Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Good intentions.

Ok, so I can't cross everything off the list I promised to finish this weekend, but I did:

1. Finish, seam, and felt the charcoal diagonal stripes bag. Here is a pic before:

And, after:

It was an interesting experience. I was careful at first, washing her on delicate in cold water with a pair of old jeans (thanks to a tip from Vickie Howell). She shrunk up all weird and not at all in some places, and I could still see the stitches throughout. I tried another spin cycle, but there were no changes. Finally, I went all out and threw her in REGULAR cycle in WARM water. That did the trick! You can see it shrunk to about 1/3 its original size, and it needed quite the haircut when it came out (this wool sheds more than my dogs, which is saying a LOT), but it came out quite nicely. I searched high and low for appropriate handles and/or a snap, but have had no luck. This afternoon, I purchased some size 9 dpn's (finally) and think I am going to try to fashion a felted i-cord handle. Not sure at all how this will turn out, but I kind of hate this bag by now anyway (why knit with winter colors at the beginning of spring???), so chances are it will never see the light of day.

2. Posted pictures of felted bag (see above).

3. Cleaned out 9 episodes of Knitty Gritty from the DVR (and learned a cool 9 block blanket, tank top, fair isle pattern, and tri-color technique...!

And, I am *so* proud of my last accomplishment. Determined to start a garment, but hateful of all tank top patterns, I discovered a gorgeous Anthropologie-inspired piece to start next. I had picked up some Bernat Bamboo in corn -- simply because the texture was so scrumptious. (I had been spoiled by some delish Malabrigo at Christmas and have hated everything I've knit with ever since.) I cast on and going to town after only one day on this project:

I'm not sure about the color now that I have started, but it is a good practice piece. Too bad I'll probably spend more on a button for finishing at Anthropologie than I did on the entire sweater. Maybe I'll get lucky and find something cute and re-usable around the house.

Feeling v. productive and proud of self, and so excited to see how my little capelet turns out -- it could be a gateway to knit designer knockoffs!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Distractions Abound.

There are a lot of reasons I have not knit a stitch nor posted a blog in the past TWO WEEKS. Above all else, I should blame the lack of productivity on myself -- surely a motivational seminar/book/hypnosis CD would encourage me to make more out of the hours in my day. Here, however, are a few reasons there are FEWER hours in my day, leading to frustration, leading to a lack of desire to knit:

1. Commute. I spend upwards of 2 hours per workday in my truck. Now, I love my truck very very very much, not least of all its ample store space (a console large enough for Roxy ipod speakers, my Juicy slouch hobo, Nissan owner's guides, 4 Lancome juicy tubes, 3 pairs of sunglasses, AND a current knitting project...!), but the recent gas hike is really cutting into my yarn budget. As much as I like both having time to unwind before getting home and the fact that I am physically separated from my place of business by over 40 miles, the fact of the matter is that this is 10 hours per week I could be spending knitting.

2. Commitment to craftiness in other mediums. This past weekend, I revisited one of my favorite crafts -- t-shirt making. In college, we would make t-shirts for nearly every occasion. I can't think of a party, birthday, or event that didn't consist of a trip to Target for a 3 pack of boys Hanes tees, along with hours in a dorm room with fabric markers. My 2 besties, Em and Linds, are training for the Flying Pig marathon in Cincinnati on May 4th. In addition to being phenomenally committed runners, they were also chosen by Cin Weekly to blog about their training and experiences. This led to a series of photo shoots, interviews, celebrity sightings (even I was shown on the cincinnati.com home page thanks to these ever-popular ladies!), least of which was their constant re-appearance in Cin Weekly. So, I fashioned them some tees to wear as they run about town. I will post a pics as soon as I get them (hint hint!) By the time I nailed the logos of all the sponsors I wanted on these special shirts, this turned into a weekend-long project (but one well worth the hours invested!)

3. Learning to blog. My brother is nothing short of a genius, who I am sure has something of a cult following on his own livejournal. It took me no short amount of time to figure out how to incorporate the links above, but I am v. proud of this accomplishment. Thanks for your help, Michael. :) I am still wading into the unknown waters of html editing, but I'll get there someday.

4. Pets! April 20th we celebrated the 3rd birthday of Lilly and 4th birthday of Roach, our two large and wolf-like dogs who I love more than life. We spent most of the weekend eating bones, watching tv, and laying on the floor together. Here is Lilly singing "Happy Birthday":

We also welcomed the addition of kittens! We have 3 outside cats, the result of their reluctantly-inherited-when-neighbor-moved-away mother (rest in peace). All 3 of them seem to have spurred kittens this weekend. We are unsure of how many exactly, or whose are whose, but I did snap this pic of all of them sleeping in a heap.

5. Ravelry.com. I am new to this online knitting community, and I have already lost countless hours browsing patterns, other members' stashes of yarn, blogs, and so on. I spent three days just looking for a pattern for a blanket! This site is AWESOME -- certainly the greatest resource a knitter can have. I am excited to delve into it more.

This weekend, I have SWORN to do three things:

1. Sew handles onto the felted diagonal striped bag.

2. Post pictures of said felted bag.

3. Watch at least 4 of the 34 new episodes of Knitty Gritty on my DVR.

And, as a stretch goal, my 4th ambition is to cast on a tank top (my first apparel item!).

We'll see what distractions come up this week...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

How much does the job of "fact-checker" pay?

Ever the slave to celebrity smut, even I do not stoop so low as to watch the TMZ television show on a daily basis -- however, I did catch a brief glimpse of it the other night before Idol, when TMZ showed brothers Peyton and Eli Manning leaving a late-night club with some "hot chicks (uh oh!)". Even with the shittiest camera work imaginable, it was obvious the "chicks" were Peyton's wife and Eli's fiance (of whom they had just shown a photo). I'm quite certain this is the least of TMZ's injustices, but it upset me quite a bit. You don't see Tom Brady spending time raising money for "Idol Gives Back", do you?

Here's the video, in case you missed it.


Also, I really need to learn how to imbed links. I wanted you to be able to click on "Tom Brady" and see his Stetson cologne ad. (Michael, help!)

Movie Theatre Handbag

Over 2/3 of the way done with my first felted project, this is officially the BIGGEST HANDBAG EVER. Bigger than the kind you take to the movies to sneak in a candy bar and a soda. Bigger than the kind you take to the movies to sneak in a ChikFilA 12 pack nugget, fries, a large sweet tea, and 2 tall boys of Steel Reserve. I mean, it is HUGE (you can see the ruler next to it in the picture). The finished dimensions are supposed to be something like 13" by 8". This thing is going to shrink like [insert witty analogy here].
Sorry for the lack of posts; this bag has almost swallowed my computer. I hope to bind off and felt this weekend, then pick out a great pair of wooden handles to complete!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

First non-knitting related post.

I cannot live another minute without pointing out the obvious similarities between American Idol finalist David Cook and Roger from "American Dad!". I wish I had a more recent picture of his haircut from this week, but the equal square footage of forehead space is still apparent in these photos: