Posts tagged ‘pattern’

In which I find myself with more time on my hands, hence the lengthy post.

Every other Tuesday morning, my LYS has a thing called “Breakfast Club” where, for $5, you can come in a couple hours before the store opens to knit and enjoy good company, coffee and bagels. It’s sort of become one of the highlights of my, well, fortnight. And it’s pretty much the only time I go to my LYS to sit and knit for a couple (or few) hours and spend time with other knitters (and crocheters).

Seeing as how I’m fortunate enough to work from home, I realize I could, hypothetically, go to the LYS like every day of the week and hang out, especially since it’s only a 15 minute bike ride away. But, of course, that wouldn’t be very productive – especially since the yarn store also doubles as a black hole where all time and space becomes distorted. Therefore,  what feels like an hour and a half is actually more like… uh, 5.

5 hours is what I spent there today I’m somewhat shocked to admit. But I think it’s ok because I’m sort of in job-limbo. (More on that in a second). Anyway, I enjoyed myself as always but I did not get an inch of progress out of my dreadful Avalon Hoodie. It wasn’t for lack of trying. I had to rip back 3 times because, no matter how closely I tried to follow the directions, my collar was not turning out at all like it was supposed to. And looking at the photo of the finished product, I can not conceive of how the corresponding pattern could possibly result in that same look, because, believe me, I’ve tried. I do find it mildly suspcious that in ALL 4 photos of the finished product, the model’s hair or hand just so happens to be covering up the crucial part of the pattern upon which I am stuck. (I could just be paranoid and delirious, however.)

What are you hiding, woman?!

What are you hiding, woman?!

As of right now, I am screwing the pattern and just improvising something that I (hope) will work. But I have to say, I am getting dangerously close to loathing this project and wanting to rip it all out and never speak of it again.

I should have just spent those 5 hours finishing my husband’s remaining sock.

I was so frustrated I had to buy some yarn to soothe myself. I bought some beloved Noro to make a striped scarf. I wanted to use Silk Garden but there were no colors available that I liked. So I went with Kureyon. And instead of colors mixed with dark stripes, I’m going to try a light-striped version.

Noro Kureyon

I also picked up these cute and teeny little circs. I had no idea they came in this size! I’m gonna try to knit a sock on them, because double pointed needles get on my nerves sometimes (although they are quite efficient).

Teeny Circular needle


Anyway, back to the job-limbo. For the past 5 years I have worked for a certain comic book company as the writer and illustrator for one of their monthly books. It has been a most satisfying run, but alas, all good things must come to an end. Last week I completed my final issue. And for the first time in years I find myself without a deadline.  I do have other projects lined up but nothing as reliable as that first one, and those are still in early-stages. So right now I’m sort of in project limbo and have a bit more time on my hands until things pick up on my other projects. Part of me is like “woo hoo!” because I suddenly have some time to get some personal projects complete (I’m trying to write a novel), and of course, knitting! But another part of me feels a little adrift and sad at losing such a big part of my regular work routine.

Right after I finished my final issue, I felt a little melancholy and decided that I needed both a pick-me-up as well as some kind self-congratulatory prize for my 42 issue run. And what better way to acheive  that than with a little retail therapy?

In what was clearly a haze of desperation and sorrow, I found myself signing up for Blue Moon Fiber Art’s Rockin’ Sock Club. I can’t be held responsible for my actions, really. 😉

I must be crazy because I have only completed ONE pair of worsted acrylic socks to date. But, when I’m learning something new I ususally like to just dive right into it and tackle it head on. So what better way to learn to knit nice socks than to subscribe to a sock club that will surely have patterns that will drive me insane? Of course, the yarn is main draw to the club. BMA has some of the most gorgeous colorways out there. I ordered two skeins of their yarn back in my early knitting days (when paying more than 5 dollars for yarn was ghastly and risque!), and I loved and treasured them so much I couldn’t bear to use them. As a result, they have been sitting in a bowl on my coffee table as decoration for the past 3 years! Of course, for my husband’s socks I finally relenquished one of them (Beryl) and used it. And I love the yarn so much I am totally sold.

One last note…. it seems I have been wearing my aforementioned acrylic socks a little too much. (More like slippers than socks, really. I only washed them once, but I swear they don’t smell!). It is a little painful to see a gaping hole in something I spent hours on… but it kinda just makes me love ’em even more.

Advertisements

January 13, 2009 at 2:43 am Leave a comment

Long Time, No Blog

I am a very bad blogger. I just realized that I haven’t updated this blog since February! Well, despite the fact that I haven’t been blogging I have, at least, been continuing to work on projects.

I admit my 2-socks-on-one-circular-needle experiment never reached fruition. I was optimistic that by attempting to complete 2 socks simultaneously that it might somehow stave off my boredom. But, no. I have just accepted that socks are not for me. I still have several skeins of lovely DK yarn that, at one time, I had dreamed of turning into luscious socks. But now I am eying those same skeins with new possibilities – namely, clothes for Blythe.

My Blythe collection has grown quite a bit since I last posted about them. I now have 12, count them, twelve dolls! And I still anticipate each new release with a whetted appetite. But I am currently on a strict “Dolly Diet” after acquiring my two dream girls: a Darling Diva, and a vintage Kenner. For the time being, at least, I am content with my big-headed family and of late I have been venturing into the scary realm of pattern-designing. I figure I may as well start small, since there’s less time invested and it’s easier to whip up multiple attempts while I work on perfecting the pattern. I admit my confidence at first was a little shaken. I wasn’t sure I was “qualified” to create my own designs as I’m self-taught and relatively new to knitting and crochet. But once I dove into it and began keeping notes as I went along, I realized that it’s not so intimidating after all. In fact, by paying closer attention to what I’m actually doing, while I’m doing it, it’s actually helped me become a better crafter.

My goal is to start an Etsy shop where I’ll sell my creations. And then, once I grow bored of making a particular design over and over again (which will happen, trust me, especially given my attention span), I’ll start selling the pattern instead so people can make their own. Or maybe I’ll just be charitable and give the patterns away for free. I mean, it’s not like I’m really in this to make money. It’s all for the love of Blythe!

At first, I was a little iffy on my Blythe-clothes-making skills and I didn’t dream of selling any of them. Instead I participated in various swaps in which actually made me feel a little worse. Because I would often receive amazing items from my swap partners that my own crafted items just didn’t live up to. But over the past year, I’ve kept at it and I realize that my biggest problem was that I was using yarn that was too thick for Blythe’s little body.

Chunky yarn works great for some items, of course, like Blythe hats and scarves etc. But for dresses and tops, I was getting frustrated with my results until I switched over to ultra-thin Crochet thread and sock yarn. It really makes a difference, let me tell you!

Anyway, here’s one of my favorite Blythe creations of late:

Blythe Beaded Pouf Dress

I think I’ve definitely come a long way since I made this abomination!:

Lemony's cable knit dress

Besides Blythe stuff, I’ve been keeping busy with lots of other projects as well. I finally finished my mom’s infernal scarf in time for her birthday (never mind that it was April in Atlanta and she couldn’t even use it at the time), and my best friend gave birth to a baby so I took that opportunity to make some baby items, which was fun. All those projects can be seen on my Ravelry Projects Page!

My proudest accomplishment was a Latvian fair-isle bag that I made during the Olympics for an event my LYS was holding called “Amanolympics”. I think it’s safe to post a photo here because I don’t believe my mom knows about this blog – I intend to give it to her for Christmas this year.

Latvian Bag

Speaking of my LYS, I’ve finally found one that I love. It’s A Mano Yarn Center! This is the fist yarn shop that I’ve ever felt truly welcomed and comfortable going to. I’m pretty shy, so at first I felt a little awkward when I showed up for their bi-weekly “Breakfast Club” event, or their Stitch N’ Bitch nights, but the ladies there quickly made me feel welcome and now I look forward to going there every couple of weeks to knit and crochet for a few hours. I kind of want to go in more often, but I’m worried I’d never get any work done! (It’s hard enough working from home as it is!) But I’m glad to have a place that I can call my “LYS” with pride. 🙂

Anyway, I’ve also been working on a few other things, but this post has been long enough! I’ll try to post again before too long!

September 23, 2008 at 2:29 am Leave a comment

My Neck is Warmer than Your Neck!

Well, I still haven’t started on any socks with the nice koigu I bought, but I am making some tiny practice socks with some cheap acrylic yarn using the book, “2-at-a-time Socks”, which teaches the mystery that is 2 socks simultaneously one ONE circular needle!

2-at-a-Time Socks

So far it’s a little baffling, but I’ve managed to knit two tiny cuffs so far. The yarn keeps getting tangled which makes it sort of annoying, but maybe I’ll figure out a good way to keep the balls apart as I get more experience with this method. I’m already wondering how on earth I’ll be able to do the heel flap and gusset, but I guess it will make sense as I go along. I hope I end up loving this method because it will surely cure my Second Sock Syndrome!

I’ve also finished my neckwarmer with the Cascade Baby Alpaca yarn I bought. I followed THIS pattern and I’m thrilled with how it turned out! The yarn is so cozy and warm and I’ve already worn this neckwarmer on several bike rides. It really keeps the chill out and I don’t have to worry about long scarf ends getting loose and flapping around as I ride.

Orange alpaca neckwarmer

Now I’m working on a matching pair of fingerless mitts to go with them. I’ve already got one of them done, and I hope to finish the other soon!

Hmm… what else? Oh! I had a crazy dream last night where I dreamt this amazing pattern for this cute crochet babydoll-style top. I had drawn it out on paper and started writing up a chart for it, and deciding what kind of decorative crochet edging should go along the sleeves and what kind of stitch would consist of the bodice… and then I woke up. I completely forgot what the pattern looked like and I felt a little sad when I came to the realization that I’m not a designer… and even if I could remember what it looked like, I wouldn’t be able to actually make it.

It was an inspiring dream, though! Who knows, my memory might return and I might be able to at least sketch what it looked like. I bet my friend Cecily would be able to help me deconstruct it!

February 5, 2008 at 2:26 am Leave a comment


My Ravatar

Sayllama Ravelry

Rockin’ Sock Club 2009

Rockin Sock Club