Sunday, December 28, 2008

Holly-daze!

I have a handful of Christmas knitting to show you guys, but I'll handle that when I get back to Portland and on to my own computer. It was all very well received, and I am quite pleased :-) I'll have to show you the drop-dead amazing yarn that Travis gave me, as well. I got a handful of delightful crafty books, including Laura Irwin's book, Boutique Knits, which is lovely (I'm all about supporting local designers anyway - good karma, after all- but it ain't hard when they put out beautiful and innovative stuff like this.) It seems like everything I got this year was both wonderful and needed, and I couldn't be more pleased.

I'd like to say that I took lots of wonderful snowy Christmasy pictures to post, but I didn't. I baked a ton of tasty things and wrapped a bunch of pretty presents and took NO pictures. What is wrong with me? Dear, dear.

I am waiting to hear whether or not I'll be helping run a few knitting-related workshops during Paideia (ie, "special fun workshop time" at my college). I've got almost a month until school starts again, and all sorts of lofty plans surrounding recycled sweaters, food coloring, and thesis writing. Hooray! I also just applied for a job at an excellent LYS...cross your fingers for me. (Harder! Til they hurt!) Since I only have one class in addition to my thesis this semester (well, and PE) I actually have time for a super-part-time job and this would be so perfect I could explode.

Now I am going to go eat cookies and read knitting magazines. Holidays rock.

Monday, December 15, 2008

But he's so cute...



On the left, exhibit A: Rocky. My Dog.
On the right (on the couch arm), exhibit B: Socks that I am knitting.

If you would be so kind, please follow with your eyes the strand of yarn emerging from the socks, until you get to exhibit C, "Where the hell is my skein of Noro?"


Sigh. Seriously. EVERY time I get up, the very SECOND I get up, if I leave any trace of my knitting on the couch, he is ON it. Nevermind that he has a pillow that he sleeps on, on the other side, or that my knitting often has dpns poking out of it (and lets not even bring up the bed I made him that he ignores, or the towel he has stolen and keeps in the closet so that he has somewhere comfortable to wait while I'm in the shower.) I am getting better about putting everything on the arm of the couch, but sometimes I just want to grab a drink of water or something without rearranging everything.

Dogs are weird.

(Perhaps this picture more accurately reveals his true nature and intentions.)

The ugliest, and also awesomest things ever.



It is cold here, and I have particularly...wimpy extremities, temperaturewise. I was missing the sheepskin slippers I had as a kid. The answer was obviously thrummed slippers. Et, voila!

I am not going to write up a pattern since these are far from perfect (though very sufficient) but I will give you a vague outline, because they are SO COZY and your feet want them, trust me. When they wear out, I'll make a better pair, and write that one down maybe.


-Start with a bulky, wool yarn. I used Ironstone Harmony. Also, you need a bunch of unspun wool. Use whatever needles work best.

-To thrum, knit a little wad of wool along with your stitch (I am stupid and just knitted the wad of wool, fairisle style, which make it extra tricky. Way to look up directions ahead of time, Alex.) Here is a good link: Hello Yarn on Thrumming

-Cast on very few stitches and increase kind of like you would for a top down hat...about 6-8 stitches every other row. When it gets big enough to go around your feet comfortably, stop increasing.

-Thrum as you please- I did every 5 stitches, every 5 rows (staggered)...but I wish I'd done more, they are not as wooly inside as I would've liked. I wanted 'em REAL wooly. Ideally they'd be wooly enough that the insides would felt up nicely over time and leave the slippers a bit sturdier than they are now...they are pretty floppy at the moment.

-When you get up to your ankle, bind off a bit less than third of the stitches (I did 8, for 30 stitches total, and 6 might have been preferable) and keep working, flat now.

-When the flat part is long enough to wrap your heel in, split the stitches in half and do a 3 needle bind off (on the inside.) And now make another. Hooray!!


I also would recommend sewing a leather sole on, these are REALLY slippery and I don't want to be liable for any horrible accidents.

(aside: hahahah...the word verification for this post (they make me prove I'm not a robot every time) is "sperm". Nice one, blogger.)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

It snowed.



I am a Michigan girl. Snow is no big deal for me. However, snow IS a big deal for Portland, especially this early in the season. Travis had the day off work. Our apartment parking lot/driveway is unplowed and unsalted, and extremely icy. No real idea if they'll do anything about it, and it's not supposed to warm up very soon. We live down the hill from the main road, which I'm sure IS plowed, but I just don't feel very good about trying to get up to it. There are no grocery stores within walking distance, and as we are the "buy little and often" sorts, that is a bad thing. I'm dangerously low on soy milk and dog food. I have an exams on Wednesday and Thursday mornings and a flight at 6 am Friday (current prediction- freezing rain).

So...snow kind of sucks. I really hope it warms up, or at least stops snowing so Portland's Only Salt Truck can catch up.

But it certainly is pretty.

Friday, December 12, 2008

I got some new toys.



Can you guess what they are? I'll give you a hint- those were in skein form an hour ago.

The funny (or sad, maybe, I don't know) thing is that I don't even like how yarn cakes look. I much prefer handwound balls. But I'm getting dangerously close to a time when Selling-On-Etsy-To-Pay-Da-Billz might become a reality and I feel like I should embrace crafting efficiency in all it's forms. And it's kind of fun. Really, aesthetics only really matter when it's all knit up or when it's in the hank at the store and you're trying to figure out if you want to blow a bunch of money on it.

Plus you can stack these like bricks and make yarn forts.
It's annoying not to be able to post pictures of all the stuff I've been finishing (secret Christmas stuff!) but at least there's this:



I'm having a horrible time trying to get good pictures lately...it's so ridiculously gray and the apartment is too cluttered to give me good surfaces to shoot on anyway. Probably my own fault.

Anyway, that's the yarn from the greenish batt you saw earlier. I knitted it (and it's ugly little sister, spun from the same materials before blending- seen below) into the ugliest hat in the world. It will probably be unknit as soon as I can figure out what else to do with it. The ugly-little-sister yarn is probably destined to being used for gift wrapping or something, there's not much of it and it's pretty ugly.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Topographie!




Remember that secret pile of Malabrigo? Yeah it was for this. They wanted a boy version. I'm not terribly thrilled with the way the guy's version turned out, I like the green one much better, but it ain't bad ;-) I think I just like the sparse texture better than the all-over texture. Oh Colinette, you temptress.



Anyway, find it Here

And here is a picture of Aaron looking soooper serious.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Step 12: Go buy more yarn!

Well folks, it's been a long, hard road (maybe) but you made it here (or will, someday, maybe... I definitely haven't.) Your stash is gone and you are free. Go nuts. Just not TOO nuts or you'll have to start all over again. I, for one, am going to consider actually picking a project BEFORE the yarn. But we'll see. Relevant pictures to follow in approximately 27billion years when I finish knitting up what I've got now.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Step 11: Use up the last little bits

Honestly you'll probably end up throwing most of the little leftover pieces away, but do your best. They make good stuffing for toys, and if they're wool, you can give them to the birds to use in their nests (please don't give them acrylic or cotton, it gets cold once it's wet and the poor birdies will freeze to death.) Or hook a rug or something.

Other stuff:


Cat toys/felt balls
Same process, but necklace!
A bunch of ideas on another blog
And some more
Patchwork Amigurumi
Flowers!
Bird ball thing
Uses for sock yarn

Friday, December 5, 2008

Step 10: Knit your scraps

So now you have to use the scraps - time to be inventive. Striped projects are your friend! Small projects too. Make bracelets, make change purses, make rings!

Here are a few patterns that might be useful, but remember, if you have enough of anything in a particular weight, you can do a larger project, just striped instead of solid. Very easy that way.


Scrap Happy Scarf (There's a crochet version too)
Felted Noro Scrap Bag
Mini Mitten Ornaments
Oh Balls!
Scrap Happy Celebration Hat
Knitted Ornaments
Scrappy Stripey Scarf
Easter Eggs
Thrifty Critter
Band Cuffs
Pin cushion


There are a ton more. Do a pattern search on Ravelry for "Scraps" or "Stripes" and a lot will come up...

Good luck!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Step 9: Take stock of your scraps

(I am still on 7 and will be there for approximately ever, but let's keep pushing on anyway.)

Remember that box of scraps? You should have been adding to it this whole time. Now it's time to figure out what you've got.

Sort your little scrappy balls by color, weight, fiber...whatever you think is useful. You may want to grab a niddy-noddy and figure out what kind of yardage you have in these little balls, or you can just wing it. Whatever. Just sort and paw through and see what you've got, similar to step 3, only with a little baby version of your previous stash.

Whee!



Why didn't anyone tell me drum carding was this fun?? It's like finger painting, but instead of paint, it's wool. And instead of paper, it's millions of tiny razor sharp knives. And instead of getting paint on your fingers, you cover them in tiny wounds.


...this bandaid makes it hard to type. But still, carding is fun.

(click here to see what that stuff used to look like.)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Step 8: Re-evaluate

I wish I could provide you guys pictures for these last steps but I am so far away from doing them that it's ridiculous.

Anyway- once you knit up all the projects you have assigned, put all your scraps back in that scrap bin/bag that I mentioned a long time ago, and whip out the rest of your unused yarn. Hopefully you've been saving patterns for this day, and you're ready to re-assign. This time, start googling and Ravelry-ing to see if you can find the perfect use for it, if you don't have one handy. If you can't find a purpose for it, consider ditching it. Seriously. If you really can't find anything you'd like to use it for, what are the chances that this magical perfect project will show up anytime in the future? Give it to someone who wants it more.

So yes. Re-assign, and knit that stuff too. When you're done with this, all you should have left is scraps, and we'll deal with those next.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Step 7 + Exciting stuff

Step 7 is to knit stuff for a long time until you use up all the yarn that is assigned to a project. You could've figured that out on your own.


More importantly, look!!!



My drum carder came! It was a Christmas present from my parents (and yes, it came already and yes I'm already playing with it. Blame Santa for dropping it off early. And by Santa, I mean the mailman who looks like he could be Santa, if Santa were a salty sea dog.)

Anyway... that's my first batt. I know it's a tad ugly, but the instructions said to run some scraps through first in case there's extra dust of some sort on it that will discolor your nice fiber. It's a nicer color in person, though.



One more:



I've already stabbed myself several times with the lickerin. It's awesome.




And two miscellaneous foodstuffs:


Pumpkin trifle from Thanksgiving


Tiniest clementine ever!

I swear I'm going to start taking better pictures of stuff. It's just hard when the sun goes down at 4 pm after spending all day behind rain clouds. Every day. Sigh. Oh Portland. (On the bright side it's almost December and it's like 53 degrees, so...)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Pictures of things!



Thanksgiving









My new coat! I've been looking for a cheap, nice wool peacoat for a long time and finally found one at Buffalo Exchange downtown, so I'm pumped. It obviously does not fit Delores very well...I fear she is a bit chunkier than I am, making her pretty useless for actual dress form purposes, but really I just wanted to hang scarves on her anyway, sooo...





My friend Aaron is staying with us (that's him on the right in the Thanksgiving picture.) This is my dog helping himself to Aaron's sleeping bag and pillow. He'll actually sleep with his head on the pillow and a blanket over him. It's awesome.


I am thisclose to being done with Christmas knitting (and on to Christmas blocking). Early, yeah, but the next few weeks are going to be a bit crazy so it's just as well. I've learned that I really, really like buying/making/finding presents. Unfortunately sheer enthusiasm does not help me come up with things to give my freakin' boyfriend, on whom's birthday next Friday I may or may not have used up all my good present ideas. Sigh.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Step 6: Shop your Stash

Pretty straightforward- match up projects you want to do with the yarn you have. Pair up everything you possibly can. You'll probably have leftover projects, and a pile of yarn that doesn't quite fit anywhere in your goals, and that's fine. Just set all those aside. Assign a purpose to as much yarn as possible and write it down somewhere safe (if you've stashed it all on Ravelry, just put it in the notes). Now hopefully you'll be all excited about starting new projects that you ACTUALLY HAVE THE YARN FOR RIGHT THERE OMG!



(Maybe some pictures coming later. I am in a food semi-coma, so we'll see.)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Step 5: Make a List

If you have Ravelry and an updated queue, that's perfect. Otherwise, comb through your books, your magazines, online patterns, your sketchbooks...whatever. Make a big list and aim for variety. Sort it if it makes you feel better. Consider gifts you want to make. And so on and so forth.

This is pretty straightforward but may take a while. In my case, I have my Ravelry queue plus a huge number of sketchbooks/loose pieces of paper with ideas on them/etc.


(Also, for Christmas, may I suggest Buying Handmade?)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Step 4: Kill your Babies

This one is less fun. It is time to be brutal.

Go through your stash (which is, hopefully, still on your floor, but otherwise photographs or lists will work) and pull out anything you don't think you'll use and put it in a pile.

- Acrylic from your pre-fiber-snob days? Pile.
- Gifted yarn that's just not your color? Pile.
- Sock weight when you just don't ever really use sock weight? Pile (this one is me. Sigh. I will keep a teensy bit though, for toys and gloves.)

You get the picture.

Now, go through it AGAIN, just in case. Keep knitting friends in mind. Would they enjoy a particular skein more than you? Do they have a birthday coming up? Something to consider.


Next, divide your pile into three categories: Sell, Gift, and Donate. Nice stuff that's in good condition and will fetch a decent price, put into sell. If you can think of a recipient who would enjoy a particular skein, put it in the gift pile (make sure they're not trying to cut back themselves, though.) Anything else goes into donate.

Sell the stuff you've got in a destash sale, either on Ravelry, ebay, etsy, or a physical garage-sale type deal if you've got enough. You're probably not going to get full price for it, but if it's in great condition, you might make back a decent percentage.

Wrap the gift yarn up all pretty and send it on it's way.

Find somewhere to donate the rest of it. Many schools and after-school programs will take it, as well as other creative programs for kids. There are also groups of charity knitters that you might be able to find online who will happily take it. Some LYS's (Abundant Yarn in Portland, for example) have a charity bin where you can donate unloved yarn for someone else to use for charitable purposes. If all else fails, put it up for free on craigslist and make somebody's day.

I cannot stress enough the need to be ruthless, especially if your stash is huge. I know you've paid good money for it, and you'll probably take a loss, but just consider it the price you pay for sanity. Try to only keep as much as you think you can knit in a year, or less if possible.


This is also a great time to frog all those projects you are probably never going to finish. If you haven't touched it in months, let it go, and sort the yarn along with the rest.


As for me, I pulled out all my donate yarn not too long ago (there's a big bag of acrylic lost somewhere in my parents' house, I think, heh..) but I have a neat little stack of stuff that I'll either trade or giveaway in some sort of blog contest...so stay tuned :-)

Step 3. Take Stock

This part is fun.

1. Vacuum your floor and lock dogs and children in the other room.
2. Get out your stash and dump it.
3. Roll around a little just to get it out of your system.
4. Put all the balls of the same type of yarn together so you know how much you have of each.
5. Consider sorting them by weight so you can see, for example, how much sock yarn you have, or how much laceweight, and so forth.
6. Anything that you have less than a ball of, put in a separate container or bag where it will be safe. You'll deal with these leftover yarns later (though feel free to dip in for trims and embellishments throughout.)
7. If you feel so inclined, go ahead and photograph the stash and put it on Ravelry. Or make a list. You don't really have to do these things, but they will definitely help if you don't feel like leaving your stash out on the floor during the next few steps. Doing it all at once certainly has it's advantages, though.


I felt bad for the dog and was too lazy to vacuum so I put mine on the table. Heh...

I have this:


Plus this blurry wad of overflow here:


And this huge amount of "OMG IT'S ON SALE" ambrosia from knitpicks:



Oh my.


(and in case you're wondering, this is what's in the background:



I bought a kit for $1.50 at a thrift store and then just sorta went my own way with it. I like him! )

Step 2: Eliminate Temptation

This is when it's going to get hard. The reason most attempts at "cutting back" seem to fail is that we present ourselves with opportunities to buy more yarn. Therefore, some rules are in order.


Though this should be obvious, the number one rule is this:
NO MORE BUYING YARN. NO NO NO NO. NO MORE. NO MATTER WHERE YOU FIND IT OR HOW MUCH IT'S ON SALE, EVEN IF IT'S SOCK YARN. I am not making any wimpy-ass allowances for you*, this is the big league now, and you are a grown up, dammit, and you're going to play hardball.

(And if you are not a grown up, please don't read this blog, it uses many no-no words.)

and to that effect....

2. Absolutely, positively, NO going into a yarn store unsupervised! In fact, try to avoid going in at all. I like to sit and knit in my LYS's coffee shop and enjoy a delicious tea latte, but I can always do so with my boyfriend (who also knits, now) in tow, since he will scold me violently if I do anything stupid (though my will power isn't really THAT bad anyway.) Likewise, if you meet up with a knitting group at a shop, tell them all not to let you buy yarn. Tell them firmly. Say "If I buy yarn, please rain down your harshest criticisms upon me". If you absolutely can't resist, leave your credit cards at home. Not in the car, AT HOME. You could walk to the car and we can't risk that. You can have $2 cash for coffee or tea, and just really hope you don't need money for anything else while you're out.

3. Likewise, fiber festivals are a HUGE no-no. I know they are a lot of fun and believe me, when I had to skip OFFF this year, I was pretty sad about it. But the great thing is that they come back again every year! And maybe, by this time next year, you'll be allowed to buy yarn again. Maybe. If you work really hard.
If, for some reason, you absolutely NEED fiber (as opposed to yarn), perhaps you can go with strict supervision...but why would you need fiber except to make more yarn out of? So you don't need it. I promise. Unless you're a wet-felter, or something. Or a vendor. But still, bring a hard-ass friend who will keep you in your place.

4. Yarn websites? Nope. Use the parental controls to block them if you have to. Go so far as to put a password on knitpicks and WEBS. Take any destashing boards off of your Ravelry forum page so you don't see them (though you can still use them to get rid of your own yarn, obviously). Whatever your weakness, make it as difficult as possible to access.

5. Instruct your spouse or family to dispose IMMEDIATELY of any sort of paper correspondence coming from such companies. And you are only allowed to read knitting magazines if you can succesfully ignore the ads. If you ask nicely, maybe a friend will scribble all over the ads with sharpie for you.

Feeling the burn yet? You will. You may need to change the route you use to drive home or find somewhere else to kill time on your lunch break. Sorry, but them's the apples.




*Ok, I am granting one single exception, and it is this:

IF you are making a gift, AND it is for a special occasion (birthday, Christmas, Hannukah, a birth, a wedding, etc... no minor holidays, no made up holidays, no sad excuses to purchase yarn) AND the giftee has requested an object of a particular character (color, or fiber, etc.) that you don't currently have available in your stash, you may purchase only what you need and no more. If they haven't requested anything and you can possibly manage to, please use your stash. If you don't, you are cheating, and cheaters never win, especially in the game of stash elimination. DO YOU HEAR ME SOLDIER?

Also if you start knitting a large project and find that you need one more ball to finish the last 6 inches of the second sleeve, you can go get one more ball. But you have to at least THINK you have enough to start off with... no fair starting a project if you know you'll need more. If you need more than one ball, too bad. Frog it and make something else. You should've thought of that before you cast on. Brutal, yes, but self-discipline should sting a little. And maybe tingle.





How to deal with gifts
If, during any portion of this stash elimination exercise, you should receive an unsolicited gift of yarn, you may accept it to avoid being a jerk. But you must immediately deal with it in the same way you deal with the rest of your stash, by going back to steps 3, 4, 5, and 6. Obviously, you should not ASK for yarn as a gift, and if someone simply OFFERS you the yarn, don't take it unless it's cashmere in your favorite color.

Step 1: Admit Your Problem

The first thing you have to do before conquering your stash is decide that you actually WANT to conquer your stash. If you're only trying to cut down because your husband is whiny or because your mother nags you every time she comes to visit, that's not going to cut it. You have to WANT it. You have to TASTE it.

Personally, I don't really think a stash is a problem, as long as (1) you can afford it, (2) you have space for it, (3) it isn't more than you can realistically knit up (in which case you might as well use that money for a good cause or something.) But there are definitely benefits to cutting down.

So first, figure out what you're trying to accomplish.
I've got approximately one CD tower + two cedar chests of yarn (one of which is at my parent's house across the country and which I guess will be ignored for the purpose of this destash... I'll have to do it all over again with that batch later,) plus a spacebag full of unspun fiber. I'm not worried about the fiber, it seems like a pretty reasonable amount. It would be nice, however, if my whole yarn stash could fit in that CD tower, all pretty and on display. I could certainly use the extra storage in that chest, since I live in a tiny apartment with a LOT of craft supplies and clothes. Decluttering is a big motivator for me at the moment.

There is also a certain freedom to having very little yarn on hand. It frees you up to start any project you want, without feeling guilty about going out to buy EVEN MORE yarn just because you didn't have the perfect thing in your stash.

You'll have to identify your own reasons. Write them down and stick them somewhere where you'll see them frequently, if you need to.

This is the easy part. Tomorrow, we talk about the rules. Get ready.

Quit whining and bust your stash already

I hear (ok, well, read, since most of my knitting-related-interaction is online) knitters whine all the time about how they have too much yarn, it's taking up too much space, they spend too much money, but they just "can't help" buying more, blah de blah de blah blah. And I call shenanigans. That's like saying "I know I weight 1000 pounds but I just can't stop eating HoHo's for all three meals." Yes you can. You have to actually WANT to, but you can.

And Miss Alex is going to show you the way.

The 12 Step Yarn Elimination Game

1. Admit Your Problem
2. Eliminate Temptation
3. Stock
4. Kill Your Babies
5. Queue'n
6. Shop your Stash
7. Knitting Fever
8. Re-evaluation
9. Scrap'n
10. Stripe'n
11. End bits
12. GO BUY MORE YARN WOOO!


Stay tuned for elaboration ;-) You can do it, I believe in you. Time to cowboy up and tackle that ever-growing mountain of personal weakness made manifest. You WILL make the stash your bitch.

(And I'll do it too.)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

EDI Cowl

(EDI for "Everyone's Doing It", of course)




I've been seeing cowls like this on etsy for a while now, and they look cozy and kind of neat... so I made one (though I opted for kettle dyed merino instead of what appears to be Lion Brand Thick & Quick...but like I've said, I'm a snob). Versatile, too. And since I haven't seen a pattern for these yet, I thought I'd toss one out, even though it's pretty darn amazingly crazy easy :-)







You need:

-2 skeins of Malabrigo Chunky Merino (or another bulky yarn, but I recommend shelling for the Malabrigo. Sooo worth it)
-Size 15 needles, either straights or circs to work back and forth on
-Waste yarn for a provisional cast on, if you want to do one. (I am not going to go over provisional cast ons here. Google it, you'll find plenty of stuff. But if you want, you can also do a normal cast on, and then bind off at the end and seam the darn thing.)

Gauge is...not really a big deal.

Provisionally cast on on 46 stitches (or however many you need to get about 17 inches... more or less, if you want.)

Work in garter stitch until the thing is long enough to stretch around your shoulders, but not much longer.

Put the cast on row on another needle (doesn't have to be another 15 if you don't have it, but you can really just use the other needle you've been working with, or the other end of your circ) and graft the last row to the first row using kitchener stitch (again, if you don't know how to do kitchener, just run it through Google. There are videos a plenty to help :-) )

Et voila! The easiest darn thing ever, but it's cute and oh-so-cuddly. I was planning on selling it but I'm pretty sure I can't part with it, so oh well. Heh.



Ravel It!


Also, here's a squirrel with an apple in it's mouth! Yay fall!!





(the fine print: Your use of this pattern constitutes your agreement to use this pattern only for personal, non-profit use without specific written permission from the designer (just email me!) Items made from this pattern may not be sold without permission, nor may the pattern itself be copied, sold, or distributed in any way. You may print one copy for personal use. Please do not reproduce the text of this document on other sites- just post a link :-) Thanks guys!)

If you need to contact me with questions, my email address is presentsknits@gmail.com - please email instead of commenting since it's much easier for me to reply that way! Thanks!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Hey look it's yarn, who'da thunkit?

REAL pictures from San Fran coming as soon as I edit them. But here's some stuff:




The fat blue stuff and the kidsilk haze is from a nice little store in Napa. The cones and foamy-cored stuff is from Artfibers in San Francisco... I hadn't been planning to stop there again but apparently they're closing up shop so I thought I ought to (they're still selling online, but I rather prefer buying stuff in person unless it's really cheap, you know?) The cool yellowy stuff (it's really more of a chartreuse) is from Urban Fauna, a shop run by some etsy sellers off on the edge of SF somewhere. It is tiny, and VERY awesome. Go check it out if you make it down that way. I also got this there:



And I am chomping at the bit to start spinning it, but NO TIME, DAMMIT. Sorry for the crappy pictures, by the way... someday I'm really going to start upping the quality but for now it's just snap-and-run. You get the idea.




I didn't mention it yet, but I convinced the guy who sleeps in my bed and cooks for me that he really, really wanted to learn to knit (again, he'd learned years ago but it didn't stick) while he was, well...let's just say "not in his right mind." And he's totally still doing it now that he's sobered up! Hooray! He claims he won't buy any of his own stash until mine is depleted, to which I replied that he better not get too attached to his new hobby, 'cause if it comes down to just the good stuff, he's not having any of it.

Of course, apparently it was ok for him to get this at Urban Fauna, since he made me pay for it:



(he buys me lots of meals, so it's ok.) Bwahaha. It starts...



Before I left for California, I also FINALLY found a dress form in the shape of Delores, here:



She's grungy, and sorta lumpy, and altogether perfect since I'll probably just prop scarves on her anyway.





Also... psssst: Look what came in the mail-



I CAN'T TELL YOU WHY IT'S A SECRET DON'T ASK but pretty cool eh?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Indelible Skin Defacing Funtimes!



I got this a while ago but hadn't posted it yet since I hadn't gotten around to mentioning it to my mother, who for some reason gets awful cranky about these things, despite being a relatively laid back person in every other regard (for which we love her dearly- Hi mom!) But then she saw it anyway so... oh well.

It is a skein. If you are reading this blog, you probably figured that out, but my sister's response is "is that some kind of cinnamon twist?" so I figured I'd be clear about it. I like it very much. It is part homage to pure knitting geekery, part an unbreakable promise to myself not to work in a job where I can't either have a visible tattoo or wear my hair at least partially down (or both). I don't foresee that being much of a problem in Portland anyway, but still... it is a pretty safe bet that I'd be horribly unhappy in such a job, and I'd rather be poor than unhappy.

It also kind of looks like an infinity thingy, but the similarity is purely coincidental. I just didn't want to go to typical ball & needles route (I never use straight needles anyway, and yarn is always prettiest in the hank, says I. Plus, crappy yarns never come in hank form. So there. I am a snob, too damn bad.)

In other news, I just got back from Napa and San Francisco, and I will have lots of lovely things to show you just as soon as I get a moment to breathe. I am kind of sick today so I'm just puttering around trying to get my apartment/computer/life in order again- I find it extremely hard to work when everything is in disarray. Which is bad, since I'm extraordinarily messy. Onwards, to work!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Needle Holders



I totally forgot to post these when I finished them last month. Well. Here they are:



The sewn one is super easy, just a bunch of rectangles. The dpn holder is just a strip of cabled handspun...I should have made it longer, though. I seriously underestimated how many needles I inherited from my friend's mother. Yikes.

And to make up for that horrible picture, here's another artsy one:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Guess who is probably going to be in Knitty again

I'll give you a hint, it's me.

Hooray!!!!


In other, equally self-congratulatory news, I made a pretty scarf for my friend Max from what is possibly the awesomest pattern ever, in that it is absurdly simple and yet always end up so nice:




(I got a little carried away taking pictures, there are more on flickr.


This is the Noro Stripe Scarf" from BrooklynTweed. Only minor variations... I cast on several fewer stitches, and only used 3 skeins (it's quite big enough). I really wanted to find the colorways he used but they don't really seem to exist anymore. Oh well. I'm pretty happy with these...they're subtle, but that's probably good for Max. He better wear it. Also I hope he doesn't read this blog. I don't think he does.

I've got a lot more stuff in/soon to be in the shop, which I'll post a bit later. Don't want to, you know, overwhelm you dimly lit FO photos.

(FO photos = FOtos? No, I refuse in the name of proper English.)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A few more for the shop


From handspun scrappy-crazy yarn.




This one actually sold already. New record! Woo!




My tripod finally showed up so hopefully I can find time to re-shoot some of the others soon. Time! I NEED TIME! And also energy. And some cereal. Grocery store time.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Gray, Gray, Gray

I'm working on getting a bunch of stuff into the shop in time for the holidays, but the Portland perma-drizzle has started for the season and the windows are just flat out refusing to give me enough natural light for good pictures. Grrr!! I had to haul off and finally order a new tripod (the cheapo one I bought a while ago can't hold the camera up without the legs collapsing. It was a wreck, and I've just been making Travis take the pictures for me.) Finally getting all these projects entered into Ravelry as well... I am so bad about keeping that up to date. I figure nobody's watching it too closely but me, but...y'know. It's nice to be organized.

The goods up today:









(If you want to get your hot little paws on any of them, mosey on over to presentsknits.etsy.com)

No patterns for any of these ones, at least for the moment. I do really like the way the pictures come out on that wall... most were just too dark. Hopefully the tripod will solve that problem. Ho Hum.

I really should think up some more insightful brilliance to blow you all away with, huh?

I'll work on it.

Friday, October 3, 2008

On Employment + Housing

Arg! TWO Portland yarn stores are hiring right now, and I'm too busy writing a thesis to take advantage of it. Then I'll graduate, and it will be the beginning of summer, and if anything they'll be getting rid of employees.

Le sigh.

Anyway I've been meaning to put up pictures of the new apartment, so here goes:



That top blanket has now been sewn into a dog bed. To be honest, it was a tablecloth anyway, and a bit under queen size.


Clothes! Boot collection!


Artsy chair from the Bins. I live right by the Bins. Hellll yeah.


Pretty shower curtain, ooh la la.


Tiny pretend kitchen. Quite exclusively the boy's territory.


Sink! Desk!


Oddly sparse living room


Can you tell we may have hit up the ikea pretty hard?


My stupid desk is broken already. Also from the Bins, I guess no surprise there.



Well that was thrilling for everyone, I'm sure ;-) It is no longer that clean, I'm afraid. I'm a little backed up on things I wanted to post, so I'll start trying to get on that. Eek. In the meantime, have a lovely weekend, all.

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