4

Booty!

 yarns062907
Methinks there’s a bit of a theme here…..

Yesterday, on a whim, I decided to stop by one of the LYS’s that I don’t normally go to.  It’s not that it’s not a nice LYS, it’s just kind of out of my way and I always sort of forget that it’s there.  Apparently there’s so much competition in this town, 4 other LYS’s besides this one (Where are the knitters?  Where?  Why have I never seen one?), that the poor gal who owns it is having to shut it down!  There were signs all over the shop announcing a retirement sale and when I found out what the deal was, I was supremely saddened for the owner even though I don’t know her personally.  How terrible would it be, to recognize your lifelong dream of owning your own yarn shop, only to have to close it down because you couldn’t make it work?  Note to self: Find new dream job. 

Sad as I was, the shopper in me could smell a deal and it didn’t exactly make me feel upset to take advantage of the 25% off on everything in the whole store.  I did feel a pang of guilt though.  A small pang. And then a burning flame in my hand as I passed over that plastic to the salesgirl.  My poor visa is going to melt any second after all the action it’s seen lately!  And you can bet it’s going to see some more action before August when the shop closes….. 

The booty specifics:

araucaniawool062907
(click on thumbnail for larger image)
8 skeins of Araucania Nature Wool in color #42 – a pretty, subtly variegated, rosy pink

redlouetgems062907
(click on thumbnail for larger image)
2 skeins of Louet Gems sock yarn in Cherry Red

pinkartyarnssupermerino062907
(click on thumbnail for larger image)
4 skeins Artyarns Supermerino in color #115 Reds

artyarnsultramerino062907
(click on thumbnail for larger image)
2 skeins Artyarns Ultramerino 6 color # 111

Plus, the new Knitscene Magazine and 3 pairs of 24″ bamboo circular needles sizes 7, 8 & 9

Yeah.  I went a little nuts.

4

June Randomness

So if you were hoping for some clever dialogue, I suggest you just pass right on by my post today.  I’m tired.  It’s been a long week.  I got nuthin’.  Sorry bloggy peeps.  But here’s something I do have.  An FO!  (Yeah I know.  It’s some kind of freakin’ miracle!)  Mr. Monkey is again doing the honors for me.  Because really, you just can’t go wrong if you put a monkey in your photo!

pinkpol062707

This is like the 6th Lion Brand’s Pound of Love baby afghan I’ve crocheted.  But believe it or not, this is the very first pink one I’ve ever made.  Though I like this color, I find that I actually prefer white the best.  Besides, I figure when the baby barfs on it you can always bleach it out!

I’ve also been working on the lovely Lelah top from the Knitting For Boozehags site.  I was inspired by my sweet knitty e-friend Kasia, who recently finished a gorgeous red Lelah and has been generously assisting me with the somewhat sketchy directions.  I’m knitting it in K1C2’s Angora Soft (the same yarn I used for Rusted Root) in a really pretty chocolate brown color.  I’m really liking the lace pattern so far and I hope that mine will look at least half as nice as Kasia’s when I’m done.  This is what I had after 5 lace repeats (I’m a bit farther along now, but didn’t bother to take another pic – Yep.  I’m lazy.).

lelah5rpt062707

In other exciting news – well, exciting for me – I’m taking a 3-day Intensive Beginning Jewelry Making class Saturday through Monday at a local studio called Pouncing Rain.  I’m really excited about this!  I’ll learn all kinds of metalsmithing techniques and hopefully come away with the skills to make a piece of jewelry, something I’ve always wanted to learn.  I’m also taking a class Thursday night to learn how to make my own findings (clasps, earring hooks, etc.).  I just hope they’ve got fire insurance because acetylene torches and me, well, let’s just say there’s a chance we might not hit it off.

3

Are You A Superstitious Knitter?

me&yarn0207 

 

Did you know…….

 

♥ It’s bad luck to leave a project unfinished. The intended recepient will get bad luck from the unfinished item.

Oh crapshait!  So what happens if the intended recipient was yourself?  Is that like fiber-assisted suicide or something?  I guess that scarf I didn’t finish from last February is shooting beams of bad luck at my noggin because I swear there’s at least 20 new grey hairs up there.  And not where I could hide it either.  Oh no.  These guys are right up front, just waving “hi” to everyone I meet. 

♥ Stabbing your needles though your yarn balls brings bad luck to anyone who wears something made from that yarn.

Sheesh!  Who needs a voodoo doll when you can get your revenge while knitting?  Note to self: Find receipt for voodoo doll and return asap.  Then buy yarn.   

♥ Don’t knit a pair of socks for your boyfriend or he’ll walk away from you.

If he hits on your best friend, steals your stuff, or eats all of your chocolate, bust out those dpn’s!

♥ If you knit one of your own hairs into a garment, it will bind the recipient to you.

Uh…..  Doing this on purpose is just ewwwww.

♥ Knitting for children you may have in the future, but before you are pregnant, is bad luck (it may prevent one from getting pregnant, or bring ill health to the baby).

Crap.  Well, I guess it’s a good thing that everyone in the known universe seems to be pregnant or having babies right now.  That way I can get my cute baby project fix.  Do you think they put something in the water 9 months ago?  Because the people around me just can’t seem to stop procreating. 

Happy Knitting!

Info courtesy of this superstitions site.

5

Tag-tastic Tutorial!

Whenever I make a knitted or crocheted gift for someone, I like to include a tag with washing intructions and a tag to let the recipient know that their gift was handmade by me, especially for them.  I figured it would be nice to share the simple way that I make mine for all you other knitters, crocheters, or crafters out there who would like to give their next gift that extra personal touch.  I know that, more often than not, these tags are just thrown out, possibly even ignored, but I still like to include them because I think this small touch can take my gift that extra step from homemade to handmade.  BTW:  I included these in all the Christmas gifts I knit last year, and my SIL told me that when her mom opened the lace scarf I’d made her, she took one look at the tag and scarf and assumed that I’d bought her gift! 

 

Gift Tag Tutorial

 

tags062207a

Supplies:

  • Scissors

  • Scrapbooking paper or some other paper for background of tag (Origami paper comes in nice patterns too!)

  • Glue – the particular glue I used is called Zig  2 Way Glue (I don’t know if they sell it anymore as I’ve had it a long time!)  Any quick drying kind will work.  Check the scrapbooking supplies at your local craft store for good options.

  • Avery Marking Tags size 2-3/4″ x 1-11/16″, or whatever size you want your tags to be

  • Sharpie

  • Small hole punch

  • Optional: Stickers with “Handmade by:” on them (I got mine printed for me at My Own Labels, they’ve got a wide selection of colors and styles and the price is reasonable on some of the smaller labels.  I chose this style.)  You could also use a rubber stamp or just write it yourself on the tag.

 

tags062207b

1.  Cut the string off of the Avery tags.  You can do this carefully if you want to keep the little bit of string to tie back on later, or you can ditch it in favor of ribbon or whatever rocks your crafty senses.

tags062207c

2.  Place your fancy paper upside down on a scrap piece of paper (I’m using some annoying junk mail), flip your tag over, and apply your glue to the backside of the tag. 

tags062207d

3.  Place the sticky side of your tag down onto the back of your fancy paper and press firmly so all edges are stuck down.

tags062207e

4.  Continue in this manner, sticking tags to back of paper, until you have as many tags as you’d like.  I try to maximize how many tags I can fit on a piece of paper so that I don’t waste any of it.  I also make quite a few at a time so I have lots of tags ready for gifts as they are finished.

tags062207f

5.  After glue is dry (this is really quick if you use the Zig stuff I mentioned), cut the tags away from the paper, following the edges of the tag as a guideline.

tags062207g

After cutting you’ll have something like this

tags062207h

6.  The easiest step of all…… punch yourself a hole in your tag!  I use the pre-made hole as a guideline and punch from the top side.

tags062207i

You’ll have something like this afterwards

tags062207j

7.  Sign your name on your stickers if you’re using them.  If not, add whatever stamped or handwritten image or message you like to your tag at this point and then skip to step number 9.

tags062207k2

8.  Stick ’em on!

tags062207l

You’ve got yourself a tag baby!
* I know this tag doesn’t have my signature on it. I just figured I could do without identity thefters getting a close up look at my signature!

9.  Now just add a ribbon or re-use the original string tie, attach your new handmade tag to your gifty and give away!

3

On Giving

I saw this link for the Red Carpet Convertible on Robin’s blog today and had to post it.  If this message can reach just a few more knitters or other generous people through my blog, then it will be worth it!  Won’t you stop by and read Annie’s message and perhaps extend a helping hand? 

It is well to give when asked but it is better to give unasked, through understanding.
Kahlil Gibran, ‘On Giving,’ The Prophet, 1923

3

Pie & Socks. Socks & Pie.

So Saturday I conjured up a little kitchen magic…..

          rhubarb061807           pie061607a          pie061607b
                     Fresh!                                 Sugar & spiced…..                      All tucked in…..

 

pie061607c
Fresh baked!

A little of that magic must have spilled out of the kitchen too, because I finished my first sock!

toeupsock061607a

Why is it that it’s nearly impossible to take a flattering picture of yourself wearing your handknit socks? You could have calves like Gisele and they’d still look chunky and gross when photographed in a handknit sock……. 
Note to self:  Must analyze knitting mags for the perfect handknit sock pose that does not make calves look like ass.

Now to try and duplicate the double-dreaded Eastern Cast-on for sock #2.  A little pixie dust over here please…..

3

Photo Friday – June 15, 2007

hummingbird1

We have a new friend!  I’ve been waiting and waiting for a hummingbird to discover our feeder and now that this little guy has, he’s been visiting us at least 6 or more times during the evening, sometimes just perching and looking around.  He’s a hungry little bird!  We think he’s a Rufous though it’s hard to tell with him zipping off every time he gets startled.  But we did manage to capture this photo through our window using R. Darling’s fancy zoom lens on his Canon.  Rufous hummingbird’s are the most common species where we live, so we guess that’s probably what he is.  And yesterday we were surprised to see what we think is a little girl stopping by to feed as well!  She’s quite curvy (the females are larger than the males) and not as flashy looking as her counterpart.  We imagine Rufous (as we’ve named the little boy) going home to his main squeeze and telling her about the feast he’s discovered at our house.  Oh joy!  I want to call her Pudge, but R. Darling says women don’t take kindly to comments on their physique, so perhaps Lola.  It’s a good name for a curvy girl.

5

A Pound of Sock Monkey Love

Another Pound of Love baby afghan finished (I think this is #5)!  And here it is along with some gratuitous sock monkey goodness especially for my husband :) 

polsockmonkey061107a

I made this little guy for him as a present to celebrate our “1 year dating anniversary”, as he had one he loved dearly when he was a little boy (he’ll cringe when he reads this, knowing I’ve shared some dirt….I’ll have to be careful or he’ll spill some of mine on his blog – and he’s got some good dirt too!).  We both have a fondness for these compellingly cute/ugly little guys now – we even have a tiny one we hang on the Christmas tree every year! 

polsockmonkey061107b

Entirely off the subject, but something I’ve been thinking about just the same, is the buzz around Ravelry.  It looks pretty fantastic, honestly.  I am still wondering if I want to sign up or not.  I’ve got something similar at Craftmemo, which is already all set up, but it’s not specifically for knitting and crocheting.  Nor is it interfaced with blogs and communities quite like Ravelry is.  Hmmmm.  Anyone care to share with me what they’re thinking about this new cool thing?

5

Cold Hands, Warm Heart

 atbdpark61007

So this morning R. Darling asked me to accompany him to a local lake and take some photos while he practiced rolling his kayak, never mind the fact that it’s windy, raining and probably 40 degrees outside and this particular lake is freezing even in the middle of summer.  Crazy boy would rather be upside down in his kayak than right side up!  After snapping approximately 70 photos or so (his digital Canon SLR Rebel has a pretty cool action mode that snaps three shots, one right after another) I retired to a picnic table to knit while he played a bit longer.  Let me tell you, it’s pretty hard to knit socks when you’re freezing your ass off!  But knit I did, frozen fingers and ears and all.  I would have brought Flo, but she’s too pretty to be hanging out with the mud and goose poo at the park. 

atbdparkb

 Yes, that is my winter coat along with a fleece and long-sleeved shirt underneath. Brrrrrr!

atbdpark061007c

 Future sock puppet gets a kiss…..

3

Photo Friday – June 8, 2007

peony060107
Peonies!

I have been waiting 3 years for these to bloom and they finally opened up their pretty little faces for me this past week!  I’ve been checking them every morning since the buds appeared, like a little kid waiting for Christmas.  My mom had these in her garden when I was growing up and when they moved to California several years back she took some of them with her.  When they moved back here she didn’t really have a garden so we put them in ours.  These are well-traveled peonies!  From what I’ve heard, it takes about 3 years for peonies to get established and then they will start blooming.  Building up their strength I guess.  Another interesting factoid that I learned the other day from my mom (who heard it from her neighbor), is that peonies apparently need ants to bloom.  I was kind of freaked that there were ants all over my peony buds and mom told me that they won’t bloom without them.  So odd.  You won’t be able to see it, but after I took this photo I noticed a little ant right in the center of the peony in the photograph.  Thanks little ant dude for helping my flowers bloom!