Friday, May 30, 2008

Golden Boy - Pattern Now Available




A neat sorta hat with a short row wedge- born of necessity when I miscalculated a flat-knit hat (always take gauge first, guys) but I ended up really liking it and making several more. The pattern comes with both a worsted weight and bulky weight version.

You can find the pattern through Ravelry here: project page or

Or at my etsy shop






(the fine print: Your purchase 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 but may not print multiples to distribute, nor may you share the digital file with others. 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!

Split Personality Mittens- Pattern Now Available




Hooray, finally! Easy to knit, fun to wear. The top folds back or comes off completely.

You can find the pattern through Ravelry here: project page or

Or at my etsy shop






(the fine print: Your purchase 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 but may not print multiples to distribute, nor may you share the digital file with others. 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!

Whew

I have internet again, hooray! I've moved into the cabin for a summer and we've been waiting for the cable guy to make it out here. It's f'in freezing up here. I'm not okay with that. Not okay at all. We've been hauling plants in and out of the house to avoid frosts. What's the point of living by the beach if it's too cold to go there? Grar.



In any case, I started work at the inn, and that's been going alright so far. I'm still training and I'm pretty much terrified by the fact that they're going to leave me on my own after another shift or two... there is a ton to learn about the software and the inn itself and I'm not entirely sure it's stuck in there yet. The boy is starting work at a gelato place soon, and I'm pretty damn excited about the discount.



I'm aiming to make this summer as productive as possible, so I've actually been scheduling my creative activities. For example, one day I might work on this particular knitting project, the next, play with my sewing machine,

spin a particular chunk of wool the next day, read up on craft businesses the next.... I get kind of frustrated because there's so much I want to do, and I want to do it all at once. I have to learn to settle with plugging along at a reasonable pace :-P



In any case, I just put two patterns up on etsy and I'll post the links here as soon as Ravelry lets me post them there as well. I'm excited!



The dude got a juicer for graduation. Can we say freshly squeezed mimosas?

Also, check it out. I made the world's most misshapen batch of beignets with some Cafe Du Monde mix I found at the classy grocery store down town:


I took pictures of an especially deformed one, but they were blurry, and I ate it. So oh well. Just trust me, it looked like a work of modern art. These were surprisingly easy. I kind of like frying stuff in oil. Messy, though.





I'm thinking about shelling out for a full flickr account. Any opinions as to whether or not it's worth it?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

BYOM # 2: Cap Karma

I looove this hat.




(this one shows the colors a little better, though it's a tad washed out)


This is the second project for my self-designed master's program. I used the hand-dyed Lamb's Pride here, this pattern, and BrooklynTweed's alternative decreases. I used 7's instead of 8's because I have kind of a small head (and because I had 7's handy and not 8's...let's not shit ourselves) and it fits very well, but it made for very tight cabling and sore knuckles. Still I'm very much smitten with the final project. The super subtle reddish and darker greenish tones are amazing.

I'm a bit pissed at the store where I got the yarn, though, because I tried to go there today (during posted open hours) and it was closed without explanation. That's like...40 minutes of driving wasted (and with gas at about $4 a gallon, that sucks.) People need to stop treating their businesses like hobbies. This sort of thing is why so many little LYSs die in within a year or so of opening.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Booyah Achieved

I finally got around to checking out the kind-of-local yarn store and I am quite pleased that I made the time. I'm leaving Ohio in a week or so, so it was kind of my last chance, and even though the last thing I need is more yarn I couldn't just leave without ever going to it. Besides, I needed a needle sizer and a size 6 circular. Yes, NEEDED.

I was puttering around, hemming and hawwing over a couple different things I didn't need, when I came upon a mysterious basket of unmarked, unpriced yarn that appeared to be hand-dyed, of all different textures and what not. At first I thought it might be handspun, since it's a spinning shop too, but then some of it looked suspiciously like Berrocco ...
Anyway, I asked about the price and was told $4 a skein, at which I dropped the stuff I was carrying and started making a pile of the mystery yarn.



While I was checking out I asked the shop owner if she knew what the fiber content was and the she told me that it was all commercial yarn (Lavold Silky Wool, Lamb's Pride Worsted, and Debbie Bliss Cotton Angora) that had been the subject of an in store dyeing experiment. Which means, basically, that I got a bunch of yarn for half off AND a free hand-dye-job. (Teehee, handjob.)

I also found the exact size of Addi I needed for $6 in a closeout basket, since she'd decided not to sell the Naturas anymore. I like the Naturas. In retrospect I should've bought up more of them, but the rest were really tiny sizes and I'm a little wary of bamboo size 1's & 2's (though I guess I have bamboo dpns that size, so really I'm dumb, and should have bought them. Oh well.)

Also, look, a whale! Whales have a lot to do with needle sizers, in case you didn't know.


Then on the way home I saw a tiny baby foal frolicking through a meadow. So it was a pretty good day ;-)


Monday, May 5, 2008

BYOM # 1: Amelia Earhart Aviator

The first project (besides some too-boring-to-post-about swatches) for my self-designed master's program. Neat! At first I was a little "eh" about this hat but it's growing on me. I made it with size 7 needles instead of size 8 because I have a small head and the yarn (knitpicks Ambrosia) is a little drapey anyway, but it's still pretty big. The color is kind of weird. I'm debating putting dangly things on the pointy bits (that's some technical jargon there). There's also a pointy bit at the top but it might leave once I block it (the sinks in this dorm are less than delightful sometimes so blocking has become a bit of a hassle. I'm so close to moving out that I figured I might as well wait.)


What are my arms doing?



Sorry about the mediocre pictures, I used my iphone because I wanted to wear the hat but realized I should take a few shots of it before I go and mess it up, so I just had the boyfriend snap a few on our way to dinner.

Of course one of the risks of doing that kind of thing is that sometimes, the iphone just decides to fuck the picture all up:




It's kind of cool...but....well...you know.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Long Lost Spring Break Post Pt 2: Petoskey-ish!

Saturday:

So I got in yesterday afternoon, bought more groceries than I could ever hope to consume, and settled in. The condo (a recent addition to our family) is much nicer than I had guessed- and on top of that, the previous occupants left EVERYTHING. Everything from silverware to electronics to linens to ugly knick knacks.


(look! SCARY ICICLES!)

There are also some pretty amazing old bikes in the basement that I'm thinking of kidnapping/adopting. Rocky, my ever-faithful, ever-moronic canine companion has been having a blast eating old dead bugs and invisible specks of who-knows-what off the floor (despite this description, it actually is pretty clean. Less dusty than I expected, too.)



The goals of this week are two fold:
1: Make a dent in processing several garbage bags full of alpaca fleece that my boyfriend's father gave me (he got it from some alpaca-farming friend, apparently) so that I can spin it up and take the yarn back to school with me, some of which will eventually be gratitude-hats for my boyfriend's parents and the aforementioned farmer.
2: Get a job lined up for the summer.

And I guess maybe “3: Do a butt-ton of reading for school”...oh, and “4: Photograph things for etsy.”

Anyway, I got a start on the first two today. I went through one bag of alpaca, pulling out all the bits that were too short or too dirty and tossing them, as well as trying to get some of the bigger hunks of VM out. This stuff is really pretty dusty... it drops dirt everywhere. When I learned that you can spin it dirty and wash it afterwards, I decided that would be easier and therefore my plan, but I'm sort of afraid that spinning this stuff is going to make a huge mess. Maybe I'll do it in the basement.



In any case, I realized I needed a comb to flick out the ends, so after my interview I stopped at the grocery store.

Check out lady: What kind of dog do you have?
Me (startled slightly and not thinking): A pomeranian*

Then I realized that maybe she was going to tell me that I had the wrong kind of comb for a pomeranian (I'd picked out a really small fine tooth flea comb thing). I don't know why I thought a grocery store clerk was going to be a dog comb expert, but I panicked and thought I should explain...

Me:...but this is actually for wool.**
Lady (eyes widen): Oh really? How old is it?
Me (I assume she means the dog, after all, who would ask about wool's age?): Um...about 12.
Lady (gives me a slightly confused look): Does it have real fine hair? Like finer than the pomeranian's?
Me (WTF?): Umm.....yes.
Grocery-bagging girl: My grandparents used to have a pomeranian.
Lady: But she says this here is for a WOLF.

(Me: Ohhhhhhhh! I get it now.) I didn't say anything. She looked confused but at least she was excited that I was combing a wolf with a flea comb. Apparently that's more feasible than combing wool with it.


*Lie. It's a mutt that sort of looks like it had at least one pomeranian parent. It just seems easier to tell people this.

** Also a lie. It's for alpaca.



As for the job interview, it was at a really cute boutique hotel (well, an old mansion really...it's supposed to be haunted. Hooray!) The owners and staff seemed really nice, though I'm sure I blathered and fidgeted and made a fool of myself as I tend to when I get nervous (why do I get so nervous about these things? Consciously I'm all, “Whatever, it's not a big deal, there's not really anything riding on this” but apparently subconsciously I'm in fight or flight mode.) I think it would probably be a cool place to work this summer. The male owner/manager/interviewer (I'm not sure his official title though I think owner is appropriate) was this kind of gruff ex-military guy, so imagine my surprise when I learn that in his previous marriage, he used to knit, did sheep-to-shawl competitions, was into natural dying, started a weaver's guild, and BUILT HIS OWN SPINNING WHEEL. (The current wife/female owner hooks rugs, as well.)

For once, the fact that I'm a big fiber nerd may have worked in my favor. Anyway, I think it went well. I guess we'll see.



This kid came too, eventually. I totally made those pants. And that wristband.



Wednesday, March 12

Well, I never did get much spinning done. I finished one skein, using up all the white I had in the gray and white bag, and washed it up. I was hoping it would soften with washing, but it didn't, really. It's pretty itchy stuff. I don't know if this has to do with the way I prepared it or with the quality of fleece it was to begin with (I don't think the alpaca it came from was meant for fiber... more of just a pet.) However, it's kind of pretty and I'm sure I'll find a use for it. Maybe a bag or something. I combed out some of the gray, and it seems softer. I think I'm doing a better job blending it all together as I draft so the ends don't stick out, as well. Something in me just doesn't like spinning dirty fleece, though. I guess I'm a compulsive hand washer, at heart... I don't like it when my hands feel too dirty to brush my hair back or scratch my nose or rub my eye. That's always been the one thing that bugged me about camping... in any case, I'm leaving the spinning wheel and the rest of the fleece here til summer since I can't really have it in the dorm I'm living in at the moment and it makes more sense this way. In the meantime I'll try and round up the necessary implements to wash it before spinning with it so I don't have to deal with the icky-hands feeling...even if it does mean it'll be a little harder to spin. What I have spun up still feels a bit coarse, but not as bad as the white. I was hoping to make hats for the people who gave me the fleece out of this stuff (like I said), so I hope some of the other bags are softer.


Ugh, blurry.


P.S. Also, I got the job. Woot.

Long Lost Spring Break Post Pt 1: New Orleans!

(Ok so I finally found this post & the related pictures and got them on my finally-fixed harddrive. Pretend it's two months ago, please. This one is actually pretty text-sparse anyway, as it turns out.)

So, the school I'm at for spring semester has a two-week spring break. Pretty awesome, eh? My mother had a conference to go to in New Orleans and wanted some company, so I agreed to go along. New Orleans is kinda...dingy. In a charming, voodoo, lots-of-history kind of way for the most part, though.



My mom's company put us up in the Ritz, but it was kind of a half-assed Ritz where everything was too expensive and not quite fancy enough to warrant it. In any case, it WAS fancy enough to have a phone in the toilet booth thing. Conduct business while you're doing your business!


I of course had to stop at the Quarter Stitch and take a crappy picture of the sign:



Very friendly :-) And they wrap your purchase up all pretty-like!




And then there's the Bourbon St general area:



I believe that says "World Famous Love Acts" but I could be wrong.

And some random haunted something or other, from the ghost tour (yes, I went on a cheesy tour, so sue me. I was told I had to, and it was pretty interesting.)





And then for some reason we went to the aquarium. Probably because I'm somewhere around the mental age of 8.



JELLIES! I LOVE JELLIES! I am always trying to take gorgeous, National-Geographic-esque pictures in aquariums and it doesn't really work out. You know?

And here, we've got the legendary white alligator. Nobody believed the swamp-billies raving about them until someone finally hauled a few in.



Neat.


And of course, the number 2 reason to come to New Orleans (with number 1 being the Palace Cafe's white chocolate bread pudding (trust me) and 3, 4, and 5 being booze, boobs & voodoo):


BEIGNETS! NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM

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