Friday, April 27, 2012

"Can Ikea show you how to make your own dinosaur?"

If you don't think Ikea is taking over the world, or at least popular culture, I offer you proof. The science geek in me loves this, but I guess you could say I'm just a little biased. The second link is to photos of my studio, which is furnished almost exclusively with Ikea stuff, in case you haven't seen it.

At any rate, I think they're on to something with their minimal word instruction sheets. If you've put together a piece of Ikea furniture with your spouse, you can cross 'hand-to-hand-combat with a rabid ninja pirate' off your bucket list. All kidding aside, it beats the heck out of reading some badly edited techno-speak manual. A picture really is worth a thousand words.

So why haven't we embraced the Japanese style of knitting and crochet patterns? Here's a photo of a cardigan pattern I got from one of Donna Druchuna's Japanese Knitting classes:

This is the entire pattern. One page. So simple, so elegant. So much less to read, and the decisions about things like how to decrease for the shoulders can be based on your own skills and not the designer's. 

What do you think? Could you learn to embrace something like this? I realize Ikea isn't a Japanese company, but I think you get the picture. PUN INTENDED.

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Pay It Forward

This is something very cool I came across yesterday. PDXKnitterati is a fan of Eskimimi Makes, and so am I--her artwork is so whimsical and fun. They're both participating in a "pay it forward" project and since that stuff brings out the mynah-bird-steals-shiny-things in me, I'm doing it too.

Here's the deal (which I also stole):

1. I will send a surprise gift to the first three commenters on this post. The gift will be handmade by me. It will be sent sometime in the next 365 days. It will be a surprise. We all love getting surprises in the mail, right?

2. To sign up and receive a gift, you must play along, too. Pay it Forward on your blog, by promising to make a surprise for the first three people who comment on the post.

3. You must have a blog (that is updated, as I will blog stalk you to find the right gift for you).

4. After commenting here, you must repost this or something similar to your blog in 48 hours. If not, I will chose the next person who commented.

Don't give up if you’re not in the top three. Just head on over to the blogs of the comments who got here first and see if you're in their top three. The rule is you have 48 hours after your comment appears to post the Pay It Forward on your own blog, otherwise I have to skip over you and move to the next commenter. And it doesn't matter where you're from. I'm happy to send packages to any place in the world.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Look ma, no lifelines!

I'm on sort of a mini roll here. I completed a knitting project early--a sure sign of the Apocalypse--and I've even put it up on my Ravlery projects page already. I'd be worried if I were you.

Feast your eyes on my completed Swallowtail Shawl:

Look ma, no lifelines!



I'm trying to talk Donna into using this yarn for a super-secret project we're working on. Can't tell you about the project just yet, but the yarn is Toots LeBlanc merino/angora, and it is delicious! As you knit, it develops this subtle, gorgeous halo. Best of all, it doesn't shed. I know you'll think this is crazy talk, but it's true. I worked on this shawl several times wearing black tee shirts and honestly, there was no excess fuzz. Not cheap, but life is too short to knit with crappy yarn.

Have a fabulous weekend!

Monday, April 16, 2012

I curse you,!

A while ago a friend turned me on to The good news? I've bought some really cool stuff at really cool prices. The bad? I've bought some really cool stuff at really cool prices.

One of my finds was a gorgeous travel case for my iPad. It was marked down from stupid-expensive to just expensive. Yay for me. I needed something with a strap that I could thrown on and have my hands free for boarding flights while arm-wrestling for overhead bin space.

My favorite purchase, however, has been this:

It's a footstool knitted with a cotton/nylon rope. I can't remember where I initially saw this about a year ago, but I seriously wanted it. had it marked down to a price so low I probably couldn't have made it myself for that money, not to mention the beating my hands would have taken knitting with broomstick size needles and rope. I love this thing.

Let me know if you want an invitation to but don't say I didn't warn you.