Tuesday, February 26, 2008

that's entertainment

my roving arrived from etsy today and let me say it's more lovely and squishy than i could have ever imagined. the parents are flying down from the rust belt to thaw out a bit, and i intend on using that as a spinning demonstration as they have yet to see the spinning wheel in action.

the wizard arm shirt has gone on hiatus, as i unfortunately have to do things like go to work and clean my house. so it goes.

but fear not, gentle reader, i am not neglecting the dishcloth. while i have greatly strayed from the original pattern, i have happily wandering into the realm of the geriatric, and have whipped up quite of few granny squares in a small amount of time. stella is quite fond of them, as you can tell. it's only driving me moderately batty. plus, having such lofty goals is a really nice motivating force.

this is probably my favorite granny thus far. behold its old lady glory:

Sunday, February 24, 2008

labour for learning

this weekend. what a mess.

i had a burning desire to make a smock. after some extreme googling and finding some sublime inspiration and tutorials, nothing seemed to come out right.

i did all the measurements as per the instructions which left me with something which my friend elizabeth described as "wizard arms."

no thanks. desmond dekker couldn't even save me.

on the dishcloth front, i have a bunch of granny squares completed and am trying some non-granny-squares (gasp!) crocheted dishcloths, but they're taking too long. i could not even finish a single one during the entirety of the oscars.

oh well.

i could also blame this on the massive misfiring of neurons (or whatever caused my massive banger of a migraine that left me incapacitated and seeking dark spaces all of saturday and most of today). things just aren't right. hopefully tomorrow will be better.

next craft i want to tackle: the embroidering of tea towels.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

hot grannies

i found away to save my sanity! ramona explained the mystery that is known as reading a crochet pattern, and i was off to the races. i totally had a granny square dishcloth done before american idol was over (i voted twice for the dude who did the creepy and awesome version of the monkees' song). behold!

stella (our little grey cat found wandering on the street at our old apatment) was quite pleased with it too. she must be thrilled for me too, as she wouldn't leave it alone! she was hugging it, swatting it, and giving it lots of love. and yes, dear reader, i have 3 cats, i knit (and crochet!), and am a librarian. i don't have a bun. yet.

stella swipes:

stella loves:

Sunday, February 17, 2008

big dreams for a one-trick pony

oh dear. this weekend.

i think i am reaching near burnout status on those dishcloths.

i was having a hard time starting them, doing YOs. come on, now. the first half of those things are the easiest part and i was messing it up. it was time to take a break. so, i spun some lovely silver alpaca roving i had, and proceeded to get it all over my black shirt while watching My Favorite Year with Peter O'Toole.

so, i managed to get some crocheting done. let's play what's wrong with this picture:

could it be that i forgot the hdc (half double crochet) border on the right hand side? could it be that i was so engrossed in "pride and prejudice" on masterpiece theater? correct!

on the wedding dishcloth front, they are coming along. maybe once my crochet skills get less wonky, and can contribute some of those to mix it up a little and save my sanity.

Friday, February 15, 2008

friday binges

hello, roving. you will be at my house soon. all 8 oz of you:

in other craft related news, my crochet skills are improving by leaps and bounds! so, i tried to crochet a heart for mr. wheezy-to-be and it ended up looking like a malformed kidney. i'm a beginner. i seem to have gotten the whole single and double crochet ruckus down, and granny squares are my friends. best friends, even.

so, this weekend, it's back to the regular old dishcloths. the garter stitch knit dishcloths. as much as i may want to procrastinate, i must keep on keepin' on, or i will have some very disappointed guests at the wedding shower, and no one wants that. i could tell myself i could practice my crochet and CROCHET the dishcloths, but we all know that i would lose valuable knitting time in the process, and time is of the essence, blah de blah blah.

must focus.

but once that roving comes, though, all bets are off.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

love in the retail trade.

i think it's time for an intervention. someone call the authorities stat.

i can't stop knitting or crocheting with cotton.

the latest offenders:

i also just completed a giant cotton granny square. i think i'm in love.

i tried crocheting a wool heart. it just didn't feel right. my fingers were crying for cotton. should i be concerned?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

granny squares et al.

this weekend my friend ramona came over and we experimented with all things crochet. i first must note that she is an extremely talented crocheter, and crochets beautiful doilies LIKE THE WIND. after seeing this in the Craftzine Blog, we decided to give one a go ourselves! well, it's still drying, and i'm afraid it's a) not salty enough, or b) too big for its britches. i think a smaller doily may be in order.

but it was fun! i may just starch the hell out of it when it's fully dry and see what happens.

while we were waiting for that to dry, ramona introduced me to the glory that is the GRANNY SQUARE. i'm a continental knitter, so holding the yarn was easy peasy for me, and i made to semi-respectable looking squares! apparently, my tension is uber-tight, but with some practice, hopefully, that'll get better.

BEHOLD, THE GRANNIES (and my grandmother's red crochet hook) :

Friday, February 08, 2008

(keep feeling) fascination

my book, The Crafter's Companion arrived in the mail yesterday, and i spent most of yesterday evening reading it! the introduction provided absolute sense to this entire craft world which a lot of us seem to be immersed in by choice, by habit, by compulsion, and by fun:

"As the back of this book wonders, why do we bothers to make things by hand when we live in a world where our every material desire can be fulfilled by ready-made, shop-bought items? On the large scale, I like to think the the 'craft wave' is a reaction to this world; we create because the mass produced just isn't special enough." (Torborg, 2006)

(I'm such a librarian)

Also, the book has great patterns, which I intend to start on ASAP!

Anyway, I couldn't agree with that any more. I've often wondered why I can never sit in front of the television without having something in my hands. My grandmother was the same way. As I've mentioned before, I come from a long line of crafty ladies, and my dad is quite talented in all sorts of woodworking pursuits. I love that the need to connect with what we create may be hereditary.

Works cited:

Torborg, Anna, ed. (2006). The Crafter's Companion. London: Snowbooks.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

hubris, take 2

here's the dried handspun! it's a lovely shade of green! also note the amazing doily crocheted by my friend and coworker ramona. (don't mind the white bits - that's just the white cotton yarn i tied the skein together with)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

the hubris of a man!

after last night's violent storms, i stayed home from work today, because i had a hard time falling asleep with the weather radio going off every fifteen minutes and the fact that 3 fronts moved in during one evening. it was a bad time for the tennessee, arkansas, kentucky and mississippi. mr. wheezy-to-be and i saw a wall cloud outside our front door about a mile away as the tornado (luckily) lifted over nashville. unfortunately, when it landed, it did some serious damage.

i'm from the snowbelt. i'm not used to this. i'll take 6ft of snow over this any day.

on a happier and non-dishcloth related note (GASP!), i plied up some singles today that i had spun up pre-genius-idea-of-knitting-44-dish-cloths. i picked up 8 oz. of some awesome romney/mohair mix at a local fiber fest back in october. mind you, i could have kept plugging away with the goold ol'cotton, but i didn't want to push it for fear of massive burnout and backlash, which could involve me staying away from natural fibers altogether and knitting with acrylics for 2 years. *faints*

no one wants to see that.

it must be noted that i really want to spin sock yarn. i tried to make some nice 3 ply earlier, but only came up with 265 yards. that, dear reader, will not cover my large size 11 lady feet. so, i split up my 8ozs as best i could, and spun away on the highest ratio, having a grand ol'time.

so, today i two-plied. i was happy as a pig in mud as i was counting how many go-rounds i had on my niddy-noddy. "111! that'll totally make a pair of socks!" (i must also mention here i'm terrible at math). so, i came up stairs, plugged in the numbers in the magical inches to yards converter, and then started crying. ok, i didn't cry, but i lifted my fist in utter sadness and yelled "THE HUBRIS OF A MAN!" it's on't 216 yards, folks. i know i could knit little booties, but i like knitting proper socks. le sigh.

so, i've washed it, and it's currently drying in my shower as i type this. photos to follow. i think the mohair will spice up the romney nicely.

anyone who can suggest how many oz of wool i should get to make around 400 yds of 2 or 3 plied sock yarn would be my new best friend. ok, maybe not, but i'd send you a dish cloth.

Monday, February 04, 2008

the harder they come


  • 12 dishcloths completed
  • 1 callous developping
  • 1 hole in finger
  • need to stretch hand on a regular basis
  • overwhelming sense of pride that i may actually be ahead of schedule


  • still have to weave in ends (blerg)
  • still have 32 to go
i wish i could say my callous was some rockstar related injury, but alas, it is not. no, it is not from shredding my axe. it's from my US size 8 susan bates needles.

now dear readers, i need some advice. i am planning to finish these dishcloths in the near future, not only to be an industrious knitter, but to also save my sanity. as i've mentioned before, i come from a crafty family, and hand knit thank-you presents would be the perfect gift for the 3 ladies throwing the wedding shower for me. 2 of them are terribly talented quilters, and the other is a jack (jane?) of all crafts. also, if anyone suggests i give them dish cloths, i may just shut this whole operation down (ok, not really).

shawls? i don't have enough time for log cabin blankets, do i? i'm dreamin' big! we can blame that on on glen campbell. he once made me (well, his song did) drive to bowling green, ky just because i was enamoured with that song. ok, so i got lost and ended up in a not so great part of town, but whatever.

PS - don't forget to vote!

Friday, February 01, 2008

epic knitting project, cont'd.

so, i skivved off a work a bit early today to head off to buy an insane amount of cotton yarn. "how much is an insane amount?" you ask. well, dear reader, 29 skeins of Peaches'n'Creme and 2 1 1b. cones is an insane amount of cotton yarn. the cashier clearly thought i was a bit batty. now, nothing can get in my way of providing delight to all those who attend the wedding shower.

oh, and my mother sent me a text asking if 44 invites was okay. so, officially have 6 dishcloths done (soon to be 7), and only 38 more to go.

even though i have this massive task ahead of me, my mind is already wandering on to what i can create next. no, not to the socks that i've abandoned or the hybrid seamless sweater that i've haplessly thrown aside, but to sewing projects, and learning how to crochet. my coworker and lovely friend ramona made me this absolutely stunning pineapple doily, which makes me want to crochet doilies. en masse. and then i want to frame them. but more on that later.

i also want to dust off the old sewing machine, who, aside from providing me with some lovely marimekko-esque curtains, hasn't done much as of late. clothing, people! i'm talking tops! skirts! even dresses!

le sigh.

back to my dishcloths.

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