Sunday, January 29, 2006

Ah, the bitter sting of rejection

I finally heard back from Amy Singer today, it's a no-go for my submission for her upcoming book.

In more positive news, I may have another thing or two in the works for SWTC- waiting for the final word.

Other happy stuff- the next 2 issues of Creative Knitting will have my patterns in them! One is an entrelac pillow in SWTC Karaoke and Fur Real and the other is a little bag in SWTC Amerah, which you probably haven't seen yet. It's 100% silk, but raw-looking and really cool- great for knitting with in the summer when wool is too hot and sweaty. (I knit more in the summer than any other time of year, so it's something to consider!)

One last happy thought- the sushi goes up this week at MagKnits!

That rejection doesn't seem so bad now, come to think of it.

Friday, January 27, 2006

This just in: Secret Pal Delights Tired Teacher

Best. Secret. Pal. Ever. So beautifully wrapped, I hardly wanted to open it. The wrapped item is a treat from my favorite author, Kurt Vonnegut- Man Without a Country. I have jury duty in a couple weeks (gross, no knitting allowed) so this is definitely coming with me (it'll be hard to save it though!)

And yes, the yarn. Beautiful alpaca in my favorite colors. I totally love it. The last thing is a magnet that says, "Sorry I can't go out with you. I have to stay home and knit." She knows me so well! If I hadn't gotten married as a 21 year-old non-knitter I'd probably still be single!

All in all, a great end to a not-so-great day. Now to avoid the urge to knit and go decorate Emma's birthday cake (her party is tomorrow) and force myself to clean house at least a little and finish some stuff for work. Maybe.

Monday, January 23, 2006

The Sushi Cometh, and Bohus progress

Kerrie over at MagKnits says my sushi pattern will be in the next issue- look for it Feb. 1!

Despite lots to do for work and an overwhelming urge to sleep this weekend, I did make a little progress on The Red Palm:

I also started something out of Wool Ease Thick n' Quick (how unusual for a snob like moi) but it's just kind of cute. I'll show you that later when there's more to show.

Today was a bit crummy but when I got home there was this:

It's five skeins of Koigu, in the process of moving in with the rest of the Koigu. Mmmmmmm.... Koigu.

One last thing, Saturday was Emma's birthday, and she and her dad went to a "daddy daughter luau"-- Happy turning 6, sweetiepie!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

More bag issues

We've already discussed my problem. I know. But I really want this.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

No Knitting Olympian Me

Since I'd probably have to quit my job (and etch an even deeper assgroove in the couch cushions) to finish something truly challenging in the time alloted, I've decided to designate myself as a heckler/cheerleader in the Knitting Olympics.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Knitting Pictures and my secret shame

Minor progress to report on The Red Palm, my little Bohus adventure. As I mentioned earlier, this is a coarser-than-proper Bohus at 7 sts/in (rather than 9.) The yarn is Fairy Hare from Kimmet Croft (angora/merino blend, nice) and the pattern is from Poems of Color by Wendy Keele, which if you haven't read it, is a fabulous history of Bohus with a nice array of patterns to boot.

In the category of mindless knitting, this is the little shrug I'm working on in SWTC Karaoke. The pattern is from a link on the Shrug KAL page- one of the Interweave Knits ones. I got a lot done Monday when we went on an adventure to an exotic mall and got lost- the extra time in the car was fruitful. Note that it is shamelessly displayed in my new Jordana Paige satchel, which though bigger than usual for purses as far as I'm concerned, is excellent for sneaking along knitting incognito.

This brings me to my secret shame. I have many knitting bags. Most were not exactly cheap. I spend more on them than I should. They are:
the Jordana Paige satchel
the Jordana Paige messenger bag (which the Bohus lives in)
my sushi bag from Boogybags (which the Aran lives in, with matching needle bag, natch)
a pink one that I got at Stitches
the Bagsmith one that stands up
a little one I made out of Japanese fabric
a Knit Knack Sack, tiny and great for socks
I've had others too, they've just been retired for lack of coolness.
Despite this, I still look longingly at the Lexie Barnes bags. This is sad.

Why so many? I may not be racist, but I still keep my projects segregated. Having only 3 right now is odd, so most of the time they all have something in them. The even sadder thing is this:

It's cute though! A new kacha-kacha that locks so the numbers can't change on you! It's going in the satchel. I got one for my Secret Pal too. Here's the sad part-- EVERY SINGLE ONE OF MY BAGS has its own kacha-kacha, chibi, scissors, tape measure, etc., etc., etc. For some reason I refuse to look in another bag for the tool I need. When I start buying separate sets of needles too then you can have me taken away (would that mean more knitting time?)

One last thing, and I'm sure anyone in SE Michigan would agree-- WARMEST JANUARY EVER. As a snow-hater, I'm in heaven.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

I've been tagged

By Ragan. Here we go:

4 jobs you have had:
Sandwich Artist (at Subway)
Toy salesperson
Assembling car parts in a hot dirty factory (really)
Substitute teacher

4 movies you could watch over and over:
Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? (bifurcated tail, you know)
The Sound of Music (I do like showtunes)
Fear of a Black Hat

4 TV shows you love to watch:
With me, it's mainly reruns on DVD-
The Simpsons
Degrassi Jr. High (the old one, of course!)
Curb Your Enthusiasm

4 places you have been on vacation
New Orleans
"up north"

4 websites you visit daily
nothing else is necessarily daily

4 of your favorite foods
Maggie Moos Chocolate Better Batter ice cream
rice krispie treats
most Taco Bell items (none of this goes along well with the diet, I'm afraid!)

4 places you would rather be right now
yarn store
in bed
in my knitting chair
on vacation

4 bloggers you are tagging

In knitting news, I started my Bohus sweater from the kit I bought way back at Stitches Midwest! I only have a teeny bit done so far (and yes, I know, those kits are only 7 sts/in instead of 9 sts/in like "real" Bohus but size 2 needles are small enough for me, thanks!)

Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Aran Lives (and fanciness too)

Yes, it lives- my long suffering TKGA Level 3 aran. I am totally determined to work on it, and since it's a 3 day weekend for me (even though I have a ton of stuff to do for work and the house is a wreck) I think I can rationalize a day for just knitting, right? Knowing me it may turn into more than just one day, but Hubbo usually bails me out on the housework in those cases!


An extremely unusual circumstance indeed- me all dressed up. Hubbo and I got free tickets to the fancy black tie preview at the Auto Show last night. I drank lots of champagne and picked out a few new cars for myself (ha!) Joking aside, it was nice for once to go out, you know, with adults, and talk to, you know, adults.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Still resting the wrists

At least I got the new Vogue today to amuse myself. Haven't torn into it yet but am about to!
P.S. Holiday-related sluggishness now gone. Up to 31 pounds, baby!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Proof that my daughter looks more like me than her father

We've actually argued about this, but now, thanks to Bonne Marie's post about this, I have proof (of sorts). You upload pictures of yourself and it finds celebrities that look the most like you. I gave it a try, and the verdicts were:
Me: Looks most like Emma Watson (Hermione Granger)
Emma: Also looks most like Emma Watson
Hubbo: Looks most like Julie Andrews (well, he does like Mary Poppins)
Fun for wasting lots of time on the internet, but hey-- el carpal tunnel is acting up so knitting is out (not that I should be typing either, though!)

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Secret Pal 7 Questionnaire

Hello Pal, whoever you are!
1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? I am a total snob, thank you!

2. Do you spin? Crochet? I used to crochet a lot, but not really anymore. I have spun a little, just on a spindle. I have a pretty crappy spindle (came in a starter kit) which is probably a big part of the reason I haven't done more.

3. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? I store my straights in vases, dpns in pencil cases and circulars in a zippered binder (in page protectors, one per size.)

4. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? I have been knitting for 6 years- I would consider myself an advanced knitter as I am almost finished with level 3 of the TKGA Master Knitter program.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? No, but I’ll make one if asked.

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.) I really don’t like scented things, as a rule. I do love Burt's Bees stuff though.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? Yes, but only sugar free. My favorite is the fake peanut m&ms from Russell Stover.

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Nothing much.

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) I mostly like 80’s/90’s “alternative” bands (The Pixies are a big fave) but I also like funk and some rap/hip-hop. I do mp3's.

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand? Love purple, pink, teal, gray, and black. Hate orange, yellow, and brown.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? Married with an almost 6 year old daughter, 2 naughty cats.

12. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? Yes to scarves, hats, and mittens, no to ponchos.

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? Anything Noro, Koigu, or Debbie Bliss. I also adore Karabella Aurora 8 and am quite fond of Andean Silk from Knit Picks. Anything merino, silk, or alpaca is great with me! I love SWTC Kureyon but already get my fill designing for them!

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? Acrylic!!!!! Not big on cotton either.

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s? Cables, Fair Isle.

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? Children’s sweaters, small projects like hats and socks, bags, stuffed animals, wraps.

17. What are you knitting right now? My long-suffering Level 3 Aran and a cabled shrug (odd to have only 2 projects going!)

18. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? Depends.

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Circular all the way, baby!

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? Addi turbos!

21. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? Yes, both.

22. How did you learn to knit? From a book.

23. How old is your oldest UFO? About 10 months.

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird? Hello Kitty.

25. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas, even though I’m not religious.

26. Is there anything that you collect? Knitting bags, interesting knitting needles, sushi-print items.

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? Okay, brace yourselves: Vogue Knitting, Interweave Knits, InKnitter’s, Cast On, Knitter’s, Creative Knitting, Family Circle Easy Knitting (or whatever they’re calling it now!)

28. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? That big sampler pack from Knit Picks, Wrap Style, Noro Transitions, Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Knitting Glossary on DVD (at last!!), needles with pretty tops on them.

29. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? Knitting two socks at once, I have serious second sock syndrome.

30. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? Yes- my foot is 9” long and 8” around the widest part.

31. When is your birthday? (mm/dd) March 18. I will be 32.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Ugly Avatar Fun

Jen and La made this look so fun, so I too went to Yahoo and made myself an ugly avatar- avert your eyes! (Note the beer can helmet. I initially went for the "Kwanzaa Porch" background but decided the 4th of July was even uglier.)

Yahoo! Avatars

Edited to add Okay, so I had to go back for the Kwanzaa porch- it's just too bizarre. And I have a thing for pets in raincoats, apparently. And the ketchup, just like dripping blood.

Yahoo! Avatars

Here today, gone tomorrow

Sorry, but I totally jumped the gun on the sushi- I had sent it many moons ago to MagKnits and had long since given up on any interest in it (normally I have had prompt replies from Kerrie, so after a few months I figured she didn't want it.) Should have waited just a day or two longer, apparently- it's going in! So obviously I took it down. If you're not one of the two or three people who got to see it during the 72 or so hours it was posted, I apologize- check back at MagKnits in a month or two.

Still Christmas around here, or seems like it

Yesterday the last of my Christmas gifts arrived- my new Knitter's Satchel! I had been looking at her Knitter's Purse for a couple of years, but I couldn't get past the fact that the top didn't really close all the way. It's not all that sunny around here, you know, I didn't want my projects getting rained on or anything. So this is perfect.
I finished Emma's little top out of SWTC Pagoda, using up scraps from knitting that dress for them last month. It's pretty flashy, but she loves it. (See here for basic idea, it's just the top of the dress to the waist.)

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Year in Review

I did my fair share this year, finishing 29 projects (no, I'm not counting the one I finished today.) Here they are (in order):
1. My Fair Isle tam (pattern at Chiagu)

2. Blue Collar from Scarf Style
3. A little knitted pouch for a kid friend
4. Elizabeth Zimmermann's Baby Surprise sweater
5. A Koigu cozy for my mp3 player
6. A stuffed lion
7. A silk needle case (pattern here)
8. Girly Bag (pattern at MagKnits)
9. Charlotte's Web shawl
10. Little sushis that look real
11. Beaded bracelet
12. One Skein Wonder I, out of Cotton Ease
13. Annie Modesitt's Silk Corset
14. One Skein Wonder II, out of Knit Picks Andean Silk
15. Chic Knits Bucket Hat
16. Cuddly Bear for SWTC- my favorite design of mine so far
17. Charlotte pullover for SWTC
18. Funky Entrelac Pillow for Creative Knitting magazine, coming in May
19. The Much Maligned Baby Coco, Winter 2005 issue of Knitter's (looks better in the magazine than the website, I think)
20. Amerah Bag for Creative Knitting magazine, coming in July
21. Karaoke Mosaic Purse for SWTC
22. Twize Tank for SWTC
23. Fuzzy Feet!
24. One Skein Wonder III, out of Kureyon
25. Cashmere neckwarmer for an Xmas gift (using the expensive ball Joe bought me at String when he went to New York)
26. Pagoda Princess dress for SWTC
27. Cabled wristwarmers for an Xmas gift
28. Mittens for Emma, for Xmas
29. Legwarmers made of Karaoke
This was a big year for me since I decided to try designing and got more submissions accepted than I ever would have thought! Most of what I sent got accepted, and that kept me very busy, especially from August-October, when I started knitting things for South West Trading and had all the magazine work to do pretty much at once. I was knitting every spare minute of the day! It's been hard to get it all done with the "real" job to worry about too, but I wouldn't have changed a thing. I also got an article in Knitty this year and the stuff in Annie Modesitt's book, which was cool, and I started this little blog.
I've already started on this year- this morning I finished my project for the Quick to Knit Gifts magazine (not sure when it comes out but I'll tell you when I do find out.) Here's a little hint:

And here's a resolution of sorts- to finish my long-suffering Level 3 Aran. The rest of the stuff (swatches, paperwork, etc.) has been done for nearly a year. A year, people. All organized and collecting dust. I need to get off my lazy ass.
Okay, on to the contest:
As I said earlier, I finished 29 projects this year, so the winner is: Amy, who guessed 30 (had I actually finished those Trekking socks, you would have been spot on.)
As for the stash, I counted an alarming 263 skeins, so the winner is: Susan, who guessed 254.
Congratulations, and ladies please email me to claim your prizes- frottez at att dot net.