How to drive someone crazy from 1100 miles away

21 September 2007

Yarn diet? What yarn diet?

So, I broke the yarn diet today, but it was for the best reason ever.

Yoshi and I went to see my good friend Linds and her charming live-in boyfriend Steven this week. I wore the little blue hat for all of three minutes, and we realized it would look perfect on Steven. Two seconds into trying on the hat, Steven offered to buy it off me. Hmmm...

Now, technically, since I have worn that hat to many places and things, it is a used item. And there is no way I will make a friend pay me for a used article of my own clothing, particularly one I have never even washed. So, I said I'd make him one. And then upon arriving home I got my first credit card since the bankruptcy in the mail, the one I intend to use to repair my credit and shop online (really uncomfortable using my bank card online, I don't know why), and next thing you know...

I was very restrained. I only bought what I really, really needed to make Steven's hat. And something for Linds to say thank you for having us. And a tiny kit that was on sale. Less than $100, I swear, and that includes shipping. Also, I do have the cash in the bank account to cover it, and since I have no interest on purchases until October of next year, it seemed only intelligent to order yarn today and start the journey to better financial health. See? Best reason ever. I am showing gratitude and doing something good for my future.

And by the way, Steven has an etsy shop. How cool is he?

And then there is news on the entrelac front:

This is going to be the front of the first of two pillows for the living room. I am planning a set of coasters to match, maybe felted maybe not. Maybe just a bunch of different swatches or maybe I will try some slipped-stitch plaid, or maybe I will stop having more ideas than I have spare time.

16 September 2007

Learning makes me tired.

A first for today: I took a class.

I know, those of you who know me will say "She finally got herself some class? It's about time!" But no, I took a class on entrelac, and I tell ya, friends and neighbors, learning wears me out. Almost everything I know about knitting (and if I may be so bold, I do know quite a bit) I have taught myself out of books, from the Internet, or pure trial and error. Even the asking of advice on the online forums (like Knitty Coffeeshop) has been mostly to confirm what I already knew to be true, but just wanted a bit of encouragement. So, learning from others is a bit alien to me, and I thought I'd better give it a whirl.

I got myself down to the Sip and Knit and spent several hours with some entrelac knitting lessons. Got home and promptly fell asleep for three hours. But, look how pretty happy shiny!

Yeah, not the best picture to show off the actual knitting, but do take a moment and notice how perfectly the colors I chose go with my favorite lamp, as well as Mom's antique amber glass ashtray. If you look closely, you can see I started with cream, then gold, then ruby red. I am moving on to the black, then the rust and will measure at that point to see if I have anything resembling a square for a pillow or two. I've got a little homework to do, as one cannot even think of finishing until there is at least one more set of rectangles (a knit-side set of rectangles, for those in the know), and we agreed to meet up on Thursday night to learn the finishing triangles.

As a technique, it works up pretty freakin' cool. As a look, the directionality is very appealing, and I think I would want to spice it up a bit with some cables or simple lace in the middle of the plain stockinette rectangles. I think I need to practice my backwards knitting a bit more (I've been trying with some plain stockinette pieces in preparation for the class, but slow going) because the flipping is a bit tedious, but I don't think that's anything I couldn't tackle on my own. All in all, a pretty decent experience. I did hear one of my classmates going on about Ravelry for a bit, and I have some thoughts on that... (Kind of a rough segue, I know.)

I refuse to go on Ravelry. Simply refuse to even browse it until it goes 100% public and I can just use it to see what others are doing with their stash that I may not have thought of. I don't need my computer finding yet another way to suck up the valuable hours of my life. It's hard enough what with the minimal amount of blogs I read, as well as constant virtual window shopping in the yarn shops and the mags like Knitty and The AntiCraft. Call me antisocial, call me overly solitary, whatever, I prefer to do these things on my own, learn at my own pace, and never, ever see in writing what I have in the stash (I think I would cry in despair and shame at my wastefulness, as there is no way in hell I will find the time to knit it all, what with needing to buy more every chance I get).

Who wants to see the Fortune Cookie bag?

This is the bag, pre-felting. It has since been felted, and I have decided that I absolutely hate the handles. I should have known; if you don't like something pre-felting, you probably aren't going to like it post-felting (unless it's a fedora you need to shrink, but I digress...) and I really didn't like them at all, ever. My plan was for a wide, flat base that tapered up into an even strap, but like a fool I used stockinette as a center panel in the wider area. I should have gone garter all the way, but I felt the colors weren't showing themselves off to the best of their ability in bumpy garter, and then (oh, surprise!) the stockinette had the nerve to curl inward on me. So, I plan to lose the existing handles, send it through the washer to close up the area where the handles were, and attach some leather and hardware. I'm thinking something black and distressed, to keep up the hobo-look of the bag. I plan to comb a few thrift shops for belts or purses I might cut up, and as a last resort the nice yarnshop lady gave me the business card of a local leather worker to make something custom (Thanks, Doni!).

But, aside from the handles, I love this little bag. Such an easy pattern to devise (modified mitering), such wonderful colors (the other side has a blue bit that entertains me to no end), and soft as a baby's butt, if that baby were made out of mohair, wool and silk. Plus, I managed to felt up Noro Silk Garden, which many thought could not be done due to the high silk content. Haha, in your face, Silk Garden! I will felt you at my own will!

Apparently it's late and I am tired; I am gloating at the yarn.

08 September 2007

All I ever wanted and just in time for my birthday

I've been lusting after a KnitPicks Options set of needles for quite some time now. However, I am not a big fan of metal needles (too heavy, too much likeness to instruments of pointy destruction, and I love the colors wood or bamboo carries in its depths) so I have held back on getting myself a set. Then, this morning, a mere five weeks before my birthday, I get an email from KnitPicks with a link to these. Oh, don't worry. Yoshi already knows.