Saturday, March 31, 2007

A quick note...

... on my way to bed.

Haven't worked on anything. A few rows on the tote-from-hell. Won't be done by Greg's birthday, which is tomorrow.

I have a severe ear infection. I feel like crap, and need to get some sleep. I will have some exciting pictures this week, though. I hope.


Sunday, March 25, 2007

Knitting Witch

It's rare when two of my favorite obsessions come together. For a brief moment, I can see the hidden patterns in the world. Everything makes sense, and suddenly I'm not as freaky as I previously believed.

OK, that's actually a little too deep for what I'm posting. Two Lumps (see side bar) has a rather amusing strip today. Check it out here!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Drop-Spindle Woes

I have a drop-spindle. It was an anniversary present nearly 2 years ago. From time to time I take it out and see if I can figure the blasted thing out. I can't. I am usually able to figure things out simply by reading the directions, but for some reason I can't master the art of spinning. All I get is a length of twisted fiber that in no way resembles yarn. Especially after it untwists itself.

I was looking for a good video of it, and I could only find someone using a bottom whorl spindle. Mine, of course, is a top whorl. So it doesn't quite look the same.

Kris's mother has offered to show me how to use it. I just need to call her up and figure out when the hell I have time to go out to Crown Point and have her show me. There really ought to be more hours in the day or days in the week. I'd only find a way to fill those with nonsense as well.

OK, I need to watch some TV and maybe work a bit on the blasted tote. Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Yeah... it's PICTURES!

Just what you all have been waiting for: PICTURES! There's a bunch, so make a pot of coffee while you have the time!

Back so soon? OK, here we go:

Here is the Kitty Hat that the delightful Suzanne made just for me!

Ignore the dishes in the background. :-) The picture isn't the best quality because I had to use my cell phone to get it. It's the only way I could get a pic of myself. I love the hat, though. It almost makes me a little sad that winter is on its way out. Almost.

And here is the famous Jayne Cobb hat! Just like the one from Firefly!

I'm modeling it because Greg is sleeping. That's why it looks a little big. It fits him perfectly.

And here is a little bit of what I have been up to:

This is a cell phone cozy that I made for one of my coworkers. It is hideous. This picture was also taken with a cell phone, so the colors aren't that great. The true color is this terrible pink with sparkly yarn. The color of a Tab can. I made this up as I went along. Has a belt loop. Needs a bigger button on the front.

For some reason it is a hit among a couple of my coworkers. It started with a cell phone "sock" I made for one of my partners. Then Stacey (the one modeling the snazzier version above) wanted one. She has lost or broken 3 $200+ cell phones in the last year. Her fiance asked if I could make something that would keep her from losing this one. So I came up with the Phone Cozy 2.0. Now the partner who got the sock wants a new one. Thankfully, they are easy to make and the yarn was free!

And here is my knitting progress:

It's going to be a scarf. A rather wiggly scarf. Greg keeps trying to make me feel better and tell me that it's pretty strait for a first time knitter. It's all knit... garter stitch. Just trying to practice, get the hang of this knitting thing.

Here is the yarn I bought for my Secret Pal spoilee:

It's a homespun, hand-dyed yarn I got on Etsy. My spoilee says she likes flame colors. This yarn reminds me of the campfires we have at the annual NIPA campout. Especially after we toss a "firestick" or two in.

I also sent her some Bert's Bees hand lotion and some Lindor Chocolate Truffles.

K.C. doesn't get her picture in here very often... for good reason. She doesn't like having her picture taken. See how she is trying to destroy my camera with her laser-beam death-ray eyes?

She doesn't want me embarassing her by making jokes about how fat cats do not belong in small shoe boxes. She loves to squeeze herself into the box and sleep there.

And here is Zorro, showing the world the cuteness of a fat cat belly.

He is trying to mimic his daddy, being lazy, lounging on the couch. I think he has the remote hidden under one of the cushions.

OK, that's all I have. I was going to take a picture of the demon-tote-WIP, but there's not much more to report. I've started working on it again, but I haven't gotten too far. I'm going to try to get a bunch done on it this weekend.
G'nite, everyone!

A New Look

I've made a few changes and additions to my Pagan Hooker blog. What do you all think? I'm still looking for a way to make or add WIP progress bars to the side, but I can't figure out how or where to find them.

I'm going to try to add some pictures later today. But I need to get some food first and maybe a nap. Later!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

SP10 blog post contest

As some of you may have guessed, I am participating in SP10. My wonderful hostess Robyn has worked her butt off getting matches made and the super-duper humongous participant list together. And now she has made a little request of her participants. In order to make sure we post about yarn-related topics and get our 4 posts a month, she has asked us to post about our favorite knitting accessory. There is a prize for a random blogger who complies with her request. Since Robyn is working so hard, I feel that this is the least that I can do!

Since I have only been knitting for a couple of weeks, I can't say there is anything I really like associated with knitting. I do like my bamboo needles. They make a cool clicking noise when I knit.

But, so far, the best investment I have made is my yarn tote. I bought it on sale at Joann's, and have endure much teasing as I drag it behind me into work, but I absolutely love it. It has enough space in it to fit a ton of yarn (at least 2 projects worth), a spot for all my hooks and needles. Little pockets to hold stitch markers and sewing needles and measuring tape. Plus I usually have enough room for a couple of pattern books and a movie or two to pop in the DVD player at work so I can watch something while I crochet. Heaven forbid I actually work while I am getting paid! :-) The wheeled tote is a million times better than the plethora of WIP totes I have lying all over the place!

It is late and I must sleep. Come back Thursday evening. I am hoping to have a much more exciting post! If I don't, I'll at least have a very good excuse!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Happy Hat Day!

I really need to get the whole photo thing working on this darned computer. I have so many photos to share and no way to post them here. Grrrr...

Sunday, I met with a couple of friends in our own version of a Stitch and Bitch. Not an officially sanctioned meeting, just a few of us getting together for coffee and kvetching and working with yarn. It was fun. Time flew by faster than I could imagine. Unfortunately, the knitting I was doing did not fly so well. In the two and a half hours, I maybe was able to complete 10 rows, which added up to a couple of inches. If I was crocheting, this scarf thing would be done. It's just 30 stitches across on size 10 needles (I think), worked in garter stitch. I might finish it before I die.

I received a present from Suz in the mail. She made a Jayne Cobb hat for my hubby, which I knew about. The big surprise was the lovely kitty hat she made for me! Thank you so much. I will wear it this weekend when our glorious spring weather turns back to winter for a few days. I promise... there will be pictures.... eventually!

OK, going out to dinner soon with my family. I will post more later!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Secret Pal 10 Questionnaire

I had so much fun with Secret Pal 9, I decided to do it again. So... here's this round's questionnaire:

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

I like natural fibers (don't we all) with a special love for alpaca. I like to look at novelty yarns, but they are such a pain in the arse to work with.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

I have this yarn tote that I take to work. My New Year's Resolution was to organize all my supplies. I have the tools, just haven't gotten around to actually doing it.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

I have been crocheting for over 6 years. I taught myself from a book, although I recently learned I've been doing everything wrong. :-P I would consider myself an intermediate crocheter.

I have been knitting for about 20 hours at the time of this post. :-)

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

Yes, I finally broke down and made a wish list at Amazon. There's a button over on the right side of this blog.

5. What's your favorite scent?

I love sandalwood. I also like light floral scents and citrus scents.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

I have a major sweet tooth. I love chocolate, in nearly every form.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

I want to learn to spin. I have a drop spindle. I want to learn to weave. But, I do not do any other crafts. I'm actually very untalented.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

I like all types of music. I really love small indie bands. My favorite bands are the Beatles and Aqualung. I also listen to classical, opera, trance/electronica, bluegrass.... umm, everything. My computer and my stereo both play mp3s.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?

I love color in general. My favorite color is pink, in every gaudy shade it can come in. I also like green, blue, black, and white. There really isn't a color that I don't like. I don't wear or use yellow or orange much, but I still like them.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

I'm married. My husband is an occasional knitter. We have three cats, and are thinking very hard about adding a kid to the mix.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

Yes, yes, yes, and yes.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

This winter I have come to love crocheting hats. It's quick, small enough to keep in my purse, and everyone seems to love homemade hats.

13. What are you knitting right now?

I'm working on the Goddess-forsaken-tote-bag-from-Hades for my hubby. I also have to make another skully potholder for a friend. And I am working on an afghan for my dad, and somewhere I have a sweater that I started for one of my nephews. Ummm... not much.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

Of course!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

I don't have a preference for needles yet, although I am teaching myself on bamboo. I use aluminum hooks to crochet, I don't care much for plastic (except when I am using the jumbo Q and S hooks!). I want to get more bamboo hooks. I only have a bamboo G hook, whick I received from my SP9 pal!

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

I wish....

17. How old is your oldest UFO?

Well, I've been crocheting for over 6 years, so... ummm... 6 years?

18. What is your favorite holiday?

Halloween/Samhain. And Festivus. :-)

19. Is there anything that you collect?

Children's books. Actually, books in general. Mirrors in interesting frames. Dust bunnies. My clothes collect cat fur.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

I would like Stitch and Bitch Nation (might as well complete the set!). I love all yarn, so it's hard to say that I would like a specific type. I would like to try some of the soy yarn. I am looking for a crocheted pattern for a christening gown that would allow me to incorporate various symbols into the skirt portion. I think that I'm going to have to design my own, though.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?


22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

Nope, but my husband is. Well, he's made one pair of socks. I would like to learn as soon as I figure out this knitting thing in general. I wear a size 9 shoe.

23. When is your birthday?

May 11th!

I can't wait to start! I can't wait to get my match! I already have some wonderful ideas for gifts!!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Adventures in Knitting

So, as part of my break from the now-hated zombie tote, I decided to try the knitting thing. I am mostly teaching myself drom the SNB book, with some "helpful hints" from Greg. I prefer to try a gazillion times and fail before asking for help. He wants to share his knowledge with the world. Can you tell which of us was a science major and which was a secondary education major? LOL

I already know two things. One... I am pretty sure that I like crocheting more. Two... I'm a "left-handed" knitter. I think that the reason I knit "left-handed", or Continental, is because I crochet. I tried the other method that involves holding the yarn in your right hand and all that jazz. I ended up with a tangle of yarn that wouldn't stay on the needle or worked hard to be a knot (would that be a-frayed-knot? Sorry...).

Holding the yarn and the needle with the yarn on it with my left hand and moving the empty needle with my right hand is closer to crochet. It feels more natural, and I might even be able to produce something that looks knitted.

So far, I suck. I know how to cast on. My tension isn't so great, and the yarn keeps falling off the needles. And I cast on too tightly, but I knew I would do that. I have a tendency to chain too tightly as well. Right now, I am casting on using two needles and removing one when I am ready to practice.

I'm not sure this knitting thing will ever replace my love for crochet. After over 6 years, my favorite part now is being able to watch TV while I crochet, not having to pay too much attention to what my hands are doing. Unless it's a fricking tote bag for Greg... grrrrrr....

ETA: Purling sucks... and my hand is crampy.

Monday, March 05, 2007

A Sad, Sad Day

I should be sleeping right now. I'm pretty tired and have to work in the morning (and I worked some OT today). But I have some terrible news to share.

I've been working on this tote for Greg for some time now. Actually, it feels as if I have been working on this tote my entire life. And right now is the boring part. Jsut rows and rows of half-double crochet stitches... mainly in black.

Well, the first thing to disappoint me was that I ran out of black yarn. I thought I would have enough, but I didn't. So, I went and bought some more, but since I bought the original so many months ago, the new skeins are a different dye lot. And you can tell. I'm hoping after I felt it it won't be too noticeable.

Then, I noticed that the bag was starting to look a little wonky. It didn't match up, one side seemed shorter than the other. Now, I am making the front, bottom, and back in one piece. I'm using the same hook, and mostly the same tension. The back cannot be shorter than the front, right? Wrong. Apparently, I have dropped a few stitches. How many, you may be wondering. Ten. Yup... somehow I managed to lose ten stitches somewhere in the last 100 or so rows. I can't even figure out where I lost them. So I frogged about 10 inches of my work, regained 2 stitches, and have decided that I am just going to add the stitches back in over the next few rows. Again, I am hoping when it is all stitched up and felted, you won't be able to notice. Grrrr.... I am so aggravated.

I think I might work on something else tomorrow. This would break my vow to finish this before working on anything else, but I am so pissed... I need a little instant gratification.

Sunday, March 04, 2007


Just because I am obsessed and want others to join the obsession: