May 2005

As promised, actual knitting content!

Here is the finished tank top for my niece.

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close up of picot edge
This was made using size 7 needles & classic elite Bam Boo yarn. I used a size 8 crochet hook to do the picot edge. The color is a little off because I had just washed it & was setting it up to block. I completely winged the pattern, but luckily I wrote it all down so I can do it again! I am calling it the princess tank. I made this especially for my little princess’ first trip to Disney World!

It really looks much nicer in person. A photographer I am not!
So, what do y’all think?? 🙂


So, Kris & I just got back from Chicago. We drove down there yesterday to see a super advance screening of Serenity, which is a movie spawned from the cancelled Joss Whedon series Firefly

Yes, we drove 5 hours there, spent $150 on a hotel room & waited in line for hours to see a movie that isn’t even finished yet. It was totally worth it! I know I am a complete geek. I acknowledge this & have even embraced it. If you have even a passing fancy towards science fiction, do yourself a favor & rent/buy the series on dvd! Then on September 30th get your butt to the theater to see this movie! Seriously! You like Star Wars? Lord of the Rings? Trust me, you will love this. If you liked Buffy or Angel, why the heck haven’t you seen this already? Dude, its Joss!

There was even a “special message” from Joss at the beginning of the film that was very heart-warming.. actually made me a little teary. And, Summer Glau was there in the flesh! She is absolutely adorable!

There were a few things that didn’t quite click in the movie, but they were fairly minor & will probably be cleaned up in the final editing process. I totally can’t wait to see the final cut.

I am not a complete freak, & I would probably not have done this for any other film or tv show. This one is special. It crosses genre’s & gender lines. It’s the show that the cast, crew & fans refused to let die. Its a kind of magic. See It!

Ok, geekiness is over.. next post will be on knitting! 🙂

This is a long post guys, there are 28 questions & I sometimes get a little verbose.
Sorry! 🙂

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?
Alas, I must admit that I am. Actually, I’m more of an 80/20 blend. I certainly prefer natural fibers, but sometimes those sexy novelty yarns call out to me. And I only use sock yarns that have at least a small amount of nylon in them, I learned that lesson quickly! I certainly don’t turn my nose up to acrylics, but I will not use Red Heart or Lion Brand yarns.

2. Do you spin? Crochet?
Yes & yes, although I don’t crochet very much anymore.

3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)
I am allergic to perfume, but have not found an allergy to pets or fibers.

4. How long have you been knitting?
Approx. 7yrs

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
I just started a Knit Picks wish list.

6. What’s your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
oh, that’s a tough one. I tend to prefer very light crisp scents for candles. Like Honeydew or Cucumber Melon. Nothing too sweet. Light, crisp, cool.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth?
Dark Chocolate calls to me! Have you had the Dark Chocolate Peanut M & M’s? mmmmmmmmmmmm

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?
I love crafts! I had to stop going to Michael’s because I kept picking up new ones that I would never do! LOL So, yeah, crafts. Oh, and I weave too. Did I mention that?

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I have very eclectic taste in music & am open to listening to just about anything. My current favorites are Tom Waits, Aimee Mann & Ben Folds.

10. What’s your favorite color? Or–do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can’t stand?
I am strongly attracted to purples & the “cool” shades (blues & greens). I like reds as well, but tend to avoid yellow & orange. I am not fond of pastels.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I am married with 5 cats.

12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)
Yikes! Well, I would like to be a fiber artist as a profession & not just a hobby & would like to own a yarn shop. That will do. 😉

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
Um. Wool. Particularly merino & blue-faced leicester.

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
Anything scratchy. I’m a very tactile person.

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?
hmmm.. I guess I would have to say socks & bags. I have been really drawn to bags lately.

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
I love making baby stuff. I have this thing for little things.

17. What are you knitting right now?
Right now I am designing a tank for myself out of black O2 & a tank for my niece out of bamboo in Hot Pink!

18. What do you think about ponchos?
Personally, I against them. I was traumatized by a crocheted red, white, & blue poncho back in ’76. I don’t like to talk about it. 😉

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
Depends on the project, I really don’t have a strong preference

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Again, it depends on the project. I am totally in love with Brittany needles though (mmmm, birch)

21. Are you a sock knitter?

22. How did you learn to knit?
I had a friend’s mom teach me. I was already an experienced crocheter & was desperate to learn.

23. How old is your oldest UFO?
About 2 mo. & its on its way to the frog pond.

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?
Hmmm, another surprisingly tough one. I love silly, quirky things.. so I tend to be drawn to animation. My favorite animated movie is The Nightmare Before Christmas if that helps.

25. What is your favorite holiday?
Halloween & Christmas

26. Is there anything that you collect?
Yarn. Knitting books. Silly toys.

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

28. Any books out there you are dying to get your hands on?
Only one I can think of right now is Meg Swanson’s A Gathering of Lace

Thanks for hanging in there! This should be fun! :p

Yesterday was the very last day at A Gathering Basket. I got an email on Friday that everything would be marked down to 50% for the last 2 days, so Kris & I decided to swing by one last time on the way out to the Grass Lake house.

It was finally starting to look picked over, which made me happy because I was concerned that the owner would be stuck with a lot of stock. Despite the relative emptiness, I was able to find this
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The 3 skeins pictured on the left are all O2 (Oxygen) by Berroco. Its a 50/50 blend of Merino & Acrylic & is a knitted ribbon yarn. Very soft & light weight. Perfect for a summer top. I got 10 skeins in black, 9 in grey & 2 in blue.

2nd from the right is Classic Elite’s Premiere Fil Extrodinaire; a 50/50 blend of Pima Cotton & Tencel. Oh so soft! I got the last 2 skeins.

And on the right is Classic Elite’s Flash, 100% Mercerized Cotton. Again, I snagged the last 2 skeins.

Ok, now we get to the overwhelmed part of the story. Initially I had only grabbed 4 skeins of the O2, 2 blue & 2 grey, as well as the Classic Elite yarns because even at 50% off I just couldn’t afford it. I get to the checkout & the owner (forgive me I can’t remember her name) is excited that I grabed the O2 because it is sooo lovely & has been discontinued. She tells me to go & get the rest of it SHE’S GIVING IT TO ME! I am completely flabergasted! This stuff retails for $9.95 a skein! I kept asking her if she was sure & she said that she would just have donated it to someone else & she was sure I would do something lovely with it. Not only that, but she didn’t even charge me the full amount on what I had brought up previous to the gifting! 25 skeins of yarn, retail value $230….for $10!!!

Before I left she made sure she still had my email address & gave me a hug! I walked out fighting off tears & completely speachless. I am definitely going to miss her & the store. It was my lifeline when I lived in Grass Lake. I used to go in there at least twice a month.

I feel the urge to charity knit.

Notice the new pic? Mr. Windle has been scheming. He didn’t like all the attention Arlo was getting as my blog buddy. So last night he tried several poses for optimum cuteness, this one won.

On to the news.
The nice thing about temping is the occasional “blow off” position. Today I was filling in for a receptionist that was out sick at a very small insurance company. They told me to bring a book because I would just be answering the phone & there can be a lot of dead time. I didn’t even have computer access. So I brought my knitting & FINALLY finished my sister’s second sock. Hey, its only a week late! I even had time to knit my very first kitty toy…

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The I filled the above with organic catnip as soon as I got home. 5 minutes later it was soaking wet & I had 5 very stoned cats on my hands! At least they like it! It was sooo easy to make & I just winged it. I started with an i-cord tail & then kfb up to 6 sts and joined. I worked in the round adding 3 sts every other row until I was up to 36 sts. Then I started decreasing at the ends of the top 2 needles every other row. Gradually working down to a point & decreasing on the bottom so the total sts on the top 2 needles = the bottom needle. Viola! instant mousey! I could have added ears, eyes & whiskers but figured the cats weren’t going to care so why should I! 🙂

In other news,I know I am probably the last knitter to finally do this… I read E.Z.’s Knitting Without Tears. Why did it take me so long? I guess I’m just stubbonr & contrary. When everyone tells me I *must* see or read something I usually don’t just to be different. Nope, I have to go my own way.

Well, last week I was at the library & it was just sitting there. I caved. I checked it out. Now I know what everyone was talking about. She has a wonderful writing style! I can’t say it changed my whole view of knitting, but she did describe a few things in such a way that I now understand it with perfect clarity & wonder what the heck was giving me problems in the first place!! So, I guess I am a convert. I’m not joining the church or nothing but the book is now firmly in my “wish list”.

As promised, here is the french market bag felted, blocked & dried!

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notice the extended pinky… she is french after all

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I think I prefer her tucked…

And, because Windle has been jealous of all the attention being focused on Arlo…
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So this is a really long post.. and you’ll have to bare with me because it is my second time around. My browser crapped out just as I was finishing & deleted the whole damn thing!

Firstly, we had lovely weather this past weekend here in Ann Arbor which allowed me to do this…
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a little garden of eatens
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Chives, red onions & a plethora of peppers

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Herby goodness.. may you grow & be pesto!

Kris spent the day clearing out & re-edging the flower beds, which are pretty full of perenials. So, we are basically done with the planting. YIPPIE!

Now, onto knitting. Frenchie is done!

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before felting
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I apologize for the quality of the prefelted pic. I have learned my lesson & shall henceforth only do my photo shoots outside! I will of course post a pic of Frenchie once she has finished drying. I had to do the felting by hand because our new washer is a tumbler. Luckily I already have heat-resistant hands from my years of waiting tables during my 20’s. It was a good workout & allowed me to control the amount of felting. I think I will be doing all my future felting by hand.

Lastly, I have been temping for the last few months & my current assigment ended yesterday. This allowed me to finally get out to Chelsea to visist A Gathering Basket. They are going out of business & their last day is Saturday, May 21st. I highly encourage anyone in the area to pay them a visit. They are selling everything for 40% of except for consignment items & furniture. This is what I got…

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13 skeins of Bamboo yarn for about $55 & the Erika Knight book for $8! They still have a good selection of yarns, rovings & books so get your butt out there. They are only open Tuesday- Saturday 12-3pm. I would imagine the good stuff will go this weekend.

Oh, on a side note. I watched my first episode of Knitty Gritty on DIY today. Not sure what I think yet. On the plus side they did have Erika Knight on, who is one of my favorite designers.. the Simple Knits with a Twist book I just got is my 4th by her. On the down side, I find the host mildly annoying. I’d love to hear what others think of it!

Thanks for sticking it out with this post. I promise the next one will be shorter! But hey, at least there was yarn porn! 😉

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