Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Crawling across the finish line

Thanks to everybody who entered the giveaway. Loved all your jokes and links. This was so much fun, I'll probably do it again. I'll give the random number generator a spin after midnight and let you know, hopefully tomorrow, who the winner is.

I have less than an hour to finish my socks for the KAL and it's gonna be close!

Happy NaBloPoMo. I'll post a decent wrap up in the next day or two.

Monday, August 30, 2010

One more day...

Don't be a slacker--tomorrow is the last day to enter my giveaway. Hint, hint...

I had fun posting to my blog from the Rockies game yesterday, using my iPhone, but it's much easier with a laptop. Still, technology sure has changed things. I know it's made me a better knitter, and it's  made me want to knit MORE. What it hasn't done is given me extra hours in the day. Somebody needs to work on that. 

The socks I took to the game are coming along nicely, but I'm having to knit faster so I don't run out of yarn. That's how it works, right? RIGHT?!?!? I seriously do not want to hunt down another skein of this yarn, although I would certainly have a use for the leftovers. I just want this pair done and off the needles. Can you say sock-burnout? But who am I kidding. I will always knit socks, as long as I can find victims recipients for them.

There's also one day left in my NaBloPoMo. It's been challenging at times, and I've pretty much ignored the "green" theme (unlike some bloggers), but I'm still glad I did it. I can think of a few blogs I used to enjoy reading but they slowly stopped posting. I'd hate to bug them--who knows the circumstances--but I can't help wondering if something happened or if they just lost interest or what. How would you gracefully end a blog? I don't foresee that being a problem here for a long time. But you never know. Life can be short; enter the giveaway while you still have time. How's that for a segue?

Giving a shout-out to The Daily Fiber. Girl, you quilt like nobody's business! Thank you a gazillion. 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Channeling my inner science geek

You know those knitters who have a cute little bag for each project? Ha ha ha! Where's the challenge in that? Where's the sense of adventure you get from digging through a pile of who knows what, trying to find your size one circulars and your stitch markers, so you can start the socks for that SAM KAL, and oh by the way, it's August twenty-what? I live on the edge, people, and I make no excuses. Well, maybe one excuse. I'm fighting back a cold. Not that I'd be any neater otherwise. This is the way I roll, my creative process. I have science on my side--from chaos comes order. Bite me Einstein.

I missed the Rockies Stitch and Pitch a few weeks ago, but we've got tickets for tomorrow's game versus the Dodgers, so my plan is to have my own little Stitch and Pitch and blog it from my iPhone. Check back after about 2 p.m. Mountain Time tomorrow. And don't forget to enter my little giveaway if you haven't already. I could use a few more jokes, as if my project pile isn't hysterical enough!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday photo

When a cupcake is this cute, it almost doesn't matter what it tastes like. Not a bad photo, considering I took it with my iPhone. And Photoshopped it. 

Just a few more days to enter the giveaway. Don't you wish I could give away this cupcake?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Don't say I didn't warn you.

I'm not entering my own giveaway--I simply had to link to this post. When you read it, you'll understand why. Disclaimer: Do NOT consume any beverages while reading the aforementioned link. You've been warned.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mashed potatoes and other crazy things

Don't forget about the yarn giveaway. Details here. You won't win if you don't enter!

DH has an HOA meeting tonight, so DD and I are on our own for dinner. She has a boatload of homework, and I have socks to finish before the end of the month. This makes a civilized restaurant meal out of the question. What to do? Leftover mashed potatoes, of course! I mixed them with some grated cheese, chives and some crumbled bacon, dredged them in breadcrumbs and fried those bad boys up. This works better if you use potatoes without the added milk, but then that's not making use of leftover mashed potatoes, is it?

Little known fact--cats and dogs LOVE mashed potatoes. Here's proof. I'm not saying you should actually do this, especially if you have pets that barf for no reason at all, but it's one way to use up leftover mashed potatoes. Here are a few others if you don't have pets.

I finished the super-secret project that I'm not allowed to show you yet. So why am I mentioning it? Just to let you know I've actually finished a knitting project. There's hope for me yet.

The Sock a Month Knit Along socks are on the needles. I'll need to pay some serious attention if I'm going to finish them on time, but I haven't missed a month since I started. DD's school mascot is the tiger and these socks would be a great auction item, or bribery, depending on the circumstances. I'm ready for anything.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I'd find something to knit, trust me.

DH and I were fantasizing about where we'd live after DD leaves home. DH mentioned Hawaii, then said, "but you wouldn't be able to knit." Really? Silly man!

Check this out. I rest my case.

Monday, August 23, 2010

I test-knit AND give stuff away. Fun!

The super-secret project I alluded to earlier is on hold so I can finish a test knit. Oh, how I wish I could tell you about it and post photos. This thing is so much fun to knit and so pretty, you will be jealous when I can finally reveal the details. You see, I know people, people who are silly kind enough to let me test-knit their designs. Yeah, I can't believe it either, but there you have it.

Test-knitting is actually a little stressful--your job is to hunt for mistakes and knit at the same time. When you find a mistake (and you will, there's no way around it) you have to figure out if it's their mistake or yours. This isn't easy if you get all fangirl about a designer, and assume they can do no wrong--OMG, it must be meeeeeeeeeeee!

Fortunately, this pattern is basically well written and quite sound. The mistakes are minor and not with the design itself, so it's been easy to keep going and make notes on the database without feeling like I'm over my head and a pretender amongst real knitters.

Don't forget about the give-away. Leave me a link to a funny blog or website, or leave a joke in the comments ON THE AUGUST 22nd POST and you could be the winner. See this blog post for rules. Don't forget to read the jokes in the comments, and check out the links too. There's some really funny stuff. Thanks everybody!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

Or how about some Noro Silk Garden Sock Yarn (color 268) and a Vogue Knitting Early Fall 2010? All you have to do is leave a comment with your favorite joke, or a link to your favorite funny blog or website.

Here are the rules: You must leave your joke or link here on THIS blog post no later than midnight, August 31, 2010 (Mountain Time). If the link or joke is left on another post, I will try to copy it here, but I'm not promising I'll remember. If you are a follower of my blog, and the random number generator draws your number, you get the yarn, the magazine, and a secret surprise. If you're not a follower you'll get the yarn, and I'll keep drawing numbers until a follower is chosen. That person will receive the Vogue and the secret surprise.

Why am I asking for jokes or funny links? Because virtual cookies just aren't that great, except for this one. Good luck everybody!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

There I go, with the S word again.

DD is hard at work on the asphalt--band camp doesn't stop for hot summer temperatures. I dropped by the school parking lot today to watch the band for a while, and I heard some interesting things from the band director. Besides, "if you're talking, you're not listening to me," I heard something else that stuck. "Practice it like you're going to perform it."

A few days ago, on the tennis court, I heard pretty much the same thing from our instructor. "Why are you warming up flatfooted? You aren't going to play that way." (She's obviously not seen me play a match.)

Since all roads lead to knitting, at least on my map, it got me to thinking. Why would I swatch in rows when the intended project is knit in the round? Why would I swatch with bamboo dpns when I plan to knit the garment on metal circulars? Swatch it the way you'll knit it; otherwise, as someone said, swatches lie.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Younicorn--you know you want it

This is one of my favorite time-suck apps. It's totally useless unless you're into turning photos of people and pets into, well, unicorns. That's all it does. And right now, after driving up to Laramie, Wyoming and back, it's all I'm capable of. This is what happens when you commit to NaBloPoMo and you're so tired your hair hurts. I'll do better tomorrow, I promise.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I know just enough to make me dangerous

About Photoshop, that is. Combine that with a camera that's probably smarter than I am and you've got a recipe for potential fugliness. Let me present Exhibit A:

Instead of focusing on the pink ball of yarn which appears blown out (overexposed) feast your eyes on the fair aisle instead. It's slow-going for me--I'm working it two handed and I'm not going to break any knitting speed records. I'm having a hell of a time keeping any kind of tension on the yarn in my right hand, but in this case it's working out. (I'm a continental knitter all the way.) The tension is exactly right. There's no puckering of the fabric because of too-tight tension, which is the usual problem for fair aisle newbies. In this case, being inept is working out just fine, thank you very much. Here's a sexy close up:

Anybody guess what the pattern is? Hopefully, I can post a photo tomorrow that will give you more of a hint. And this weekend, I will post the details of the giveaway. I've selected the prizes and just need to work out the specifics. I'm getting excited about it--it's stuff I would want to win. I hope you will too!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Getting all Kumbaya on you again

As I've said before, I read a lot of blogs, and most of them are knitting and/or fiber related. More often than not the authors feel they need to post something knitting-related, and usually specific to a particular project or yarn. "I haven't posted much this month because I don't have anything new on the needles," or "I haven't made any visible progress on XYZ, so I didn't post." I see this a lot.

I suppose, if any of them read my blog, they'd consider me off topic quite a bit. This bothered me for about five minutes, but ultimately I march to my own drummer. The fact that nobody else sees or hears it doesn't bother me. It might mean I have three or four projects going at once, one or more of which I can't reveal at the time, so I blog about books instead. Maybe my camera has me in its tractor beam or I'm canning or baking or sewing. Who knows. I don't feel the compulsion to stick to posts about socks or baby sweaters or my latest stash addition. It all feels like it leads in the same direction anyway--being creative and nurturing that need.

For me, there's a connection to fellow knitters and fiber fiends, even if we've never met. We have our own language, and understand the excitement of scoring that perfect Malabrigo color way. If I tell you I had to frog three repeats of a 24 row lace pattern, you'll pour me a drink, not offer me a jar for the frog. If a knitter is vacationing in a new city or moving to a different state or country, they'll get a list of the local yarn shops without even asking. You know there is help out there, and you know somebody can relate. I figure most of you will forgive me taking the scenic route.

It's probably a little too touchy-feely for some people and that's O.K. But I pretty much lay it all out there and see what happens. I'm not afraid of being emotional or obnoxious or silly. Yes, a little decorum goes a long way in this age of YouTube Mel Gibson meltdowns. (He should learn to knit; he could make his own straight jacket.) I try to keep the EWWW factor on the low end. But I promise you, this blog is always me. Good or bad, witty or witless--what you read is what you get. Enjoy the ride and thanks for coming along.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I ♥ knitters

I shouldn't generalize about knitters. I know the minute I do, CNN will feature Wolf Blitzer interviewing a bank robbing, kitten kicking, knitter--horrifying details at 10! But really, as a whole, knitters rock.

I admired a knitter's orange socks she showed on her blog. Turns out, they're too big for her and she's offered to send them to me, just because I like them. Seriously! Is that awesome or what? I wasn't the winner of the drawing on another blog, and I got a little smartassy--accused the winner of bribing the dog that drew her name--and now the blogger is hinting at a consolation prize. Awesome again, right? Yes, I have my share of stresses, but knitting is how I get back to center, and it wouldn't be the same without my knitter friends.

Time to pay it back. I'm feeling another give-away and as soon as I work out all the details, I'll announce it. Just wanted to give my blog followers a heads-up. I'm thinking if you follow my blog, you'll get an extra chance to win. You ought to get something out of being a part of the craziness I call a blog. I ♥ you guys mucho much!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Tilly Sweater--the first of many

The Tilly Sweater is finally finished and I'm so pleased with it. Thanks, Calana Crafts, for the pattern.

The yarn is Araucanía Ranco Multi, color 319. It took one skein for the main part of the sweater and a partial skein for the ribbing. I judged it pretty well and didn't run out of yarn for the body. Trust me, when they say there are no dye lots, they aren't kidding. Every single skein is different, but I must say it worked out pretty well using the second skein for the ribbing. The buttons might be my favorite part of this sweater. I love the way they pick up the various colors of this variegated yarn. They're not a perfect match, but they really do girly up the predominately blue yarn.

Using two skeins forced me to make some mods. I shortened the sleeves and body just a bit and compensated by making the sleeve and body ribbing longer. I would have run out of yarn had I not done this. I like a longer cuff anyway--you can fold it back. Hopefully, Tilly will be able to wear it longer this way. Babies grow so quickly!

I also chose to do a different button hole. I used the 3-row buttonhole from Knitting Without Tears. Elizabeth Zimmermann calls the 1-row buttonhole "pigseyes." I agree--most of the time, that's what they look like, mine included. EZ's method takes a little longer, but is far superior. That said, there's a 1-row buttonhole in Barbara Walker's Second Treasury of Knitting that looks promising.

I will probably use this pattern again, but next time with a dk weight yarn and bigger needles. I shouldn't have to change too many numbers to get a bigger size, but I will change the bottom ribbing. Take a look at middle photo--the way the pattern is written, you lose the K2 of the K2P2 ribbing. Next time I'll start and end with K3 to allow for the knit that gets eaten by the button and buttonhole band.

Here's one last artsy-fartsy shot. I bought a light tent so I could get some nice infinity shots and the darn thing DIDN'T come with a white background. I photoshopped the seams out of the first shot, but I'm off to the fabric store for some white fabric and velcro.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

No need to freak out just yet...

This is a panic button.

This is me, pushing the panic button.

DD is driving my car, alone, for the first time.

This is the happy face I'll put on when she walks in the door.

My available character palette has no wine fonts. Note to self: work on this. You're gonna need it!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

NaBloPoMo--Day 14 and by the skin of my teeth

Yesterday, I received an email invitation to a baby shower. The shower is tomorrow. So glad they didn't wait until the last minute to invite me. I like the mom-to-be and intended to knit a baby gift for her--just thought I'd have a bit more time. Not that I need it or anything, since I have nothing else to do but slam out adorable baby gifts at the blink of an eye.

You can find the bootie pattern here, and the hat pattern here. These are both Ravelry links, so if you're not a member, sorry. I don't think either pattern is available anywhere else, so join already!

This is the swatch for my super-secret project. If you were on Ravelry, you could figure out what it is. Just sayin'...

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday photos-XXX zucchini

FYI: When shopping for zucchini, keep in mind it comes in four sizes: small, medium, large, and obscene. These two are obviously of the John Holmes variety. One is baking inside a cake at this very moment. The other will be stuffed with quinoa and chilies, and become dinner. Lots and lots of dinner.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

It's red but it's GREEN

I made a rista! It's pretty crude and only has 12 chilies but I'm happy with it. One of the great things about living in Colorado is the lack of humidity. Maybe not so great for your skin and furniture, but for doing things like drying chilies and herbs it's fantastic. The chili plant I bought at Costco has been amazingly prolific. I've already harvested, roasted and cooked with a couple of batches.  Nobody has pilfered any so far, so maybe the sign I put on the tomatoes helped. And maybe since throwing them or smoking them isn't much fun, they've been safe. There are still quite a few green chilies left on the plant and a few blossoms too, so maybe I can add to the rista before the season is over.

Next year I plan to buy three plants and hopefully harvest enough chilies to make my own chili powder. Not sure how I'll find out when Costco receives the shipment of plants but somehow I always seem to get the good Costco juju when it comes to this sort of thing.

I should be able to block the Tilly sweater this afternoon, then as soon as it's dry I'll add the button and neck bands. Here's another instance when the Colorado dryness comes in handy. Next, I'll cast on for the super-secret project, and as always, another pair of socks.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

If they only served wine...

Confess. When was the last time you bought fresh spices? It's true that whole spices--peppercorns, cinnamon sticks, cloves, etc.--last just about forever. But ground spices and leafy herbs don't. If you crumble an herb in your hand and it smells like dust, it's time to toss it and get fresh. Same thing with ground spices--if you shake the jar and it doesn't have much of a fragrance, it's got to go.

Here in the Denver area, we're lucky enough to have two Penzeys, one of my favorite spice shops. You can purchase most of their products in small quantities, which means less waste. It also makes it easier to expand your culinary horizons without a big investment. Their gift boxes are wonderful for bridal showers and housewarming gifts, and their catalog and web site have great recipes.

The other reason I love our Penzeys? Both are right down the street from really nice yarn shops--Knit Knack and A Knitted Peace. Today I bought some very yummy yarn for a super-secret project, then walked down the street to Penzeys. Awesome! Now that's my idea of shopping.

I'll reveal more about the super-secret project once I've done the swatching, because we know how crucial the swatch is. You do swatch, don't you?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

She passed ::sigh::

I don't know if it was allergies or a cold coming on, but this morning I felt like a crap cupcake. All I could think about was staying put the entire day. It was going to be a hot one and the plan was to stay inside my air conditioned house and finish Tilly's sweater. I'm not a fan of artificial environments but I'm not into suffering either. We don't crank up the AC very high during the day, but it does help keep the pollen out. The air conditioner doesn't even get turned on for the season until we can't stand the heat and pollen anymore. It's just nice to have the fresh air until it's not fresh anymore.

Aaaaaand of course the day didn't work out like I'd planned. I was out of the house more than in it and got no knitting done until I took DD to her doctor's appointment this afternoon. This was probably her last visit to the pediatric office we've gone to since she was two years old. The appointment was supposed to be yesterday, but all hell broke loose, they got severely behind, so we ended up leaving before they saw us. We had to, if she was going to be on time for her driving test. She passed the test, we changed the appointment to today, and everything worked out in the end.

I'm still trying to wrap my brain around all these changes and milestones. My baby is gone, but I've gained a designated driver--she'll drive while I knit. Awesome!

Maybe I can finish the sweater tomorrow, but with my luck, I think I'll buy a lottery ticket--that might be a surer bet. I love the buttons I found--I think they pick up the colors in the yarn nicely. They're shank buttons, so I pushed some through the stitches so I could see how they'd look. It needs a good blocking, but I think it will be very sweet.

Giving a shout-out to My Kitchen in the Rockies. Check it out--she's got a killer watermelon cocktail recipe today. Kirsten, maybe next time you're going to be in Denver, let me know and we can do a yarn crawl together. 

Monday, August 9, 2010

Some things you just don't see coming

It's like a freight train barreling down the tracks straight at me. I'm on the tracks, going through my day-to-day routine, when all of a sudden I hear the train whistle screaming at me and I'm thinking, CRAP! When did this happen? Why didn't anybody warn me?

DD is taking her drivers test this afternoon. She's (mostly) a responsible kid. Gets good grades, has never been in jail, showers daily--the stuff you hope your kids aspire to. But this driving thing. Shit! I am NOT ready for this. How did it sneak up on me so quickly? Five minutes ago she was a toddler, picking her nose and refusing to eat anything but chicken fingers and Kraft mac and cheese. She has since broadened her culinary horizons and the nose thing is pretty much under control. But driving? Seriously? I'm not taking this well, and I don't have the appropriate pharmaceuticals to handle the situation.

If she passes the test, I'll spend the rest of my life worrying every time she gets behind the wheel. If she doesn't pass, the resulting drama and trauma will make 90210 look like Sesame Street. (I have no idea where she gets her penchant for the dramatic, by the way.) Whatever happens, I'm screwed. And my last baby is on her way to adulthood.

I've made progress on Tilly's sweater:

I'm going to the fabric store today to pick out the most girly-girly buttons I can find. This color way has a lot of pink in it, but I want this sweater to scream GIRL CHILD! Yes, this is foolish, considering the fact that when DD was little, I talked trash about Barbie so badly I'm surprised she didn't sashay her big fake plastic boobs into her Barbie motor home and ram my skull in my sleep. But you do things differently with grandchildren. They call it Learning From Your Mistakes. Let's hope I do.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Showcasing my people skills

I dunno. Maybe it's just me, but when I tell someone a half dozen times not to drop by my house unannounced ANYMORE, I'm not sure why that's so hard to understand. Maybe I need to clarify certain things. For instance, when I open my front door that doesn't mean I'm inviting you in. It means I'm expecting Publishers Clearing House with a big fat check. You are not a welcome consolation prize.

If you try to open the storm door and I pull it shut, that means I don't want you to come in. Maybe on the planet you came from it means, "come in and help yourself to my best Cabernet." I can understand your confusion. You should know, however, that the Make My Day Law says that if you do it again, I'm allowed to stick my foot so far up your butt, I'll be flossing your teeth with my toenails. O.K., fine. That's not exactly what the law says, but trust me, you don't want my foot near your mouth OR your tush. And neither do I.

I'm making good progress on Tilly's sweater, in spite of it all. The first sleeve is about half finished. It should be completed tonight, if I don't end up in jail for aggravated flossing.

Have a fabulous week!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

NaBloPoMo--One week done, three to go

I'm going to steal copy SusanB-knits idea and give you the highlights of this past week.

In the past week or so, I have
  • become a first-time grandparent
  • blogged every day as part of NaBloPoMo
  • finished a pair of socks
  • started my first granddaughter sweater
  • entered a photography show
  • worked out four times
I have NOT
  • done the laundry
  • mopped my kitchen
  • washed my car
  • cleaned the toilets
  • organized my closet
  • cleaned the mirrors

Notice a trend? Yeah. They're beginning to catch on here too. I'm pretty sure I cooked a few times, since nobody has passed out from hunger, but I confess that takeout or restaurant meals might have occasionally had something to do with it. The litter box has been tended to, but in the interest of full disclosure DH took a turn. He likes to do housework when he's stressed--I kid you not--so as far as I'm concerned, he's a keeper for life. Yes, he has brothers, but trust me; I got the pick of the litter.

The granddaughter sweater is coming along nicely. I might be a little bit faster on the purl rows but I'm not going to time myself again. I'd rather live with delusion than fact. I need to start another pair of socks for the SAM KAL I'm participating in, but indecision has me paralyzed. I have a lot of wonderful skeins of sock yarn and numerous patterns that look promising. Sometimes too many choices aren't a good thing.

What have you guys been up to?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Friday photos

These are the two photos I've entered in the 5th annual Members Show at the Working With Artists gallery and photography school/studio in Lakewood, Colorado. I do not have a snowball's chance in hell of winning but I had fun taking the photos and it will be very cool to see them hanging at the gallery.

WWA puts together this very amazing portraiture class and book for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I hope to participate next year.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Busting my stash AND my butt

This is the size one needle nightmare that's busting my butt, but it's also reducing my stash. It's Araucania Ranco sock yarn that was purchased for a shawl, but since all three skeins are pretty much three different colors, one skein is for the first sweater I make for Tilly, my brand new granddaughter. Another will be a scarf. The third? Who knows.

Purling with itty bitty needles is making me rethink my plan for a Bohus sweater. Don't get me wrong--I'm not giving up on the idea. I will knit one some day, it just won't be someday SOON. I'm going to be realistic and clear the decks of all the UFOs and focus mainly on the Bohus, emphasis on the 'cus.' I need to embrace the idea that slow can be good, because my Bohus will take a looong time. I also need to conquer my phobia of steeking, because my Bohus will either be a sweater knit in the round or a cardigan that will be steeked. But just thinking about cutting into a sweater I've spent months on makes me queasy. Maybe I'll steek something for Tilly, just for practice. This grandkid thing is going to come in handy!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Run for your lives!

If you have friends or acquaintances with gardens, you know what I'm talking about. It's zucchini time. Not that I have anything against big, green phallic vegetables, but you can only serve zucchini so many times before your family starts begging for takeout. Lucky for me, I came across this blog post. Linger on the gorgeous photos of the Colorado high country then check out the recipe for the Savory Goat Cheese Parmesan Galette. The timing couldn't be more perfect--I have zucchini, I'm on a bacon kick, and DD loves goat cheese. I love it when the universe picks the dinner menu for me!

Wanna give a shout-out to The Daily Fiber. She's joined the madness that is NaBloPoMo and you MUST read her blog. Seriously. Great writing, an adorable dog, gorgeous fiber stuff--what else do you need? Maybe more zucchini recipes...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Day 3 of green-with-envy NaBloPoMo...

I am a liar. Last year at  Knot Hysteria I promised The Yarn Harlot I would give lever knitting a try. Watch the video. See how there is no discernible difference between the speed of Stephanie's knits and her purls? See how fast she is at both? See how I'm smacking myself upside the head? I "tried" lever knitting for about five days. That's like saying you tried being married but you didn't like how hard it was to walk down the aisle, so you're going back to being single. Now I'm paying the price for my stubborn hold on continental knitting. I am stuck in the middle of the hell that is purling with sock yarn on size one needles. I actually timed myself. I'm about 30% slower on the purl side than the knitting side. This sucks. Stephanie, I wish I'd listened to you. Feel free to say, "I told you so."

If The Yarn Harlot ever has a Lever Knitting Immersion Workshop, sign me up. We can start on a Friday night. After a beer or a glass of wine, just to loosen everybody up a bit, we must lever knit and ONLY lever knit, for the entire weekend. It will either kill me or cure me. Either way, it's got to be better than endless rows of achingly slow purl stitches, for an entire sweater. Oh hell, just shoot me now.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Call the ASPCA--I'm beating a dead horse.

I don't know if it's coincidence or if the copy cat flu was going around, but twice in one day designers I follow talked about what they felt were knock-offs of their designs. I'm not posting names or links because certain family members would crap their pants if I got sued--honey, that's why we have insurance--so I'm using discretion and not showing you the alleged offending designs. Being the inveterate smart ass that I am, however, means I WILL get a blog post out of this, but let's pretend assume that everything in this post is hypothetical and doesn't pertain to any particular person, place, or thing.

Before publishing my own patterns, I kid you not, I looked at every single Ravelry photo of baby hats and socks that could have even remotely been in the same category as mine, to make sure my designs were original. Then, I went back and did it all over again to make sure my pattern names were original. Then, I checked out other knitting pattern sites. Anal? Maybe, but if the hat or the socks had been close enough to someone else's design to make me squirm, I wouldn't have published the patterns. Instead I would have added them to my Ravelry Projects page, with the acknowledgement that, yeah, my hat/sock is pretty similar to Yada Yada's, and here's what I did and here's a link to Yada Yada's pattern.

I know--Jelli, STHU. This sort of thing has been going on since the second person learned to knit, crochet, sew, write, etc. It ain't gonna stop any time soon. BUT. Out of respect for your own creative abilities, when you purport to present the world with your original design, you're obligated to go the extra mile and make sure it's really original. Pain in the ass? Yep, but as one designer put it, "Just hoping that she will soon find out that it's more successful to do your own thing!" Amen, sister.

It probably doesn't feel good to figure out that what you thought emanated from your own creative genius has already been done, but sometimes you have to put on your big girl underpants and admit that, no, I'm not the second coming of Elizabeth Zimmerman. My own fear is that I'll inadvertently come up with the same design as Franklin Hobbit and he'll send Dolores to smack me into next year. In my dreams will I ever come up with anything like Franklin! Seriously, have you seen that guy's biceps? If I weren't a spoken for woman... I'm a pushover for buff, bald guys who knit.

And if you just out-and-out cheated and slapped your name on someone else's design? Karma's a bitch, my friend, and you don't want to go there. Sooner or later it'll catch up with you.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

NaBloPoMo--Every. Single. Day. Oh my.

I might be smacking myself upside the head in a few weeks, but I'm giving it a shot--blogging every day for a month. The theme for August is "Green," as in the color, being ecologically responsible, envious. Maybe not envious, but I added it because envy is so easy to blog about. Hehe.

For my first August post, I offer up my finished Laurel Socks, from Wendy Johnson's Toe-up Socks for Every Body. The color way is Bermuda Teal, from Dream in Color Smooshy. Good thing this yarn isn't readily available in my area because my yarn budget would be blown. Yarn budget--I crack me up!

The pattern looks intense but if you pay attention, it's not so bad. I got a little discombobulated after the heel flap so there's a bit of weirdness going on a few rows up, but it's not noticeable unless I show you exactly where it is. In my defense, Baby Watch was going on at the same time, so I was a bit distracted. I decided not to frog because they will remind me of Tilly whenever I wear them. Sometimes, distractions are a good thing.

August is also back-to-school month for most of us. Try not to do the happy dance in front of your kids.

Link to image