it to me!

Also, thanks to all of the people who have emailed or left messages expressing support for the subject of yesterday's post. I really appreciate it, and while it doesn't make the decision any easier, it does put a smile on my face to know people care enough about a total stranger to send on a few kind words. Thank you.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003 

I've got too much on my mind right now. Spent the BART ride home yesterday knitting furiously to keep myself from breaking out into tears, and to help calm myself. It's not really something I want to talk about here, but let's just say that I'm faced with having to choose between the proverbial rock and a hard place. And either way, I lose.

This week's Knitworthy is a site with videos, instructions, patterns, and more to help you master different knitting techniques. Stitch Guide also contains tutorials on other crafts such as crochet, tatting, cross stitch, sewing, and more. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 23, 2003 

New book! I rarely ever buy my knitting books in a regular book store. I prefer instead to go to a regular bookstore to preview the books first, and then I hop on to Overstock.com and hope that they carry it (which they usually do). And if they don't carry it yet, I just check back later, and typically, it eventually shows up on their site. I've bought a million things from Overstock. They carry a wide selection of items for really cheap prices, including books discounted as much as 80%. I've bought everything form books, to my down comforter, to 600 thread count sheets, to my vacuum cleaner, to a Bulova watch for Jonathan's birthday, to my DVD player, to....the list could seriously go on and on. They ship quickly ($2.95 flat rate shipping), items are not junk, their prices are low, and they've been very reliable.

Anyway, on a recent trip to the bookstore, I ran across Weekend Knitting. The book is loaded with fun, interesting, beautiful, but easy projects. Plus, I felt relaxed just looking at the book. Sprinkled throughought are things such as a recipe for butter cookies, how to give a hand massage, how to take a soothing bath. Sure, these things aren't rocket science, but it's a nice touch. Flipping through it again just now I'm already finding myself inspired for more new projects (though, I'm going to try to be good and finish what I've already started first).

After running back to work and logging on to Overstock, I found that they carried it for $14.69. That's 16% less than Amazon's current price of $17.47, and 41% off of the cover price of $24.95. Well worth it, methinks.

Today I plan a trip to Artfibers (again!) to find yarn for a few gifts. I want to make a multidirectional scarf for my mother for Christmas, but I need to find just the right yarn. Hopefully something variegated. But, I may opt to blend some yarns instead. And I also need to get some black yarn for Jonathan's scarf. There are two shades of black in the Chianti -- one has a touch of blue, the other is darker. Since they offer swatching balls, I'm going to play around with the two for a bit to see if I want to pick one or the other, or if I want to combine them.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003 

Yesterday afternoon my order from Smiley's Yarns came in. It always feels like Christmas when I get a package, especially when it's full of yarn. I was a little disapointed though. I had ordered 6 balls of Patons Cotton DK, and 5 were of one dye lot, and the 6th was from a different. And it was obvious. The oddball looked slightly darker than the others. Since I'm making the retro knitting bag (see below) with it, I may be able to just use the darker yarn for the very bottom of the bag or something. But, talk about annoying!

And the red Bernat I got should work fine for Christmas stockings. I haven't taken it home yet so I can match it to the furry yarn I bought, but it looks like it should do just fine.

I also started working on a multidirectional scarf with the Noro Silk Garden I got from WNW. I like the colorings, but the yarn itself doesn't seem to be that great to me. It's kind of scratchy and rough. I guess when I hear silk, I think of soft and smooth, not rough like raw silk. I guess it's not that bad, but it wasn't quite what I expected. I'm really enjoying the pattern though. It's easy, fast, and more interesting than garter or stockinette. Plus, the finished product looks really interesting too. I'm already halfway done with the scarf. Seeing as how quick and nice it is, I may take a trip down to Artfibers and pick up some yarn to make a multidirectional scarf for my mother for Christmas. I was going to do one in Silk Garden for her, but since I'm not all that thrilled with the yarn, I'd rather find something else.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003 

It's tangent Tuesday, folks. But before I get to my griping, let me get to this week's knitworthy.

In a random selection, I have chosen Mouse Booties as this week's knitworthy. Perfect for the little one in your life! See a picture of them here.

Now, let's commence with the bitching.

Last night, after returning from dinner with Jonathan, I turned on the TV to find the first episode of the new Joe Millionaire was airing. Of course, since all of America knows the trick now, they decided to dupe a bunch of European women. After only 5 minutes of watching the show I was ready to puke, and ready to hurl my TV out the window. European women have had a fondness for putting down American women as being materialistic, shallow, stupid, arrogant, and ignorant (among other things).

However, based on what I saw last night, the European women on that show appeared to fit that bill far more closely than most American women. I had to laugh when they were told that the guy they'd be meeting, David, was a "real American cowboy" who earned his money from a trust fund that was paid for with oil money by his uncle. They all got this look on their faces like they had just been told this guy was Hitler himself. But, as soon as they were told he was worth $80 million, they started smiling and telling each other how much they couldn't wait to meet him. What a bunch of shallow, materialistic, greedy, intolerant, bigotted, arrogant bitches. At least they mostly seemed honest enough to admit that they weren't interested in the guy, and only his money. Then they began sucking down alcohol like it was the Prohibition, and ignorantly making fun of the guy they were going to attempt to woo.

Against my better judgement, I continued to watch the show, and thus continued to be horrified by the behavior and attitudes of these women. To be fair, just as not all American women are represented by those on the first season of Joe Millionaire, or by the stereotypes asserted by many European women, I will assume that not all European women are like those on the show last night. But, next time I hear some European attempting to put down American women, I'm just going to laugh and suggest that the person take a good, hard look at themselves and those around them. Perhaps the old childhood phrase of "takes one to know one" applies here quite nicely.

Monday, October 20, 2003 

Well, we did end up going camping. Jon talked his friend Dave in to coming along, and Mark's friend Kyle showed up Saturday morning.

Friday morning I finished the Kyoto scarf, and laid it out to cold block it (I think I'm going to need to block it again). Because it's stockinette stitch, it's curling up quite a bit.

In order to get Dave to come with us this weekend, Jon had to help Dave with a test for an online class he had, and I had to go to the laundromat to wash his sleeping bag. While guarding the machine, I cast on for the Chianti scarf. I finished it Saturday afternoon. I decided to go super simple and work it up in garter stitch. I cast on 200 stitches and then switched the colors in a 5-3-4 pattern (5 rows A, 3 B, 4 C, 5 B, 3 C, 4 A, 5 C, 3 A, 4 B). Then I attached fringe on to the bottom after I was done. It turned out looking pretty good, and it was unbelievably warm around my neck. I've got an order for a black scarf for Jon now. I tried to convince him to let me toss in a little grey, but he wants solid black.

After finishing the Chianti scarf, I cast on for another felted purse. This one is also from Simple Knits for Sophisticated Living, but is more of a hand bag than a tote bag. This one will be done in black and grey.

And then yesterday afternoon I decided to start working on the afghan for Jon's parents. It's being worked up in a dark green Homespun, with a pattern called Homespun Stripes Afghan. I'm looking forward to it being a quick, easy knit.

I also just got my order from Wool Needlework. They threw in a free pattern for a teddy bear, and some samples of some of the other yarns they carry. I didn't realize it from the pictures, but the off-white Romance has a gold thread in it, and the other three have a silver thread running through it. Now I have to decide if I'm going to just use the pink, lavendar, and blue, or if I'll use all four. I just don't want the gold thread in the off-white yarn to throw the scarf off since the other three colors have silver.

Thursday, October 16, 2003 

I sound like a phone sex operator. At least that's what the security guard at my building says. Because my voice was kind of raspy, she was asking me if I was secretly working from home as a phone sex operator, and that's where I got all my money to buy my yarn. Ha ha!

Our camping trip is taking a nose dive into the ground. Jon just called to tell me he talked to Mark (the guy organizing the trip, and whose birthday is tomorrow), and Mark told him that his friend Brian bailed on the trip. Daniel was going to come but his boss made him work this weekend, even though he already told Daniel he could have the weekend off. My friend Dan said he might be coming, but he won't be bringing Maggie because they broke up last night. I have a feeling Dan won't be coming anyway. And Jon's friend Dave is now complaining that he doesn't want to go because there's going to be nobody there (glad to know Jon, Mark and myself are "nobody"). So, Jon is trying to talk Dave into going still. I really can't stand flaky people. Just know that if you're the kind of person that originally says your going to do something and then makes some stupid excuse to back out of it at the last minute (especially if you were secretly thinking you didn't want to go in the first place), I hate you. People like that are irresponsible and inconsiderate. If something comes up and you can't make it, that's okay. But if you're a chronic flake, then you suck. Hard.

Now that that's out of my system.....

You may not be able to see it very well (the colors on my monitor at work are really off, so I can't tell what it will look like to most people with computers that work right), but this is a picture of my completed felted tote bag. If it looks like crap when I get home, I'll take a better picture for you.



And here are some pictures of the Kyoto scarf, which is now over 2/3 done.


Here's the full scarf


It's kind of blurry, but those are the colors.


I did it in a plain stockinette stitch. I know, how exciting. But I was looking for something simple, clean, and classic looking. Plus, I wanted something I could make quickly. If I don't finish it tonight, I plan to have it finished by tomorrow. What I do know for sure is that this scarf is absolutely yummy. I just can't get over how soft, shiny, and fuzzy it is!

Well, with that said, I leave you until Monday. Cross your fingers that my weekend isn't a total bust. I'll be pissed if we don't end up going anywhere though as that will make it the second time I took a day off to go away for the weekend, and ended up going nowhere.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003 

Gah!



The woman in this picture is laughing hysterically at the guys with the big butterfly net chasing after her, saying "Ha ha! I finally broke the hold of this hideously evil bobbled straight jacket. Mwahahahahahahahahah!"

Cuz I don't believe for a second that the smile on that woman's face is even partly for real. Not unless she's blind.

But, if you are blind (or have some insane affection for all things hideous) you can get the free pattern here. But if I ever see you wearing it, I'm calling the boys with the butterfly nets.

 

The Kyoto scarf is coming along beautifully--and I mean that literally. It's sitting in my bag right now under my desk, but a few times this morning I've had this urge to reach into my bag, take it out, and fondle it for a few moments. I cannot wait to have it finished so I can slip it around my neck. By the look and feel of it, I'd say it was definitely worth the price.

I think I've got a touch of laryngitis because my voice is kind of hoarse today. I'm hoping it goes away soon because I'm supposed to go camping this weekend with Jonathan and some friends. Maybe people would like it if I wasn't talking for once...but my friend Dan is coming up for the first time with his girlfriend, and I'd hate to be a mute the whole time. Wish me luck in getting better by Friday morning!

Speaking of the camping trip, I need to decide what to bring with me. Probably not the Kyoto scarf (although I hope to be done with it by then) because I don't want to risk it getting dirty. Maybe one of my unfinished socks. Maybe I'll bring the Chianti scarf and start working on that. Or I could bring some small bits of yarn to start making Christmas ornaments. I would like to bring something a little more substantial...but that really means I'll have to start something new. I really don't feel like bringing any of my finishing projects with me. For those I need to just spend a Sunday knocking them all out.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003 

One scarf down, many more to go.

Last night I finished the long, skinny ribbed scarf with the Artfibers Schooner purple and white tweed yarn I got on clearance. It's ultra soft and cozy. I found that Dr. Phil and knitting go very well together. His show is a lot of verbage, and not much visual stimuli. So, I could listen to the show while focusing on my knitting, allowing me to switch from looking up at the screen and down at my knitting without worrying I'd miss something good.

Immediately after finishing the Schooner scarf I started a new scarf in this absolutely gorgeous yarn I bought from Artfibers on Friday. It's called Kyoto, and is a superkid mohair/spun slik/extra fine wool blend (25/69/6). This stuff is like knitting with a slice of heaven. It has this exceptional silky smoothness, a soft halo of fuzz, and this brilliant shine. Of course, it also cost $14/50g ball, so it was a splurge. I picked up three balls--one in ivory, celadon, and champagne--to make a scarf. I'm not doing anything fancy with it--just stockinette stitch--but I'm alternating the colors every 7 inches. I finished nearly 2 blocks last night while watching CSI Miami, so it's knitting up pretty quickly (and very beautifully). I'm going to wear this scarf a lot, especially when I go to New York in December. At $42 I BETTER wear it a lot!

The other stuff I picked up on Friday from Artfibers was Chianti, a soft merino wool. I bought a ball each of wine, camel and sky to make a vertical striped scarf. This stuff was only $6.50/50g ball. These colors seem to merge together so beautifully. Actually, it reminds me of picnicking at a vineyard on a clear, sunny day. The only thing missing is green; but they didn't carry green, and I'm not sure I would have included it if they did. The camel and the wine are a natural together, and the sky blue just adds a real pop to it.

Despite the heavy scarf knitting, I'm not turning into one of those drooling masses that thinks that knitting scarves is the epitomy of knitting skill. I actually have never knitted any scarves prior to this, and wanted a few for the fall. They are a nice accessory to have in San Francisco for those chilly mornings because they can easily be taken off and tucked away when the fog clears and the weather warms a bit. I'll probably make a couple more for myself, just so I have a variety. And then I wanted to whip up a few as Christmas gifts for a few people.

Yesterday was a yarn shopping spree day. I placed one large order with Wool NeedleWork Discounter for $73 ($82 after shipping). On my shopping list was 2 balls of Regia in 5211 Mini-Ringel to make a pair of socks. Then I got some yarn for making stockings including: 1 ball of Sandnesgarn Funny Glitter in red/gold, 3 balls of Schachenmayr Salsa in Christmas Red, and 4 balls of Salsa in white. I also got one more ball of Salsa in Cyclam to make a little makeup bag from the Hollywood Knits book for my friend Alicia for Christmas. Then I threw in 2 balls of Silk Garden in #71 to make a scarf--and so I could see what all the buzz was about (WNW has good prices on Silk Garden - $6.49 a ball).

Also, I purchased four balls of Sirdar Romance in Pearly Sky, Pearly Peach, Pearly Lavender, and Pearly Off-White to make what will be called my "Romance Scarf." But, not because it's made from Romance yarn. Jonathan and I "celebrate" four milestones/anniversaries: the day we met, the day we first kissed, the day we started dating, and the day we first *ahem*. These dates fall on the 8, 12, 18, and 22 of their respective months (but not in order of how they were listed above). So, I'm going to make a scarf where each block represents one of those dates in a four block sequence. The first block will consist of 22 rows, the second 12 rows , the third will have 18 rows, and the last will have 8 rows. Once completed it will symbolize our relationship. I hope to have it finished by our 6th anniversary on November 12 (I'm sure it will though, granted the yarn doesn't take forever to get here from Canada).

The second order was with Smiley's Yarns for $56 ($65 after shipping). I bought 7 skeins of Lion Brand Jiffy in Detroit to make a crib blanket with (for a baby who has yet to be conceived--I figure it's better to have some stuff on hand in case the stork visits someone I know, so I don't have to rush out and buy yarn). I also got 5 skeins of Jiffy in red, for a purpose I can't remember. I think it had something to do with Christmas though....But at $1 per skein, I'll find some use for it. Then I bought a few more skeins of Patons Classic Wool for various felting projects. 3 skeins of black for Jonathan's remote control holder, and one skein each of grey and beige for a couple of purses I'm planning to make (I decided to get one extra skein of each just in case since I cut it so close with the felted tote bag, and I still needed an extra skein than originally thought). In addition to the fuzzy yarns purchased from WNW for stockings, I bought 3 skeins each of Bernat Aspen in Berry Red and White. I'm hoping the red won't be too off, but if it is I'll just pick some stuff up from Michael's and use the red Aspen for other projects.

Last on my list was 6 skeins of Pattons Cotton DK in Dusty Rose for this week's Knitworthy, which is a Retro Style Knitting Bag. I still need to find some cool handles, but I'm scoping out Ebay to see what I can find. Either that or I'm hoping I get lucky and run across an old, but beat up bag with vintage handles that I can rescue. No luck at the thrift store yesterday, and I think it might be easier to just buy some.

Below is a picture of the Retro Knitting Bag. Check out the rest of their site too, because they have some great vintage knitting patterns for sale.

Thursday, October 09, 2003 

Argh! My tax class was cancelled last night. Not cancelled for the evening, but cancelled for good. So, now I have to find another class to crash. H&R Block has this policy that if there are less than 10 students regularly showing up for a particular class, they'll cancel it. We had 8 regulars. And a really awesome teacher. Now, that's all gone. Now I have the addedd stress of trying to find a new class that I can actually get to on time that doesn't conflict with my schedule before our midterm next week.

In happier news, the felted tote is done. I even brought it to work today (with my knitting inside). Below are some pictures (the ones I promised the other day). The bag is pretty plain, but it'll work well for its purposes. My next bag will have some more pizzazz, I hope.


Before felting


After Felting (while drying)


Another After Felting Picture (just at a slightly different angle)


And coming soon, a picture of the finished project!

Tuesday, October 07, 2003 

Nobody told me the bag would take this long to dry. It was still a little damp last night. I ran out the door before I could check it this morning, but it wouldn't surprise me if it were still slightly damp when I got home tonight.

I also got home a little late last night, so I didn't have a chance to upload the pics. Maybe tonight, if I can pry myself from the California Recall coverage.

I'm sort of in between projects right now. Well, not really, but everything is either in the finishing stages, or not really portable. So, I started on a scarf with some purple and white yarn I picked up on clearance at Artfibers a month or two ago. I'm just going to do a simple 3x2 rib. I want something mindless and fast.

Otherwise, I need to start working on my Christmas knitting. I've been doing some shopping around online for some yarn to make stockings with. And I also want to make ornaments. I'm trying to decide what else I'm going to make for Christmas presents, but I'm kind of stumped. I've already got the yarn for Jonathan's parent's throw. And I'm not sure if I'm going to knit something for my parents or not, or for my friend Alicia, or for anyone else.

I also need to get some black wool yarn to make a remote control holder for Jonathan. He's been bugging me about making him one for months. I've decided I'm going to felt it. But I still have to design it. At this point I'm thinking 6 pockets for remotes, and a large pocket for a TV Guide/notepad, and maybe a little pocket for a pen. He'll be hanging it over the file cabinet next to his bed (which acts as his night stand). But, I wanted something that he could use to put over the arm of a chair or couch when he moves out. I've got a few sketches, and some measurements, and an idea in my head of how I want to make it. But, first I need to get the yarn, swatch it, felt the swatch to gauge shrinkage, and then work out the pattern details. When I'm done with it I plan to post the pattern up for free on my free patterns site.

Lastly is this week's Knitworthy. It's not actually a knitting project, but it is made with wool, and it is felted. This week's project is felted soap. These would make a pretty cool gift, and it looks like they would be fun to make. Make a gift basket for someone with one of these, a knitted herbal neckwrap, a smocked eye pillow, a knitted back scrubber, and a handmade washcloth (all of these patterns can be found on my free patterns site). Maybe throw in a homemade candle, or home made bath salts (or go buy some nice scented ones), a relaxing CD (you could make this yourself too), a bottle of wine (don't make that), and anything else you think the recipient might like.

Monday, October 06, 2003 

Hooray for progress! I actually got some knitting done this weekend. Sunday afternoon I was faced with a choice: do more homework for Tax Class, or knit. Not a very difficult decision.

I finished the felted tote bag. I literally used up every last inch of yarn. I had to leave the straps a few inches short because there was no yarn left. Then I threw it in my washing machine and babysat it for probably the next hour. I was so anxious and nervous. I was afraid I'd pull it out of the washing machine and it would be the size of a wallet, or it would fall apart, or it would be horribly deformed. I probably could have gone through one more agitation cycle, but I was afraid of going too far. It turned out looking really good too. I did take some pictures, but my dumbass self left them on my computer at home. So, I'll upload those onto my picture hosting site and hopefully post them tomorrow. The bag is still drying anyway, so maybe tonight I'll be able to take a picture with it toally dry and ready to use. I still have to decide whether or not to do a lining. I'm planning on using it as a knitting bag, as opposed to a regular purse, so I can probably get away with not lining it.

I also started on the beaded napkin rings for Jonathan's mom. I still haven't even finished mine. But, I've been lagging on starting the one's for Jon's mom, so I started them last night. I even finished one of the napkin rings last night. I found that knitting them was easier and quicker this time than when I had been working on mine. Though knitting with wire is still never as quick as knitting with yarn. I like the way they're coming out. The dark green beads really pop.

Also, check out my free patterns page. I've added some fun new links, and I'll be adding more really soon.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003 

Last night's Stitch and Bitch went really well. We had two new people show up. There were only five of us there, but we still had a great time drinking margaritas, eating chips and the delicious dip Donna made, and working on our projects. Georgia spent some time teaching Maria how to crochet, and then let Maria work on her own, making a hat. By the end of the meeting we were all shocked at how much progress she had made, and at how well she was doing. We hung out until about 9:30 (so about 2 1/2 hours) chatting about all kinds of stuff. If you're interested in joining us at a future meeting and you will either be in the Bay Area at the end of the month or live here, click on the Yahoo Group button on the left sidebar.

I've also begun binding off for the tote bag. It uses an icord bind off, which I've never used before. It's pretty interesting, and I like the way it looks when it's done. But it takes forever. I'm constantly having to work with only 5 or 6 stitches at a time, and I have to constantly move them from the right needle to the left needle and back, over and over again. I worked on it during my commute, and at the meeting last night, and I'm about 1/3 of the way done. Then, I still have to knit the straps and felt it. I'm shooting to have it done this weekend.

Also, I'm a little delayed on this weeks Knitworthy, so here it is. Since last week I posted something of the male persuasion, this week I'm posting something of the female persuasion. Namely, a Knitted Uterus. The first time I saw one of these things I said "what the f*ck?!" But, after doing a little digging I found out that knitted uteri are used to help train people involved in prenatal care, and birthing. Not only that, but it seems that these things sell for quite a bit of money too. Maybe this could be a lucrative business opportunity. You could sell knitted uteruses and Willy Warmers at your local fair. Here is a link to a site that sells them. The site includes a picture.

About me

  • I'm Dani
  • From San Francisco
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