Grab your knitting needles and come relax with me.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Creativity and other things
Written under the influence of The Killers.
It's a weird thing, creativity. I've always been a bit aggravated with my brand of creativity. I am creative/talented with a lot of things. But none of them exceptional or rather none of them is a stand out. I am slightly musical, more than slightly visual, then there's the making of actual objects and the creating of words and stories...my best. I want to and I am drawn to it all...but I only have so much Muse at one time. The more I write, the less I design. The more I design/draw the less I write. The more I play music, the less I write or design. (Although listening to music does tend to re-fill the creative well and gets the creative juices flowing.) I feel pulled in many many directions.
I desperately need to do a re-design of Dubh Croi, the other blog (not to mention the website my mother wants me to create for her). But, I feel all used up. I have been devoting a lot of energy into designing and writing. I have been neglecting the writer part of me for ages (and I was writer before nearly anything else...I drew and makes paper things before I could write). And I want to stop neglecting the Writer.
I guess I am just a little aggravated with my self right now. And I feel the need to rant about it.
On to other things: I promised pictures. This is the cone of Habu Bamboo, HCW sent me (since they had charged my card for it)...one less thing to wind!!
Jamey ordered this from Amy Designs (it was made esp. for me-feeel the love!) for me as a Mother's Day gift. I absolutely adore it. One, it's a bag (and I love bags...perfect yarn/project bag-just needs a handle); B) it's red, black and gold (my favourite colours); and Lastly, it's ASIAN. LOVE it!
And see how wonderfully my yarn complements it? It will certainly be a pleasure to work with this yarn...it'll be a luxurious wrap someday!
(I also took loads of pictures of my local wildflowers. You can find them in Dubh Croi.)
Oh and because all Knitting Blogs whose writes own cats, must have a mascot or two. Here is one of the kitty mascots. Gina, my funny Ginger Tabby.
Woot. Stayed up late last night finishing it. The pattern ought to be ready next week. It's blocking and I have been told to let Handmaiden SeaSilk dry for a few days (please join me in hoping my cats stay off of it!). And then I still need to take the final pictures.
But here is the scarf blocking: it blocked out to 12 inches by 57 inches.
I decided to play around with the edging as a finished the scarf--it's slightly different from the beginning. I am just glad it's done--it was a fun scarf to knit and the yarn was absolutely sublime to work with.
Speaking of yarn I had 6 grams left of the 100 gram hank. I cut it very close--but that's good--one wants a project that uses up a whole hank of expensive yarn.
Oh and the yarn smelled EVEN better while it soaked than it did dry. LOVE this yarn. Grin.
My Photo Set, if you want to check out all the beauty shots, as well as the rumpled mess it was pre-blocking. Oh and I got to use my new foam mats to block--love them!
P.S.: What do work on next? I am itching to start the lace knee highs I have been jabbering about. BUT the Knitting Bunnies need tending too. AND I still have several projects, yet unfinished, that well need some finishing. Oh the dilemmas us knitters face. Grin.
I've not been feeling the knitting lately--basically going through the motions. I am rushing to finish up my Super Secret Projects. I also have a few days till we leave for vacation. We'll be in Virginia for two weeks--posting here will definitely be spotty, at best.
Like I said, I am feeling stretched. I think it's a collusion of things. Family fun stuff (not the one I made, but the one I was put into) mainly--with other stresses sprinkled in. So I found something to put myself in a better mood. While it DID put me in a grand (grand) mood, I was tethered to the couch for a bit.
I chronicled my tethering (smirk) on The other Blog. Really I don't want to have to re-write the post here as well--so go!!
When Jamey and I came up with these stitch markers we only thought about knitting and perhaps earrings (where do YOU store your stitch markers when you aren't using them in your knitting?) Because I don't crochet (I can handle 2, 4,5 needles, but one hook it's beyond me), I didn't even think how useful these are for crocheters. Most of our stitch markers can also be used for for either crochet or knitting.
THEN, I got my Knit Picks order in the mail. It was sent on Tuesday and came today--woot! I guess I can't read because I didn't realise that the Knit Picks interchangeable cables come in sets of two. I bought 4 set of cables (8 cables) and 3 needle tips. That's like 72 needles for like 30 bucks!! (Right?) I also got my size 0 16 inch circular needle--I get to start my crayzee scarf. Woot woot!
Lastly, Anne came over to knit. Her husband is between jobs and he's driving her nuts. I didn't get to start my crayzee scarf, but I did help her start some toe up socks. (I am a very nice friend.)
After a very late dinner--I am finally starting my trip to the funny farm. I have decided though to do one side in dragon scales because between the color and the sheen of the yarn it just screams scales. So: is a patterned scarf on size 0 needles on lace weight crazier than a pure stockinette one?? Smirk.
Oh and I highly recommend to all those on a yarn diet, but seriously loving the new Knit Picks yarns--buy your self a color card. It gives you a taste and a way to fondle the yarn. I, myself, spent a few minutes stroking the swatches on my Shimmer color card.
Seriously this week flew by and although I actually had knitting content--I just couldn't seem to blog about any of it. And although I am suffering from a sinus infection right now (and am pondering just how much snot the human head can hold before it explodes), I must keep my lovely readers updated.
Hmmm, knitting progress or new toys--hmmmm. Eeny Meeny Moe...which one?
Anne suggested I purl the black to add interest (esp for me since I tend to shy away from pure stockinette). So I tried it.
It looks better in the photograph than it did in person. It seemed that the purl made the black too dominant--it threw things off for me. So I ripped it back to the marker (which if you like you can get at the shop) and have since knitted it past the point where I frogged it. I have learned doing socks that sometimes boring stockinette can be relaxing and necessary.
I have been working on my skinny scarves intermittently. I am about half way done--3 feet along. They are getting to the point where doing two at a time is becoming cumbersome. I had hoped buying two wee bags to keep the yarn in would help. I might try tucking the scarf ends in the bags as well--see if that will help.
Now the toys.
I have been looking for a bound graph paper note book (with little teeny squares 10 to an inch). I finally gave up and bought a tablet and a portfolio case to hold it in.
I like the polka dots. It's bigger than I had in mind, but it'll work. And it's already in use and have proven very handy.
I also got something I had my eye on for a while now.
And it's red.
I also ordered (much to the dismay of Jamey--but I had to celebrate a large BK order!!) some needles from Knit Picks. One set is for Super Secret Project 3 and of course a set of 16 inch size 0 circulars for my crazee scarf. I even dreamed about getting them last night, I am THAT excited. I was a tad disappointed they didn't come today. LOL. They only shipped on Tuesday. I ordered enough needles for some upcoming projects. Woot.
Well we made it to and from Austin in one piece, much knitting hilarity ensured and I didn't buy that much yarn AND I made some contacts for our stitch markers. We also rescued a kitten.
And we got to see the famous SABLE (Stash Above and Beyond Life Expectancy) of JoAn, our hostess.
We got a late start on our road trip to Austin and got lost trying to find Hill Country Weavers. Apparently Yahoo Maps doesn't know there is a difference between 1701 S. Congress and 1701 Congress. We're talking abut MILES here. Anyhoo I lost my marbles and bought something so I could make a Crayzee Scarf. Yep lace, stockinette, and size 0 circs...oh yeah! I am so excited!
Once at the Knit and Eat--great fun and hilarities ensued and Leah rescued a poor starving stray kitten from our hostesses' back yard. As you can see it's a mouser--with thought huge ears! It's the sweetest thing ever.
After the luncheon we stopped by The Knitting Nest and saw the evidence (make sure you look at my entire slide show above) Franklin left when he came for the 1000 Knitters event (I wish I could have gone!!). I also bought some Malabrigo lace--because the factory burned down dude!! That and the owner bought some of our stitch markers so I felt that I had to reciprocate.
We all had such a nice time and we came to the conclusion we need to go to Austin more often ;-) I ain't gonna say no.
I am on a yarn diet. I have plenty of yarn and enough projects in the works that I feel like I am drowning. Because I buy yarn with something in mind for it...stop the excessive Knitting Bunnies by not buying more yarn. Sigh, if only it worked that way. (Can you hear the Knitting Bunnies cackling? They are mocking me.)
Being on a yarn diet is all well and good, but the tempation out there is just overwhelming. Take Knit Picks--tons of beautiful yarn (especially lace weight) at very very affordable prices. I really really want some of the new Shimmer Colors (specifically Lilac Dream and Sherry)--drooool. Never mind tomorrow I am going to Austin for a Knit n Eat luncheon with a stop at Hill Country Weavers A.K.A. Yarn Heaven!! and perhaps a stop at the Knitting Nest. HCW: seriously yarn jumps out at you and INTO your bag!
Sigh. I am also in the doldrums because all my current projects are still stuck in the middle, with no end in sight!!
Speaking of meet ups: last night was our weekly impromptu meet up (yes, the irony is NOT lost on us), we've decided to pare down the extravagant dinners out and had dinner in. Beth made beautiful pot roast...and helped me in an ahem rather personal matter....much to my embarrassment. I took my camera--but pretty much forgot about it entirely. It was great fun.
I will report on tomorrow's road trip (which starts at a ghastly hour!)--on Saturday. And I will NOT forget to take pictures.
I mentioned to Jamey that I needed a tripod because I had to balance my camera in my bra while I recorded myself repairing lace. And I also mentioned the same to Anne. So she produced a cute portable tripod. Which works GREAT! for recording my knitting.
Want evidence on how terribly slow I knit?
Here ya go!
This is me knitting with kids. Ha!
When I got home from my Wednesday knit meet up Jamey had this for me as well!
You can also see my new wee tripod as well (which fits in my camera bag and is great for small stuff).
Yesterday at Anne's (I typically spend the entire day at Anne's--first we go to the Farmer's Market and then we let our kids play in her back yard then head over to Starbucks for our "Impromptu" meet up and dinner), I managed to knit several inches of the skinny scarves. Woot! I had put it aside for a bit and Jamey guilt tripped me into working on it some more.
Speaking of our Impromptu meet up: we typically knit outside Starbucks after we get our assorted iced drinks (I always get a venti Mocha Frap--I really need to broaden my horizons). Yesterday a woman and her two young daughters walked by and we heard her mutter to her kids, "How nice they are learning to knit." In a very condescending manner, by the way. She had already passed so she didn't see the multiple obscene gestures we made with our knitting needles. THEN, a very nice lady walked by and said, "How neat! My mom knits and she tried to teach me, but I just can't do it." So we shanghaied her and Beth showed her her way (left hand continental). She told us her name was Kathy (who is also left handed) and we got her to say she will come back next week. One more knitter for the fold!
Sorry I have been out of pocket. Life got super busy there.
The Samara Scarf has entered an ugly phase and I am not so sure about it.
Okay it looks pretty here...lot's of purples, and mauves.
Not so bad...the green adds some interest. But then...
A BRUISE!!! It would be different if there wasn't such a big expanse of pretty purple-ness. But the colour change is too shocking after so much soothing colours.
Am I nuts? What do y'all think? Does it work? I am very tempted to tear out the bruise colours and cut it out, continuing with the purple.
In other news:
I got attacked by a new knitting bunny and it's going to be a Super Secret Project. So no pictures, just lot's of hints and I am sure grumping and groaning (right now it's all about the wedge of EVIL!). Hmm let's call it Super Secret Project 3. It's going to be entered for submission somewhere--just haven't decided where yet. And it's going to be a gift.
Reading my knitting blogs I came across the most fantastic knitting accessory ever. Growing up Mormon, we are drilled in emergency preparedness--we take the Boy Scout code very seriously. We have 72 hour kits (for evacuations), food and water storage (the goal is a year's worth), and so on. Bad things happened: BE PREPARED! I myself have laid awake nights what I will do in case of a fire: how to save both my children and my yarn and not come off looking like a putz. But, this idea is just right up my alley! I really want to get it--but what I really need to do is convince that I need another knitting bag. (Someone buy a pattern so I can justify my knitting existence!!)
Last night we moved our weekly informal (it's started out as a cry for company and now it's a week;y thing) knit meet up to Anne's house. Quite lovely. We talked and cooked/chopped/snuck pieces of food more the knitted, but we got a few rows in I think. And it's the companionship that's important--not the actually knitting, right?
Last night, we had our March San Antonio pot luck and knit fest.
Great fun was had by all...if I mention half of what happened I would have very very interesting and inappropriate ads on my side bar. I brought Texas brownies with some Irish baked in (Irish Cream--oh it MADE the brownies.) I put the recipe in the pages at the Ravelry ACK group.
I showed off Jamey's stitch markers and sold three sets. Woot! I also showed off my bee row counter. Seriously get yours now...in total I have sold 5 sets.
I have requests for this too...I got the idea from TurtleGirl. Added my own touches and voila made just for me. Wendy things I should make some for lace charts that have 20 repeats. I love it because it's got bees!
I made reference to the chocolate Jamey brought me when I was in desperate need of it. I finally got it out of my camera...I ate the lady bugs and beetles, but the bees had to have a photo op. But even then in the end they got eaten as well.
On the heart socks front: I am having serious issues with my cast off. I can't remember how I did it. I wrote it down...and now the instructions make no sense. Le sigh. I'll get it eventually, but right now it's ever so slightly aggravating.
Almost forgot: I finally have my caralets on sale on the shop as well.
Just a taste...
All of them are also available for me to knit up for YOU custom in any color you want.
I am really pleased with this issue. My eye, went straight to the lace shawl, Laminaria and to the lace scarf, Lace Ribbon. I am such a sucker for scarves. I also LOVE the Posey socks--totally innovative.
There is also three very cute sweaters, Jaden, Majorie, and Yosemite. They are totally cute and I am almost afriad to make them for fear I will ruin them.
There is an article this issue that is AWESOME! Multisize ME! I will be printing this out and it'll become dog eared and ugly.
Finally, I am releasing the Swiffer Cloth pattern. Jamey thought I was nuts just for offering it on the blog and not easy peasy PDF form. So after a few days of work and tweaking (pixel issues)--it's all set.
I am very behind. Read further down a few posts for WHY? So we have an abundance of posts for today.
Leap Day--was a fantastic day!
Anne and I met up with a knitter we met through Ravelry. She's from Sydney, Australia and was in San Antonio for a conference. Being the friendly sorts we are (when she asked about local knitting stores and restaurant recommendations) we offered to take her out to local eateries and our beloved Yarn Barn. It's becoming quite the tradition to take out of towners to Blue Star Microbrewery. They have an awesome menu and a terrific homemade root beer. (Jamey was off and watched the kids and Anne's grandson-so it was a wonderful child free afternoon). I stuffed myself with a fantastic tortilla soup and a salad. Then on to the Yarn Barn.
For three hours or so. Aww it was great--we left at 5.30, only because they closed. Because Yarn Barn is going out of business (read why here, everything was 20% off or more. We had a grand time. We all made off like bandits. The other's more than myself...grin.
Wrapped in Comfort by Alison Jeppson Hyde and Skacel Merino Laceweight in what I like to call wildflower. I have been salivating over this book since it came out. I really like Alison and love her blog. While I don't normally buy pattern books--I wanted to support her and I am really intrigued with her shawl construction. I was also pulled in by the fact that each pattern has a story. Anne, Cecilia and I each bought a skein of the merino and we are all going to knit the shawl called Michelle, as a remembrance of this wonderful day and the start of a great friendship.
I bought the Jitterbug for my friend Leah, because it's BURNT ORANGE. It's been calling me for months and it was the last hank in the cubby and it was time that that poor hank went to a good home. The two hanks is Drops Alpaca, it's a light fingering. I feel in love with this color--it's rusty, but with bits of blue, borwn, red, and green in it--like autumn.
I bought the embroidery thread and beads for some more caralets (beaded, lace bracelets). It's silk, I normally knit them in cotton, but I want to try something more elegant.
Yes, those are size 0000 dpns...that's 1.75 mm. I can't wait to try them out using some cotton thread. Oooo!
I actually put some yarn back...I was eyeing some more jitterbug for myself in Saraha--beautiful shades of purple, cream, brown, black, orange....it sounds weird but it was beautiful. I had to go sit at the tables and start knitting because I could feel myself going crazy with all that yarn, needles, and books...not to mention the racks and racks of patterns. I think all three of us sat at the tables sorting through our piles, stuff to definitely buy, maybe buy, and I don't reeeeaaly need this. Anne bought three of Barbara Walkers stitch dictionaries. Now--if I need a stitch pattern--I can go to my library of Anne instead of the San Antonio Library (who has nasty late fees).
I am looking forward to our friendship KAL--I just need to wind that massive hank of lace weight--1375 yards!! I know I have other things ahead of it in queue, but--it's for friendship!! We'll see how far that flies with Jamey.
I was also spotted by a fellow Ravelry member--she recognised me by my avatar and Anne shouting "Birdy" all over the store...grin. We had a good talk. We also met with two newbie knitters soon to be full on knitters soon under our careful "guidance" smirk.
All in all a grand day--the night not so much, but the day was a great way to spend leap day.