Monday, January 19, 2009

Urban Knitting

Sometimes knitters want to stick it to the man as well! Urban Knitting

Thanks to Allen for finding this gem of an article. I've know a few knitters who do knit graffiti, but I'm yet to do any myself.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sheldon Mopes Hat - FREE PATTERN

This was one of my early attempts at working without a pattern. I was inspired to make this hat while watching Death to Smoochy. The main character in the movie, Sheldon Mopes, wears this bulky green-toned hat that I just had to make for myself! This hat is simple to make, meant to be large and fits loosely over the head.

Pattern available as a free Ravelry download: Sheldon Mopes Hat

Extreme Library Makeover!

When my husband and I bought our condo two years ago, that sweet and wonderful man of mine allowed me to dub one of our rooms as a library. I had a great vision of a classic library with deep and enveloping colors, books lining every wall, a place where I could escape into with my other passion, reading. After applying 14 bazillion coats of red paint, moving in our puny unmatched bookcases, plus a year and a half of junk piling up, this is what my supposed hideaway had become:

An ugly, splotchy catch-all of a junk room. Not so cozy, huh?

In June when Guy asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I said that I wanted my library redone, complete with new paint and new bookshelves. "Your wish is my command, dear lady!" he responded with glee... or more accurately, "you sure you don't just want some jewelry?"

To his credit, within a week or too we had been able to box up the books, junk the most decrepit of the shelves, and primer & repaint over the horrid red (yes I admit I picked that horrid red - c'mon, it looked great on a 1x1 card!). I was thrilled -just a few more days for my perfect bookshelves to arrived...just a few more weeks...a month.. a letter in the mail that the company had folded and here's your money back. Shit.

By that time we both got too busy to deal with it and unfortunately had because utter used to having piles of books in every room, waiting to be shelved. Until the day after Christmas when I was sitting there thinking of what books, yarn, and/or books about yarn I wanted to buy myself and I realized that I should get up, get Guy and his big ol' truck and just buy some damn bookshelves already.

It only took one trip to the store, three guys to get the shelves up the twisty staircase, and 2 hours for me to get the books re-categorized and alphabetized (I'm kinda fanatical about that, perhaps due to the college years spent working at my local Borders) and voila!

My new and improved book nest, with walking space to boot!

Sure, I still need to actually hang the art on the walls but I love my library. I'm very much looking forward to spending this upcoming weekend as a hermit, holed up in it with a cup of coffee in hand, reading my buddy's top secret pre-released first novel. Yes, if the author of said novel is reading this blog now do note that I said first, as in, I expect there to be subsequent novels outta you.

Scarves keep resolutions better than I do

I got the scarf completed with just enough time for it to do a quick workout on the Iron Gym before embarking on it's marathon to the Special Olympics. Ah, dear Red Heart Super Saver - should I never be forced to wrap my fingers around you again for knitting I would be a happy lass indeed!

I've put aside the much frustrated mitts that I was trying to design. Really, I'm doing this for the good of the mitts, definitely not because I've got a tasty new skein of Knit Picks Imagination in Pixie Dust which I desperately want to making into a lacy tam. And no, I haven't been pouring over my size 4 needles yarn-over-ing my eyes out.

Okay, okay, I know, I've got knitter's ADD. That sweater only needs one more time to that button band, that scarf Askew could be bound off, those slippers for Guy need to felted, those last 5 of 20 wonderful/damned Knit Knack blanket squares need to be punched out by the end of the month...

I'm seeing a pattern here in which I almost reach the finish line and then I jump into a new race.

As for those mitts, well, just because I'm not actively knitting them doesn't me I'm not working on them. I've already got a few ideas of how to make it better, one of which involves a provisional cast on. I dislike doing a provisional cast on, but I know that for what I have in mind this will yield the best results. The other is to make them just a tad larger - I don't exactly have tiny hands and while they did fit on, the cable got all stretched out and cattywonkus (yes, it's a real word). I swear, after I finish all the aforementioned projects I'll get back to these bad boys.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Special Olympics

Thursday night I started working on a scarf for a project to provide each participant at the 2009 Special Olympics with a homemade scarf. (For more information, see here: Special Olympics)

Upside: An excuse to knit and support Special Olympics participants.

Downside: the project requires that I use scratchy Red Heart Super Saver and it must be received by 1/15, which means that I need to finish this by Monday to ship it out.

It's taking every fiber of my being not to put this aside and start working with some more luscious wool. Wish me luck! I'm working it up using the Reversible Cable Scarf pattern.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Back to the grind

We just said farewell to our final house guest, having had various friends in town with us off and on over the last two weeks. Now that they're gone I've got to get back in the habit of the day to day, but visits like this remind me that I love to have company because it's a brief opportunity to suspend real life (bills? what bills?) and really just enjoy life.
Throughout these weeks I've been working intermittently on an original pattern for some mitts. This has me stymied! I had this vision, and it just doesn't seem to be working out, no matter how many times I've worked and re-worked it. I'm starting to come to a place in the pattern where it's looking okay, but something just isn't right. I think I might have overestimated my designing capabilities with this project. The worst thing is that I keep looking through patterns on ravelry and finding things that are nearly the same as what I'm working on and thing, "why not just scrap it and make one of those?" It's frustrating. Who am I kidding?

Friday, January 2, 2009

Felted Vase Pattern

This is an older and simple pattern I developed a few years back and am now finally posting.

I made some Knitted Lilies for my mother in law for her birthday and decided to whip up a quick felted vase to go with them.
Pattern: Felted Vase
All pattern links will divert you to where they are saved at when that opens up in your window click where it says "Download" in the top right corner to save the pattern to your computer. You will need to have Adobe Reader installed on your computer in order to open and view the pattern. You can download Adobe Reader for free. Click Here to be linked to Adobe Reader.

Brand New Year, Brand New Knits

I'm not one for new years resolutions in the rest of my life, but when it comes to knitting they come more easily. Before I get into this years resolutions, let's take a look at last year's knitting resolutions:
1) knit more socks and less hats
I rounded out the year with six completed pairs of socks, one pair abandoned which will eventually be frogged, and along the foot apparrel line I completed 5 pairs baby booties and a pair of slippers. Not too shabby, however I did manage to plug out a whopping 16 hats and 1 calorimetry. What can I say, I love hats!
2) finish or frog everything in my WIP/UFO basket
Alas, this is a somewhat hopeless cause. There seems to always be something in the WIP/UFO basket - two of which are still there from when I made that resolution last year. I swear, I'm gonna pick them up again! This is one resolution that will not be attempted again - really, why set yourself up for failure?
3) knit something for my currently-in-utero nephew before he is born
Ok, so that was sort of a gimme - how difficult is it really to made baby stuff? Cooper pulled 5 knitted gifts outta auntie Shanny this year.

I didn't do all that bad, so here are the goals for 2009:

1) knit sweaters this year. I’m coming to the end of my first ever and I've got the bug to do Twist & Shout as soon as I'm finished (which will hopefully be soon - I'm almost done with the second arm and just have the button band left to do after that!).

2) Become a better blogger and blog more. I'm new to all this and while I know I'm no Crazy Aunt Pearl,Yarn Harlot or Panopticon, butI'd like to be half as proficient as they are!

3) Start designing more. I'd like to be able to put out a few good and interesting patterns if I can. I've come to a place where I think I can start putting stuff out there. The challenge I'm having so far is originality - thankfully ravelry makes it easy to check if I'm inadvertently being a copy cat.

So there we have it folks. Best wishes for a brand new year of knitting challenges!