Thursday, March 31, 2011

Where are they now? 2KCBWDAY4

The topic for day four of the 2nd Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week:
Whatever happened to your __________?
Write about the fate of a past knitting project. Whether it be something that you crocheted or knitted for yourself or to give to another person. An item that lives with you or something which you sent off to charity.
I don't really have any trouble letting go of an item that I've knitted and gifted. My step-dad taught me years ago that once you give somebody something, it's not yours anymore and that person is free to do whatever they want with it. He doesn't knit, so I'm not sure if he'd change his tune about knitted gifts, but I doubt it. He's a pretty straight-up kind of person. I tend to knit it, give it, and forget it. But I SERIOUSLY love these gift tags. All that being said, if you knit an unappreciative person a very looooooong scarf, you could always strangle them with it. Just sayin'...

This is a short post and not 100% on topic, because DD had all four wisdom teeth yanked today. She hates being fussed over, so I give her space when she needs it, but my mind is mostly on her and not blogging. This would be the perfect time to give her another knitting lesson, with her being stoned on Vicodin and not able to run from me, but maybe I'll save that for tomorrow. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Naughty and the Nice

The topic for day three of the 2nd Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week:
How do you keep your yarn wrangling organised? It seems like an easy to answer question at first, but in fact organisation exists on many levels. Maybe you are truly not organised at all, in which case I am personally daring you to try and photograph your stash in whatever locations you can find the individual skeins. However, if you are organised, blog about an aspect of that organisation process, whether that be a particularly neat and tidy knitting bag, a decorative display of your crochet hooks, your organised stash or your project and stash pages on Ravelry.
You should probably be sitting down for this post. I'd suggest alcohol, too. Maybe practice averting your eyes quickly. You've been warned.

First of all:

No, this isn't the naughty. This is the nice, what there is of it. It's the yarn wrangling doodad I bought at Madrona. It's about as organized as I get, aside from some pretty fabric baskets I bought on sale from Amazon. I half-assed thought about saving them for gifts, but Little Miss Greedy Pig has kept them for herself. 

Enough of the diversionary tactics--here's the naughty, in all its shame:

Doesn't look so bad, except that this is the best this particular spot has ever looked, and that's because I spiffed it up before I took the picture. I also Photoshopped it. And left out the huge pile o'crap to the left. But wait! There's more!

Once again, you're probably say, "Jelli, it's not that bad!" But see the plastic space bags on the left? I DID NOT PUT THEM THERE. But I did move the dozen others that were blocking the boxes containing yarn that you see on the right. I'm fairly certain that putting space bags containing tee shirts that you are never, ever going to wear again in the closet where your spouse stores yarn is grounds for divorce. ARE YOU LISTENING TO MEEEEEEE?

Someday we will be empty nesters and someday I will have the office of my dreams, with shelving and storage and a wine refrigerator, and maybe even a bean bag chair and a little bell I can ring when I need more ice or a cappuccino. If you're going to dream, dream big.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Skill + 1UP--Braggin' on my Bad Self

The topic for day two of the 2nd Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week:
Look back over your last year of projects and compare where you are in terms of skill and knowledge of your craft to this time last year. Have you learned any new skills or forms of knitting/crochet (can you crochet cable stitches now where you didn’t even know such things existed last year? Have you recently put a foot in the tiled world of entrelac? Had you even picked up a pair of needles or crochet hook this time last year?
JelliDonut isn't usually about the long post, so if you need it down and dirty, skip to the last paragraph. That's the important one. But if you have a few minutes...

I'm not one to linger over past achievements. As I was looking over my Ravelry projects page, I was surprised at how many of my finished pieces I haven't even bothered to put there. My ideas for patterns have come so fast and furious, one is barely off the needles before I'm starting on the next. Not a bad problem to have except that I want to publish them and hopefully see them on the needles of other knitters. How about we just do a Vulcan mind meld? And don't get me started on the 7,382 patterns in my Ravelry queue. There's so much talent out there, it's hard not to fall in love with something new every day.

But as far as stuff I've actually finished, I've dabbled in colorwork a tad:

and added beads to my knitting for the first time:

But really, the biggest leap I've taken is how serious I've gotten about knitting and everything that goes with it. 

This (mostly) knitting blog is just a little over a year old. I swear I woke up one day and said, "Hmm. I've got some time on my hands. Why don't I start a blog today?" Crazy, but that's how I roll. See the cliff. Jump off the cliff. I figured out early that good photos help, so I got a decent camera for my birthday last year, then took some photography classes so I could produce better photos of my FO's--that's finished objects for you non-knitters.

I've started an Etsy shop, which has been woefully neglected lately, but was the result of several hats I designed. The plan is to sell the prototypes on Etsy and maybe the patterns too.

Speaking of patterns, a few months ago I got a tech editor to work on the pattern for one of the hats that started me on Etsy. Her four pages of notes for just one of my patterns only mildly freaked me out, and I'm more determined than ever to get my patterns out there. I've even contacted someone about designing a logo for me. Get my autograph while you can--I'm gonna be big and I'm not just talking about my butt.

I attended Madrona for the first time, and I've taken several other knitting classes from some pretty experienced teachers. I think it's paid off because I've been asked to test knit, and to do some knitting for the portfolio of a pretty cool designer. I'm not bragging here. I'm still pretty stunned that somebody thinks my knitting is good enough for their patterns. Stunned and humbled.

I have begun working with a well known knitter, designer, and author who lives here in Colorado. The job title is still up in the air--I'm torn between aide-de-campe, adjuntant√©, and She Who Must Be Obeyed--but I'm extremely excited about the opportunity to help her get her first e-book and e-patterns published, and her seventh book released. 

Last, and decidedly not least, in the past year I've made so many friends from and because of knitting. I've been gifted with socks and yarn, quilted pin cushions and books, words of inspiration and thoughtfulness, and I've even met some of you. A year ago, I never would have dreamt any of this was possible. Not a bad way to spend a year. Can't wait to see what the next one brings!

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Thin Line Between Love and Hate

As you can see from the new gadget in the sidebar, I'm participating in the 2nd Annual Knitting & Crochet Blog Week. Because really, I don't have nearly enough to do. I have stuff going on right now that would turn your hair gray, but that's another blog post. At least this gives me a focus for the next seven days.

Here's today's topic:
Choose two yarns that you have either used, are in your stash or which you yearn after and capture what it is you love or loathe about them.
The yarn yearning is easy--I want Wollmeise, which is German for "ha ha, everybody has this yarn except you." It's almost an urban legend to me. Does it really exist? Will I have to travel to Germany to actually own some or do I have the guts to just order it online without ever having touched it beforehand? How will DH handle it if/when I tell him I'm flying to Germany for yarn?

I don't loathe too many yarns, and I don't feel badly about the ones I do, but I'll always feel a little sad that I HATE knitting with silk yarn. I've tried to love it, but I can't. It's like trying to love a pair of shoes that just kill your feet. They end up in the back of the closet gathering dust. Maybe you take them out once in a while and pet them and dream about the outfits they'd go with, but that's always the extent of it. I dyed some silk yarn about 18 months ago and still love the resulting skein, but I just can't imagine knitting an entire ANYTHING with it. I know I should give it away but I'm not quite ready to give up on it. I'll figure out something.

Tomorrow's topic is about whether or not I've acquired any new knitting skills. Does drinking wine while I knit count? Stay tuned!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A little more Madrona

I was lucky enough to get into the Photographing Your Fiber class, conducted by one of my favorite knitting personalities, Franklin Habit.

The rumors about me stalking Franklin were just that--rumors. I only hope he wasn't too freaked out when I happened to be sitting at the table next to his, the night of the banquet. Totally not planned. A very stylish woman from Florida asked me to sit with her and SHE picked the table. If you click on the Franklin link you can read his very nice account of Madrona 2011. There's a great panorama photo of the banquet. I'm right in front of the podium with my back turned toward the camera, so that he couldn't get a clear picture of my face, just in case. 

Here's a few yarn pr0n shots I took in the class. What do you think?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Read about my free TSA massage! Awesome!

I've been flying a lot lately--three trips in six weeks--and now that all my travel has been completed I'm glad I won't need to go near another airport for a while. I'm getting used to the whole post 9-11 paranoia thing, but I sure am nostalgic for the good old days when going to the airport was part of the fun of travel. Now it's more like a test to see if you've got the cojones to actually take a trip.

I remember when "security" meant some grumpy guy in a uniform asking if you were carrying any liquor or cigarettes in your suitcase. Not usually a problem for me--drink it and smoke it before you leave is my motto. But I always felt like I looked guilty even if I wasn't.

Apparently, I never did nail the innocent look, because on all three trips I took in the last six weeks I got "selected" for extra screening on at least one leg of the trip. The first time, it was 5 a.m. and I was in that damn DNA zapping machine before I knew what was happening--I'm so NOT a morning person. The second time, I was more than a little irritated but didn't want to piss off The Man and risk missing my flight. By the third trip I'd already made up my mind that I was done with being irradiated and I would just get to the airport in plenty of time for my free TSA massage if it came to it. Which of course it did.

Honestly, it's no big deal. It took a little courage on my part to tell them I was requesting the pat-down but I'd already decided I wasn't going to take my chances in the Orgasmatron machine anymore.  I know they say it's perfectly safe, less radiation than an x-ray, yada yada yada, but who gets that many x-rays in less than two months unless they're sick?

It was all very professional. You have the option of going into a private area, but I decided not to. You stand on a cushy mat, with your feet apart, while they play the Where's Waldo game all over your body. The most "invasive" part was the karate chop move to my hooha, but if you've ever been to a gynecologist you've had way more than that done to your private parts while naked and on your back. I just wanted to get to my gate so I could knit. As long as they never, ever screw with my knitting I'll keep flying.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Zombies in Minneapolis

Just spent the weekend in Minneapolis with DS and family--that means Tilly Time! She's eight months old now and NEVER stops moving. Here's what she thinks of peas:

DS is a great photographer and found this exhibit in a cool, funky neighborhood in Minneapolis. The Minneapolis Photo Center is a great resource for professionals and amateurs alike and the current show is well worth seeing. After we checked it out and were on our way to Uptown--the place where I did my baby stalking--we passed this building that I had to photograph. DS indulged me and turned the car around so I could get a picture. I think you can see what caught my eye:

Of course I immediately thought of Lorna's Laces Zombie BBQ. I guess chartreuse, red, and purple are the standard zombie colors. My own skein of Zombie is currently on the needles and will be a pair of leggings for Tilly. I'm hoping Lorna's has a matching red for a sweater.

Next up--I get felt up in the Minneapolis airport. Stay tuned!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Do I look like stalker?So I'm in the Apple store in uptown Minneapolis and I spot a baby wearing a really cute knitted hat. Unfortunately I couldn't really Kinnear the baby--she was in one of those carriers that you strap on your front, making a stealth iPhone photo pretty much impossible. (Parents can be funny that way.) When I abandoned the sneaky tactic and just flat out asked if I could take a picture of the hat, SHE TOOK IT OFF THE BABY'S HEAD. Lady, that was so not helpful!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

You are not going to believe this

DD tried on a total of two dresses and fell in love with the second one, a cocktail-length one shoulder number in a deep blue satin and not expensive, which I picked out. Yeah, I know. I'm on my way to the 7-11 up the street to buy a lottery ticket, because this kind of luck WILL NOT LAST.

I'm almost sorry it barely took 20 minutes because we had such a great time. And it gets better--she already has shoes that go perfectly with the dress.

Let's make that two lottery tickets.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

If I never post again...

It's because I'm taking DD prom dress shopping this afternoon. Wish me luck.

For those of you who read blogs on your cell phone or iPad, I've updated my mobile blogging. This blog should now be easier to read and prettier for you. Thanks, Blogger, for making it so readily apparent that this feature not only exists, but that I needed to switch to to access it. Good thing I'm fluent in Snark too.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What do Kinnearing and ebooks have in common?

Absolutely nothing as far as I know, but I needed a segue, hence the title.

I spent last week in Indian Wells, California and you might want to be sitting down for this next sentence. I did absolutely zero knitting. The bff and I went out for the BNP tennis tournament, among other things, and I never even took my yarn out of the bag. Sad but true. I did manage some reading on my Nook, however. I've yet to buy a Nook knitting book and I'm wondering what they're like. Anybody try this yet?

I came upon this NY Times article today. Feel free to weigh in on the topic. I'd love to hear your opinions on this too.

Now for the Kinnearing:

The guy in the white shirt is Kevin Anderson, a South African tennis player. I think the other guy is Rik De Voest, also of South Africa. If I'm wrong, feel free to let me know.

FYI--the cell phone coverage in the Indian Wells/Palm Desert area stinks. I don't know how realtors and teenagers survive. Lots of times I couldn't even get enough bandwidth to send a text, let alone do any mobile blogging, and I couldn't cobble together enough time to sit down with my laptop in a Starbucks and do any kind of work that required an internet connection. You'd think with all the $$$ out there, they'd have gold plated cell towers but what do I know.

The rest of the week doesn't look good for knitting, since I have some knit-related computer work I'm doing and the rest of the BNP is being televised until about midnight every night. I'm trying to catch up on my blog reading, but Blogger is being weird and not letting me read anything older than about 16 hours, so I have to use Google Reader. I hate Google Reader--it's so ugly it makes me want to dig out my own eyeballs with a spoon, so it's taking me FOREVER to read all the blogs I follow, but I'm working on it. I was also going to rant about Daylight Savings Time kicking my butt, but I'm too tired. Talk amongst yourselves.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Madrona Treasures, Part 3

Remember these?

Until Madrona, it was pretty much the only thing I'd ever won. It was some sort of tennis shindig and winning it meant I was out of the running for the really good prizes, like free lessons. I brought it home to DD which made me look awesome, so not a total loss.

I won this in a drawing at Madrona:

I showed it in an earlier post that was done on my iPhone. I still haven't gotten the hang of mobile blogging--none of my formatting shows up--so it's a really crappy post. Plus, I neglected to mention that one of my favorite bloggers has a pattern in this book. Ann McClure, of The Adventures of Traveling Ann fame, has a lovely pair of socks featured in this book: Eyelet and Feather Socks. And no, I'm not giving away this copy. It's mine, all mine. There are 101 patterns in this book, all of which use my favorite weight of yarn, sock yarn. Seriously, you want this book. But you can't have mine. I'm hoping I'll meet Ann some day and she'll autograph it for me.

I will leave you with a screen shot I took of an online 8 ball

Ahem. More on this later.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Madrona Treasures, Part 2

Do you know what this is?

I bought it at Madrona, so I can do this:

Pretty cool, huh? I'm hoping this little doohickey will make it easier to knit two strands together. You use it with center pull balls but obviously unwinding from the outside. The top tier, which is attached to the spindle, spins quite easily. You can pull straight from the skeins, or unwind the yarn a little bit at a time. I'm still getting used to it, trying to make sure it doesn't change my tension, so for now I just pull small lengths of yarn as I need it. I'll try knitting straight from the skeins on my next new project.

It's from Chameleon Colorworks, but I don't see it on their website. If you're interested, maybe send them an email.

But wait! There's more...