Friday, February 23, 2007

Gift or Gift Wrap?

Yes, it's true, I finished a project. When I decided to change the yarn for the Vagina Blanket border (which is still at the finisher), I refused to have another skein of yarn collect dust in the stash. So I decided to start yet another project without officially finishing one. I opted for something small and what I think will make great packaging for a gift of socks - a kind of 2 for one! It was so simple, but so adorable I just couldn't resist it. Of course, it didn't use nearly as much yarn as I expected so, yes, there's a half of skein of yarn in the stash. Oy!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Beads have been a Jumpin'

Yes, I had the pleasure of meeting Leah today - Hooked on the Needle's new resident expert. She introduced me to the beadspinner and I was immediately hooked. This little machine strung about 800 of the 1000 beads in about 1/2 hour. It seems that when the beadspinner gets low on beads though, they tend to jump around. If I had been at home, I would have gone for it but in a busy coffee shop with a multi-colored floor, I needed to be conservative with how many beads were lost. This little gimzo is a real timesaver and a worthy investment to anyone who uses beads.

Speaking of those who use beads, Leah is not only an amazing person, but an equally talented knitter and crocheter. I will shamelessly gush over the amazing beaded crochet necklace she made to hold her yarn cutter. It was magnificent and perhaps she will share the "know-how" on how to make one of these for ourselves. It is artwork.

Actually, all of the women I met this morning were amazing, seasoned knitters. Unfortunately, I can't remember all of their names but there must have been at least 300 years of knitting experience at that table. Some of the projects were extremely difficult. I suspect they will become a great resource for me as my own project difficulty increases!

Thank you again Leah and if you'd like to be a guest speaker on your beaded crochet chain, just give me a holler and I'll come a jumpin'. I apologize, I couldn't resist.

Sorry there aren't any pictures but being the newbie, requesting a favor and feeling a little like I was crashing a party (only at first), I thought it best not be appear the total geek -- pulling out my camera to document my virgin, bead experience for my blog!

I'm in love!

Welcome the newest addition to our family! This little baby joined our family a few days ago and I've been somewhat obsessed with all it can do. Our old camera took a picture with a flash, had an antiquated zoom feature (little and a little bigger) and a timer that I never bothered to learn. Now I shoot in black and white, sepia, portrait, outdoor, indoor, fireworks, underwater and the list goes on and on. We joke that the camera is smarter than us but I swear it told me to stop reading the instruction manual the other night and go to bed.

Speaking of we/us, the real love of my life, Mr. T (not that guy, silly), my partner, Tony -- 9 years in April, once again as he has for the past 8 years made me a hand-made Valentine. Every year, he painstakingly chooses amazing artisan papers and mixes them together in extraordinary ways. This year when I opened it there was a J and a T on either side, J=Joe, T=Tony and when I opened it further the message was "adore" - get it Je T'ADORE. I didn't get it immediately, at first, until I was told -- fine! I was just overwhelmed, yeah, that's it, overwhelmed. This kind of attention makes a relationship that is statistically at a point when some couples start to take each other for granted (7+ years), we find ourselves still in love!

On the knitting front, I've got a little simplicity brewing on the side while I finish up the Vagina Blanket border - anyone know what it is? For my hoards of avid readers, it shouldn't require too much gray matter.

P.S. The photos in this post are officially the last from the old camera. It took a while to figure out how to get the photos taken with the new camera on the computer but that is officially solved as of this evening!


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

JUMP! I Command Thee to Jump!

No, this is not an 80's flashback, it's a wish, a dream, a fantasy because I know I'm not going to get any help with this one! Does anyone know a Mexican Jumping BEADS chant -- to make beads jump onto string? I bought this little beaded scarf kit, I swear I'm such a sucker for a sample. I see something that's already been knit and I'm all, oh, look, it's so cute -- I should make that!

Which explains the 5 projects I have going right now. The socks are on hold, the recipient made a negative comment about the colors so, they're off to the back burner. The vagina blanket border is of course very high on the list (and 50% done) but the recipient of the blanket's not even here yet so there's time for something else. Then there's the secret project but that's just stockinette and a night or two or knitting and don't forget the afghan that I've used for most of the Winter with needles still in it. I just lay it on my lap like I'm going to knit it but I don't, I just let it keep me warm. Don't judge me, we get so little cold in Los Angeles. By the time I finish the darn thing, we'll have 10 more months of Summer.


Okay, I'm breathing deeply now and feeling much better. Tomorrow I'll buy a bead spinner -- there ain't no way I'm stringing 1,000 beads, that's just stupid.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Side-tracked or Just Plain Bored

I know the Vagine blanket border needs to get done but the Lana Grossa, Italian stripes combined with the new 5" Bryspun double-pointed needles (that didn't seem to get very good reviews on the net, but I like a lot) combined with the fact that the border is boring me to tears, I just couldn't resist. Okay, okay, the border was fun the first 14 repeats but now it's getting tedious. What can I tell ya?

I consider these my first real socks. The first pair were knit with worsted weight yarn on a 4 or 5 needle. These are knit with sock yarn on a #2 needle -- the real deal. I'm going to use one of Charlene Schurch's patterns from Sensational Knitted Socks and try not to get too complicated.

Unfortunately, they are not for me - purple and pink are so not my colors. Can't say who, shhhh!, it's a surprise!

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Border Patrol Never Looked So Good!

Not that kind silly, this kind

The border is underway for the Vagina Blanket and I couldn't be more pleased. After a few false starts with the wrong yarn, we're moving along nicely. The pattern knits up quickly in 18 row increments. I can see the light!

And the best part is .... I've decided not to finish it! Oh those pesky little squares are going to be a blanket but I decided to have it professionally put together. Now before you post en mass (all 3 of you), I tried and I tried again. I just suck at it and it looked like crap. Well, not crap, but not great! Yes, I know it's going to have throw-up and snot all over it on a regular basis but that doesn't mean it can't look like Neal Lane bling on the Red Carpet when it's opened. Speaking of wrapping it (which will be an entirely separate post), I'm thinking hand-woven box. Any suggestions?

So I'm at work today and following transpires:

Colleague: Hey, Joe, wow the blanket looks great! You changed the border again and you what, you're having it professionally put together -- all those squares and buying a hand-made woven box to wrap it? WOW, so how much is this blanket going to cost when all is said and done?

Joe: oh, I don't know, a week's salary ... oh, you'd be surprised, knitting's not that expensive!

I tell ya, straight to Hell, straight to Hell, Express ... do not pass go, do not collect $200!!!

On a separate note, has anyone (all 3 of you reading my blog) ever knit the little pouch on the cover of Last-Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson. It's on the cover, don't you think giving someone socks in it would be really nice?