25 May 2006

Good Crafternoon to you, m'lady!

Things are changing for me - and maybe it's because I turned 30 a couple of months ago & I'm more interested in a more domesticated version of myself, but it's weekends like the one coming up that slap me in the face with the fact that I'm not 'chasing the dragon' (so to speak) like I once was.

Tomorrow is my last day at a job I've held for 5 years. Saying goodbye will be bitter sweet. I've made some really good friends - I've learned the names of most of the dogs that visit with their owners, I made a lot of really great "suits" out of cardboard boxes & sealed some hilarious items in plastic using the fancy machine - but my time has come. Typically, in order to celebrate this monumental occasion, I'd send out an e-blast to all my friends with some hilariously witty title & then I'd celebrate the monumental day by having a whole buncha beer.

So, why won't that be how I celebrate tomorrow?

Because of
this and this. I intend to be shamelessly consumptive...edging on vulgar in my purchases. Afterall, I derserve it! And to be fair, I will get some christmas shopping done. My big plan is to either make all the gifts I give, or to get them from independent designers. No, *seriously!*

19 May 2006

Greetings from Sleeve Island

There's terminology in knitting that non-knitters could never understand. "The Boyfriend Sweater Curse" for instance - and, in my case "Sleeve Island." Sleeve Island is the dreaded place knitters go after knitting the body of a sweater. Some of them never return. Others stay there for quite a while, some speedsters don't even have time to unpack - they're on & off the island lickity split.

I've been overstaying my welcome here at Sleeve Island & the other night after a couple of glasses of wine (okay, okay....a whole bottle - but it was the finale of ANTM!) I sauntered up to that 3/4 knit sleeve & warned it that it was in for a ride.

This is the first time I've ever made up my own pattern - the math involved in the sleeve cap was looming over me & I just couldn't seem to jump into it. But with the help of some liquid courage (is this a sign of me getting old? 'liquid courage' used to mean I had had enough to drink that I could talk to boys in bars - now it means I can muster up the sass to finish a sleeve cap?) I am now able to present to you Sleeve 1/2. The second one should be a snap!

And this shot shows off the length! Susannah is a woman who likes long, long sleeves:

I'm pretty darned happy with how this is turning out, and I just hope that I can get it in the mail to jolly old England in time for their balmy summer.

16 May 2006

too easy....

Today I discovered how easy it is to spend money without moving more than your fingers. First, I visited Glampyre and purchased the pattern for 'Orangina' it's so cute! Well, maybe it's Stephanie Japel that is so cute. I mean. *SO CUTE!* I've always loved her patterns so I thought "hey! I got $11 american dollars in my paypal account that I can't transfer to my bank account....why not order this pattern?" so I did. Ordering it was far too easy - I sent $5us through paypal & within seconds the pattern was right there on my screen in pdf format ready for me to print out & add to my 'to knit' pile.

But why stop at one?

Why not mosey over to See Eunny Knit and finally get my paws on the 'Deep V Argyle Vest' that I have been absolutely drooling over since I first laid eyes on it. Sincerely - this thing is perfect. I also like the idea that my money is going directly to these designers. I just hope Eunny puts out more patterns - the pattern to the vest is a whopping *32* pages long! She goes into great detail about the pattern & has super directions on steeking which is the part I'm most worried about.

I promised myself I absolutely wouldn't start on anything new until I finished the last sleeve on Susannah's shrug (Susannah - it's nearing the end, I *swear!*) but like my bookshelf is full of books marked only 20 pages from the end (it's annoying to me, too - don't worry) I have this weird sense of urgency as I'm nearing the end of a project - a need to cast on for a new project.
The thing is, while surfing the internet & ordering patterns I finally visited knitpicks. I'd heard that their yarn was wicked cheap & boy howdy they weren't lying! I can knit that whole argyle vest for under $40cdn! unheard of!

But no...I will finish the last of Susannah's shrug & *THEN* I will go steeking crazy.

13 May 2006

my lovely lady lumps.

For what seems like months, I've been working on a little amigurumi sleepy eyed cat. I got the pattern instructions from this blog - and good thing, too - since the original instructions (and what you have to follow for some of him) are in Japanese I'm happy to announce he's done! hoorah! The crocheting sort of hurt my hands since everything's so tiny, but the photo ops are totally worth it!

hey! who's in my bed?!
oh! heh, it's you! Well, you better wake up because it's time to smell some flowers.... the only nice thing in the whole Book City basement!

Hey! That's *MY* miniature sample bottle of Marc Jacobs!.....but you look so cute nestled up with it I guess you can have it...

I haven't named him yet, but Patrick seems to think his name should be Abraham Lincoln Jr.

The other day while I had my camera at work I took the time to try & capture the fear & disgust & general trapped-in-ness I feel while there..

Sadly, this doesn't even come close to showing how I feel while at my job. But that doesn't matter since this morning I got a lovely phone call from a woman I interviewed with last week. "The job is yours if you'd like it." It took all I had not to weep into the phone that YES! Yes I wanted that job! Yes I wanted to be set free from my current situation! Yes I never wanted to have to cry in a supply closet! Yes I wanted a job with higher pay & shorter hours! and most importantly... "YES! I wanted a job that is a 5 minute walk from Romni Wool!"

It dawned on me that I really don't have much in the way of 'respectable work clothes' so I whipped up some pants this afternoon. I did this also because I'm ever so slowly starting to focus on what I want to start making for my line. (This 'line' will be incredibly humble, and long, long overdue since I'm going to make clothes geared towards girls like me... girls with junk in theys trunks.) Anyhow, pants have long been an enemy of mine, but I think I actually like these:
I took a picture of me wearing my spring jacket that I made - nothing is more satisfying to me than to know that the only child who was exploited to make my outfit was *myself*. The front of these pants isn't what I like though...it's the cute pockets on the back. In trying to get a good shot of my own ass I learned a couple of valuable lessons:

1) it's super, super hard to get a picture of your own bum - most of your photos come out like this:
2) it's probably best to get someone else to take the photo & never show it to you because I probably erased about 30 photos of less than flattering shots.

3) use the self timer. DUH!

I swear to you the pockets are even. It's my rump that makes them look askew. Here's a detail shot that I took by accident but that I actually like:

So - pants, kitty, and I cast on for the 'Pentagon Pullover' from Knitting Nature. I feel like a well oiled crafting machine!

08 May 2006


Coming home after a full day of work is always nice - coming home to awesome mail after a full day of work is....well....it's awesome! The mailperson brought me two packages on Friday - one of them being my replacement needle from brittany (superfast! yeow!) and the other was a mysterious tv sitcom pilot on video. I was asked last week if I'd mind being part of a *specially selected* viewing group for this show. I like to keep a mid to high element of exclusivity in my life and if that requires me to watch the hi-jinx of 3 divorced dads (one of them being C. Thomas Howell) well alright then.

The tape came with strict instructions - one of which I broke right away. I was instructed to watch the show on Sunday but I knew it'd be a problem fitting it in so I watched it on Saturday instead. The most memorable thing for me from the show was Rue McClanahan's terrible German accent so the survey questions should be interesting.

Today though, was the best mail day as my Earth Day swap package arrived!

Some lovely goodies! 3 knit washcloths, a billfold made of recycled vinyl, some Lush stuff, some knitting goodies (including a yummy colourway of 'Hip Hop') and I think my favourite is the little reusable cloth bags. I saw them for the first time this weekend - you can use them for loose tea & they make so much sense! Now I just have to start buying loose tea. Thanks Maley!

And now...I *must* post progress photos of Susannah's Shrug. She came to me months ago & asked if I could recreate a shrug she saw in a magazine. I said I could. It's been more of a challenge than I thought it would - the shaping around the bust was tricky & I've never made my own pattern before, so I'm hoping it works out in the end.

The way I went about this comes straight from my pattern drafting experience. I made pieces out of fabric first (luckily, Susannah's dainty figure is similar to that of my dress form) and then I just tried to match the knit pieces as best I could as I went along. With only the sleeves to go, I find myself a little stuck. A comfortable armhole is the key to a sweater you'll want to wear all the time...to one you might even call your *favourite* lets just hope the reading I've been doing on how to make a successful sleeve cap come in handy & it fits her. Even if it doesn't, she's sassy enough to pull off even the illest fitting sweater...my goal here though, is to make the *illest* sweater. period.

04 May 2006

ttc...viva....yrt....and me.

I was like Little Orphan Annie, except with better hair & not a red dress but a H&M skirt I made 2 sizes bigger (thank goodness full skirts are in! all that pleated awesome fabric to let out & make into chubby girl clothes. Or "Strong woman" clothes, as the new friend I met today kept referring to me as.

New friend? His name started with an 'A'. I got onto the Viva line after 2 seperate subway rides & one stop later there was a huge accident. The bus driver told me to get off because we weren't going anywhere. She pointed to some random place across the way (the 'way' being Keele street - a pretty big street) I got off the bus (I was the only passenger) & wandered over to where she had pointed. I saw no bus. Not even a bus stop.

I stood there, garment bag over my arm..my cardigan feeling too heavy for the muggy weather, my shoes giving me pretty wicked blisters since it was my first time wearing them sockless. I had *no* idea where I was or what direction I needed to go. This guy said something to me about how big the accident was & I wearily said "I don't even know where I AM!". He offered to drive me to York University which was where I needed to catch the next bus to get to my interview.

I've never, ever hitched a ride with a stranger & I took the sign that I got no creepy vibes from him as a good one. Ironically enough Just last night I watched the episode of Degrassi Junior High where Wheels hitchhikes to find his dad in Port Hope & gets picked up by a pervert who tries to feel his thighs beneath his acid washed jeans.
"If he tries anything," I thought "I'll just jump out of the car & immediately pick up a giant rock to throw at him. Hopefully he throws my World Famous backpack out of the car before he takes off." Because that's just like it happened in Degrassi.

But he didn't. He was just a kind human being doing something nice for someone in need. My ride cost less than a cab would have & the only fare I had to pay was humouring him while he told me how much he loved a 'strong woman' like me. Did I have a boyfriend? Kids? Any single friends who are also 'strong women?'

Save for that small glitch in my public transit knitting marathon, I knit there & back pretty steadily & this is how far I got...

I'm at the heel flap! I'm crazy in love with how this sock is striping! I totally nailed the interview but unfortunately I think the commute really would be just way too much. -sigh-

moving on....casting on....rambling on....

I'm getting ready to go on a big public transit ride to an interview I hope I do well with. The commute to this job would be about an hour & a half per day - but to put it into light - I'd rather spend lots of time getting to & from a job I enjoy than spend 8 1/2 hours at a job that makes me cry in the supply closet & infront of innocent customers who just need help finding a book.

On the bright side, the long subway & bus ride means lots of knitting will get done. Here's what I have done so far on the new socks I'm knitting (for my sister....for christmas! look how on top of things I'm trying to be this year!)

Lets see how much I get done today while I'm making my way to.....dun dun dun.... BEYOND THE TTC LINE!

03 May 2006

rocking on the 3rd.

There's a little something cooking up inside my head & when the time is right I will unleash it. But not yet. But it has something to do with me sharing secrets. Not dirty secrets....although some may be *knitty* gritty.

But secrets like how I totally made these slippers:

I cleaned my whole sewing room (although it still probably looks messy to an outsider eye) and I'm extremely happy to announce the missing dpns have been found.

Where were they?

Oh....you know....where everyone keeps their needles - in an accordian file folder - in the section with all my old zine stuff. (They fell in there. And for some reason - some really crazy reason, I thought "Hey! Maybe I should check to see if they're in there!" And they were! And now everyone can sleep well tonight knowing that it's alright....I found my needles.)

oh snap!

About 2 months ago as I was doing my version of tidying up my knitting basket I came across a brittany needle. Size 4.0mm. Totally snapped in half. It was hard to tell that it was broken since the knitting was still on the needle & masked the damage - but the limp way the swatch I had been working on hung down suggested there was definitely something wrong.

I wish I could take a picture & show you - because this post would be way more dynamic but since our telephone/internet seems to work only when it wants to, I cannot.

In any case, I e-mailed them since they have a 5 year guarantee on their needles & hooks. I heard from them today saying they were shipping a new needle out to me right away.

I write this entry mostly as a record of when I requested the replacement needle. Hopefully it will arrive soon.

In other needle news -
MISSING: 2 size 2 dpns. Last seen performing a kitchener stitch. Lost somewhere between my living room & my sewing room.