Saturday, December 23, 2006

nearing the end

Soooo.... finally able to start on the last sleeve for Cheesylove. The additional yarn came from Knitpicks last week, and lucky for me the two dyelots seem to match exactly, but I'm still alternating between the two skeins just in case I'm just not seeing the difference under the light in my apartment. It is good to know the end is near. I wish I would be able to have it done in time for Christmas Eve, but I'm not sure I'll have the time.

Hmm... now that I think about it, should I try?

I have an orphans Christmas again this year. Christmas Eve will be spent at the Soft Spot drinking egg nog (the real stuff, including alcohol, which I've never even tried before), and Christmas Day will be spent with my friend Michelle, doing some sort of crafty business, watching Polar Express, and eating paté. Personally, I really prefer low-key holidays.


Monday, December 18, 2006

cookies = friends

This I have learned tonight.
I will now bring cookies with me everywhere I go.
Why haven't I learned this earlier?

On a different note: check out my buddy Willie's new EP. Or at least check out some of his songs here for free on myspace. I neglected to mention that his record release party that happened last week. He is not only talented, but one of the sweetest people in the world, and I am super-excited for him releasing his first EP!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

holiday cookies

Mmmm... Christmas baking! I haven't made cookies in years, but I've been itching to make some for the last couple of weeks. I finally caved and bought a hand mixer last weekend so I could do some baking.

As a teenager I baked all of the time. While I was in college I worked at the popular cafe/coffeeshop, where I did the baking a couple times per week. Billions of muffins, cookies and brownies. As a student, it was pretty rough to have to get up at 5am for a baking shift, but I always preferred it to waiting on customers or running the grill. I could hide away in the basement and listen to Kate Bush or Dianne Rehm on NPR. I was told I made the best peanut butter cookies ever, and actually got kinda famous(ish) for them among the regulars.

These, however, are not peanut butter cookies. These are ginger snaps. I used this recipe from Allrecipes. Very simple and they make a nice crispy cookie that stay soft in the center once they cool. I'm on a sugar high right now. I'll be crashing in 5....4....3....2......

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

i <3 ms

Martha Stewart had a bit on her show today about felted sweater projects - namely mittens. Apparently there is a feature in the holiday magazine this month with a number of projects–stuffed animals, pillows, etc, but there is sooo much stuff on her website that I couldn't find most of them there. Then again, I think the point was to get people to check out the printed magazine anyway.

In showing the possibilities of felting, she did a quick showing of this cool knitting basket, made from a felted fisherman's sweater that I thought was really really pretty, and there is even a tutorial on her website here. Easy!

I really would like to browse around her site some more. There's actually a lot of really cool projects over there. I love how a lot of her craft projects are fairly easy, but there is something so very simple and pretty about them.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

from the archives

I was digging around and came across this old FO.

Before starting Cheesylove (a verrryy looong time ago), I whipped up this wristband just to try my hand at some colorwork. This is from the pattern in the first Stitch 'N Bitch book. It wasn't really ever meant to be a piece to show off or anything, just a practice swatch, but I do find myself wearing it occasionally. The two yarns really don't match. The Lamb's pride worsted looks great, but the decoration yarn is of a different weight and you can see it pulling in a little. Somehow, some way, people still seem to like it :)

at it again

Another winning pattern from Zephyr Style. Wicked has a ton of customizing options and should be available by Christmas.

Here's the description:
Wicked is the perfect sweater to add to any collection! The pattern includes instructions for a worsted weight and a lace weight mohair sweater. It also includes instructions for cap sleeves, 3/4 sleeves, long sleeves and for adding a pocket... This pattern truly is a "choose your own adventure" knit, no matter what your skill level may be.

Wicked is adaptable for any season as well as any body type, you can simply pick the version that will work best for you! It is knit from the top down and in the round. If you choose to add the pocket it is knit separately, then knit into the bottom of the sweater, requiring very little seaming and there is NO seaming for a pocketless version! The small cable detailing is beautiful and so easy to create - you don't even need a cable needle!

Powerless but Productive

Faulty heat in our apartment had both me and my roommate running space heaters in our rooms on Friday night. Our electronics-rich apartment wasn't so happy about it and the power went out around 1am. The problem is that we don't have the circuit breaker in our apartment, so we have to call it into our management company. The rest of Friday night was spent shivering in many layers and blankets with dim candle light.

I took the opportunity to start on the Marsan Watchcap from Red Lipstick, but without internet connection to check the pattern, I started winging it. I did a couple inches of straight ribbing, but realized that my yarn selection (Brown Sheep Nature Spun) was making for a rather thin hat. So I plan to frog that and re-start either with another yarn, or by using the same yarn, but double-stranded.

Once I got stuck with that pattern, I moved over to the Cottage Socks from Lion Brand (pictured above). Lucky for me the pattern is on the ballband, so no internet connection necessary! These are knit out of Wool Ease Thick and Quick on US13 needles, which is making for a very cozy, soft fabric that knits up very quickly.

We finally got power back on about 18 hours later–lucky for us, our super fixed up our heat as well, so hopefully we'll be avoiding any more power outages for the rest of the winter.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

cheesystalled

I'm nearing the end of my first sleeve for cheesylove. Problem. I've realized I won't have enough yarn to finish the second one. If anyone who happens across this blog and happens to have a skein or two of Knitpicks Merino Style in Coal, dye lot 84297, please send me a message or leave a comment and perhaps we can work something out. (I've emailed KP's customer service a few days ago, but haven't gotten a reply yet).

I took a chance and ordered two skins of the color I need from Knitpicks, in another dyelot. I'm really crossing fingers for this one. I plan to alternate the new yarn with the old yarn and hopefully Camouflage any discrepancies between the colors...

Sunday, December 03, 2006

looking forward to 2007

It's looking like 2007 is going to be a great year for knitting books! I'm particularly looking forward to these two pictured here.

Wenlan Chia of Twinkle is coming out with Big City Knits first in February. I LOVE the Twinkle clothing line, and some of her patterns have been published in Vogue Knitting in the past. I haven't actually tried any of them, but most are done with chunky yarn on large needles, and I like that. I saw some sort of style tv show last spring where she was interviewed, and it's obvious that she is crazy-prolific, and crazy-creative, but also keeps things light and fun.

I'm also looking forward to seeing Stefanie Japel's (who does the Glampyre blog) book, Fitted Knits—out in March. Stefanie always comes out with incredibly unique patterns and has interesting constructions that are insanely clever. From the description, it looks like there will also be some instruction on how to customize existing patterns to make well-fitted garments. I think that Stefanie mentioned on her blog that she will be able to post some images of some of the projects at some point soon, so keep your eyes peeled!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

sale shopping

Today I took the afternoon to check out the Liquidation sale at P&S fabrics. They'll be closing in a couple of weeks and I was hoping to stock up on a bunch of things for future projects.

Upon arriving, the was a line out the door, and they were only letting in a few people at a time to keep the inside of the store semi-sane. Which was a good move on their part —people could actually browse around without falling all over each other.

Yarn was only 10% off, so I didn't end up with as much of a haul as I thought I would. I bought a few balls of Sugar & Cream so I could do some projects out of Mason Dixon Knitting (love love love). I also purchased one skein of Lion Brand Wool-Ease Chunky so I could do a pair of Cottage Socks off of their website (I already have one ball stashed). They look so cozy.

Besides that, I made off with some buttons and some various notions, including replacement needles for my sewing machine (I managed to break a few a couple of weeks ago). I stocked up on some ironable hemming tape (HATE sewing hems!) and some waistband elastic for some easy skirts for next summer.

Anyways, a bit of a bummer about the yarn sale... I'm not sure they are going to put things on further closeout as they get toward the closing date. I suppose it will be worth keeping an eye on some of the messageboards to see what people say as the trickle through...

Oh, and whoever had the idea to invent children's shoes with squeeky toys in them should have evil things done to them for a very, very long time.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

finally started

This is the start on Cheesylove sleeve #1. I'm omitting the ruffle (same as I did on the sweater body) because, well, I'm just not that kind of girl.

I did cast on extra stitches for the sleeve, because I hate the tapered tight wristhole that often happens with ribbed sleeves. This seems perfect, and will be comfortable to wear with longsleeve shirt underneath.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Fetching, isn't it?

Completed in record time! (For me anyways). These were so easy to complete, and interesting enough to keep my attention for the few hours it took to knit them up. I did one on Tuesday, and the other I did yesterday while hanging out with my friends for Thanksgiving day.

Were I to do these again, I would probably pick a smaller gauge yarn, and knit both the wrist and finger openings a little longer, but these are still effective and comfortable, and I will enjoy wearing them


Project Details

Pattern: Fetching
Yarn: Knitpicks Swiss Superwash, Bordeauux
Needles: US 5 (knit in the round on 2 circs)
New Technique Learned: Cable Cast On

We had a blast on Thanksgiving. It was a bit of an orphan's Thanksgiving, as none of the six of us there had any family nearby or were able to travel to see our families for the holiday. Last year, we had a "dip" party with cheese and chocolate fondue. This year we had planned to do a non-traditional meal again, but the one couple joining us surprised us last minute by buying a whole turkey and mashed potatos. Traditional! It was a great meal, with a lot of laughter and wine, followed by about 900 games of Hoopla, which was hilarious - and even I, as a non-organized-game-lover had a great time. Thanksgiving ended at about 3am last night, after a second late-night dinner and yet one last bottle of wine.

Today it has been back to work - gotta find some design jobs!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

happy thanksgiving

tomorrow i'll be spending the day with some of my favorite ladies (and at least one guy) watching movies and doing whatever our relative crafty interests are during the day, and cooking and eating later in the afternoon.

I started on a pair of Fetching this afternoon so I'd have something started for when I go, but it knits up so fast that I finished the first one just a few minutes ago. So if I'm lucky, by the end of the day tomorrow I'll have the pair finished. I should have adjusted them a little longer for my hands, but it looks pretty good and I'm happy with it.

Enjoy the holiday!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

what's up, buttercup?

I feel like the past couple of weeks has been a whirlwind, but that I've barely gotten a thing done at the same time! I've put a lot of pressure on myself for trying to get things done, both professionally and with hobbies, though the professionally has taken precedent for the time being.

I haven't mentioned this yet, but I recently quit my full-time job (somewhat abruptly) and am now trying to get situated as a freelance graphic designer. I focus on print work, and I was lucky enough to get a job straight off the bat doing art direction for a bi-monthly magazine. On one hand it is a dream assignment, because I love to do editorial layout. I am now trying to find a way to land another similar assignment, which would allow me to live fairly comfortably, and give me enough time to pursue some of my other interests - namely an attempt at some knit wear design, as well as taking a stab at starting a paper company.

I haven't completed any knitting, but I have recycled the yarn from the Ribby Cardi and re-wound it into center-pull balls. I'm itching to get some work done though. I have my secret project almost finished... and that will be also my first felting project. I hope it works!!

On another note: Check out my buddy Christine's new CD. Went to the record release show last night and it was absolutely fantastic. Seriously, it's like nothing you've ever heard - theatrical and beautiful and haunting and a bit brooding.

Click HERE to check out some samples on myspace.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

mistakes, failures, redemption

Ribby Cardi - RIP 2006
Fun to knit and I like the pattern, but I'm not sure what I was thinking of with this color combination. I should have just done something solid. I like the cardigan body, but not the ribbed sleeves, and I think I knit the whole thing a size too small anyways (um, reality check?). I'd rather use this yarn for something else. This used some of the Peruvian Highland Wool from Elann.

There was a knitalong for this sweater in it's heyday, though there doesn't seem to be much action over there these days. Some people came out with some cool sweaters, and Chicknits has a whole gallery of great-looking finished cardigans HERE.

So today is my Ribby Cardi's last day on earth. Bye Ribby Cardi!


To Dye For - RIP 2006
From Stitch 'N Bitch.

My first sweater ever.

I'm not precious with these things.

And my arms are not that long.

Frog Pond. Bye first sweater ever!

It's been real.








Cheesylove

I started Cheesylove last winter because I a) wanted to try doing a sweater in the round, and b) wanted to try my hand at intarsia. I was planning to frog it and recycle the yarn, but then my mom had to go and call it "beautiful." Moms are never wrong.

So now Cheesylove is back in play, and should be finished soon. I just have to do the sleeves and the rest of the finishing. I must say, it looks rather flattering on due to the the shapping and the ribbing - it is very well-fitted. Plus, I did this with Wool of the Andes and it is soooo soft and cuddly and comfortable.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Craft Pattern Podcast

I downloaded a photo of this pillow last month when the Craftivity book was released. I love the shabby chic look of it and wanted to keep the photo as inspiration and eventually try to re-create it on my own with some felted sweaters. Lucky for me the Craft blog posted a podcast with a the pattern and instructions.

Craftivity looks like such a cool book, published by Tsia Carson (who started Supernaturale). All the projects in it are really cool and creative!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

shhh...

... a hint at the surprise I've been working on. To be revealed soon...

Today I am -

Feeling: Frustrated that my job assignment is stalled, and at the grocery store. Am I not allowed to choose my own produce anymore? Must it really all be pre-packaged?

Looking forward to: brunch with my ladies this weekend. I do miss brunch. It is the best meal of the week, especially when you get the free bloody marys or mamosas. Yum! Also looking forward to seeing my friend's CMJ show on Friday. Hooray for guest lists...

Regretting: Sticking to myself at home on Halloween so I could do work.

Proud of: Finally taking a hold of my own career and going out on my own. This is going to be an interesting year.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Socktoberfest Simple Socks

I took a few hours away from work last night to finish up my first pair of socks. They are incredibly comfy, and far from perfect. But I'm happy with them, since my first attempt with socks on two circs (or socks at all, for that matter) was a frustrating failure.

I didn't try to match the stripes, as I originally intended. This is because the first sock ended with about 3" of yarn to spare, so I knew I wouldn't have any extra to lose for the second.

I'm interested in learning different techniques for the heel and toes. I don't know what the alternates are for kitchner stitiching the toes together (my first time with that too). I still have the little bumps on the side even with crossing the stitches on the end of each needle. Also, the heel flap that was given in the pattern is much to long for my own heel and makes the sock ride up in a bit of a funny way. I'd like to learn to do short rows for that, even though I do really like the look of the heel flap anyways. It looks traditional.

Another thing I've learned is to not do a ribbed sock using a self-patterning yarn again. I like the patterning in the stockinette stitch, but I think it looks rather messy with the ribbing.

I'm really looking forward to searching out some more sock yarn and doing another pattern.

Project Details
Pattern: Simple Socks from Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles
Yarn: Knitpicks Parade* :: 75% Superwash Wool, 25% Nylon
Amount: 137 yards/50 gram ball
Needles: US 2 (2 circular needles)

* looks like Knitpicks is discontinuing this yarn.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Finished Turquoise Tunic

I look awfully angry, but really, I'm just cold and trying not to look confused by my camera. And also trying to figure out if the construction guys who are doing the "Ha Ha!" like Nelson on The Simpsons are doing that to me because I'm fiddling with my camera so much while trying to figure out the timer and then walking back and forth like an idiot.

I finally finished seaming on the sleeve of this sweater this morning. The right arm took me 4 tries to finally get it right and comfortable. I think this came out looking pretty good! I'm still not in love with the color, but I guess it doesn't look too bad. For some reason it just reminds me of the early 90's and I feel like I should be wearing white shorts and some gold jewelry and have a really rockin' tan. My options are to Procion dye it a darker color (like a blue, or something else to interact with the Turquoise to mute it out a bit), or try to put it in a light bleach bath to draw out some of the color (trying on a swatch first, of course). I've never heard of anyone doing that before, though...

I haven't blocked it, but since it is cotton and machine washable, I think I'll just throw it in next time I go to do laundry. I think it will help the look of it a lot to even out the stitches and get it all in order. This took me ages to complete, but to my defense I was extremely sporadic about knitting, with weeks in between picking it up to work on. It is a cotton sweater, so it probably has passed the time I can wear it this year, but it will patiently wait for me until spring.





Project Details

Pattern: Turquoise Tunic from Rebecca 31
Yarn: Knitpicks Shine Sport in Turquoise
Needles: US 5 / US 7

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

spy cam



I saw this dress while walking on 7th 6th street last night. At first, i thought that all the pieces were knit separately and assembled, but upon looking closely, I found that the sweater pieces were all recycled from other sweaters (there was an Aeropostale emblem on one side of the dress). Also, though you can't see it here, one of the thick green stripes in the center has a seam in it (well-hidden, though).

Anyways, I thought it was supercute so i snapped a photo with my phone. I'm curious though, how the sweater pieces get cut WITHOUT felting them first, and are able to be seamed without unraveling? Topstitiching just inside the line before cutting? Any ideas?

Sunday, October 22, 2006

added to the list...

... is this dress over at craftster. Complete with a tutorial. After I make one I'm going to go find this girl and steal her cowboy boots.

Just kidding of course, but I do love them and wish they were mine :)

At least I can do something about the dress...

Friday, October 20, 2006

one down

Feet photos are generally not my favorite, but I'm so happy with my first sock that I have to post a photo of it. And I will post photos of every pair of socks I finish from now on, because I will certainly be doing many more. I'm sooo happy that I enjoyed making this, because I really wanted to like making socks - sock yarn is the BEST. It's just easy to stay interested. I don't love the ribbing with the self-striping yarn, but they will do all right for a first pair. I learned a lot.

I'm going to start its mate this evening. The weather is very fall-ish outside today and cozy wool socks just sound like the best thing ever.

So now i'm preparing, what kind should I try next? Jaywalkers? Hederas? Something else?

I need more sock yarn.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

i'm a joiner

So I realized this morning that my first pair happens to come at the same time as Socktoberfest. I tend to not pay a lot of attention to the knitalongs unless it's for a particular pattern that I'm crazy about, and even at that I don't really tend to join. But it hasn't taken long for me to see that I will be jumping on the sock bandwagon full force.

Anyone who wants to join can also check out LollyKnitting Around for signup instructions.

My first foray into socks so far is going really well. I came home from a party last night and picked up the sock I started yesterday and knit for about an hour. I love that I can see progress right away, and that it moves along fairly quickly. I am almost at the heel already, after only a couple of hours.

But for now I am putting away the knitting and getting down to the real work. I'm trying to get ahead. Or at least stay afloat. More on that later, though.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

project update

One sleeve left to seam to the body of the sweater - soooo close, but I've tried it on and I think I'm going to really like this one.

Just started a couple of rows on a pair of ribbed socks from Cat Bordhi's book. I tried these a few months ago using two circs - one was gimpy and i was frustrated with the join. So now I've replaced the sad circ with a new #2 from Knit Picks (I really like these and plan to order more whenever it becomes necessary) and have re-started. Not having gone very far, I do think it's safe to say that this attempt is going MUCH better. I hope I take to making socks, but I'm not really feeling the love yet.
We shall see.

Monday, October 09, 2006

it's 3:30am...

... and i've got sleeves!
all i have left is the seaming.

but not tonight.

because now
i'm going to

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.....................

Sunday, October 08, 2006

crafting resources, nyc

Way back in May, Liesl Gibson over at Distressed posted an awesome list of crafting resources in NYC. A great list of fabric, notions, knitting shops in the city. I think I will keep this as a quick link over there on the sidebar --->

Sunday, October 01, 2006

f.o. from a long time ago


Since I haven't had much of my own knitting content recently, I thought I would show a baby sweater I finished a few years ago, but have never put up on this blog. I did this from a sweater pattern on the About.com knitting site, back when I was just getting back into knitting. I had ordered yarn for my first adult-sized pattern and was waiting for it, but itching to knit on something other than a scarf. So i purchased the yarn at Knit-A-Way in Brooklyn. It is Lion Brand Baby Soft, and i believe it is an acrylic/polyamid blend. This is a cute color, with a twist of shine in it. Now looking at the Lion Brand site, I see they have so many other colors that aren't so...... baby-ish.

Funny thing is, I don't know any babies. I don't even really remember how big babies are, and i don't know if this thing will even fit one! Or what age, or if the sleeves might be too short... I just wanted a small and easy sweater pattern. So I will save it in the archives for the first baby I come across that needs a gift from me.

sleeve island

I'm so entirely stuck on sleeve island, it isn't even funny. I feel like I've been working on them forever, and they are the only thing standing in between me and a completed Turquoise Tunic. Gah. Baby steps... I wish I was one of those knitters who could have multiple knitting projects going, but I have enough projects going on in life filling my head that I can only manage one knitterly thing at a time. I'm about halfway up, but I expect it will take me at least a month to get that all done. It's high up on the goal list.

I've been stagnant on my knitting for a good reason, though. I've recently quit my full time job, and am trying to get set up as a freelance graphic designer. Smart people would probably done some background work while still employed, or at least saved up enough capitol to live off of while they get started. But not smartypants me! Oh no.

Things are not so bleak. It's all a good move for me, but it does hold a lot of stress, and a lot of work, and I have a hard time doing anything but research and job searching until I know I'm able to both eat and pay rent in the same month. I know it will all work out, but the future just looks a little fuzzy right now. It's all a part of developing to a new, and hopefully better, stage of life.

Good things ahead.

Friday, September 15, 2006

take it all home


Gotta give some props to my buddy Liz Clark. Her video for "Who's Your Angel?" is going to be shown on the Logo Channel on thus upcoming Sunday night. If you have cable, check for what channel it is - it's an offshoot of MTV. My buddy Michelle directed it, and if you watch carefully my nose is in it for 2.5 seconds. We had a TON of fun making the video, and it came out just wonderfully.

Also, be sure to take a moment to hear some songs on Liz's myspace page. She's truely fantastic.

Next show is October 9th at Rockwood Music Hall, 9pm. It's free to get in with a 1 drink minimum.

Good stuff happening, kids. Lots of good stuff :)

Monday, September 11, 2006

fall knitty is up

loving these three patterns...


Cactus Flower by Fathom Harvill. I am IN LOVE with the color combination she used on the sample. Burgandy and red together = unexpected and beautiful.

Ivy by Glenna C. I could use a wrap sweater.

Serrano by Laura Chau. Who also designed the cardigan I just wrote about. I promise I'm not stalking. I just like cardigans.

I've managed to complete about 1/4 of the arms for the tunic. At least I'm knitting them simultaneously, so I won't suffer from second sleeve syndrome. I'm really looking forward to getting this portfolo work done so that I can get back to using my free time to knit (or do pretty much anything else) without guilt.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Link Library

Check out this cute cardigan pattern from over at the Cosmicpluto Knits! blog. It's a great basic cardigan that I could see wearing at the office to ward off freezer burn from the ever-present air conditioning. I absolutely LOVE the fit of the sleeves. They look just perfect without resorting to a bell sleeve or the supertight wrist opening (though obviously I've never learned to tweak patterns to customize my own sleeves yet). I'm putting it on my list "to knit."





Ysolda has just put out this pattern for the Cloud Bolero via the new British online knitting magazine Yarn Forward. Beautiful! I may just grow to like boleros. I'm keeping this one on the list too. And keep an eye on that magazine. If this pattern is any indication, it really looks like it's going to be great.

Ysolda has some other great patterns available through her blog. I first fell in love with the Apocolypse Tree Hoodie last winter, and this free pattern for some Stuffies is one of the few that I actually like, Stuffie-wise (or is that Stuffy-wise?).

Twisted Knitter is generous and is giving away her chart for keeping track of your needle inventory. She also gives a link to her spreadsheet template, for keeping track of the yarns in your stash and possible projects for them.

Last but not least, Yarnival launched this week. It's a great idea - a monthly roundup of interesting articles and posts from blogs covering various subjects in knitting - especially to help some of the smaller and less popular blogs gain some exposure AND better yet, introduce people to blogs they may not have stumbled across on their own. I think once I feel more established with Lekkercraft, I may just submit to be listed!

And a mini-celebration for me–I broke away from my work and knit a couple rows on my tunic sleeves. I was itching to make even just a little progress. But at the rate I'm going I may just fulfill my own prophecy of completing this summer sweater in December. Realistically I'll be planning to finish in October, as September will be used to sort out all the other life crap that's filling up my time right now.

BUT the biggest celebration is outside—someone is filming a Bollywood movie outside of my apartment building, complete with singing, chanting, dancing, bright lights, and about 10 million repeats of the same scene over and over. They've been filming since Monday.

Time to

zzzzzzzz..........

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

not enough hours....

... in the day! I have no crafty content to share. i certainly wish i did, but life gets in the way, as they say.

I'll still try to post a few interesting tidbits in the interim.

Ryan Adams "Dear Chicago"
Lollapalooza 2006

Thursday, August 31, 2006

dreaming of forward motion

It's awfully frustrating to want to do some knitting work and not really having any time to fit it in. The past week has been one of the busiest I've had recently. And no, of course it's not all work-related. I just have so many damn talented friends that I have to go to their STUFF all the time! I'm kidding. I'm so happy to support them as much as I can, and in turn they help inspire me to work real hard at my STUFF too.

The other thing keeping me from the knitty goodness is that I'm starting to make some significant changes - mostly finding a new job. Sometimes I can just be chugging along day by day, and allofasudden I realize that I need a change. That too much time has gone by and I haven't made any major steps forward. A frustration and discord just starts to build until I pretty much blow my lid and make a sudden decision. But it's a necessary realization, because getting to such a point is the best way I'm able to make progress. It's just how I'm wired.

I would love to be in constant forward like some of my friends who I'm convinced must run on Enegizer batteries or nuclear power or candy corns. I think I'm more like Mario in the Donkey Kong days, waiting in place, jumping over barrels, until the perfect moment to climb up to the next plateau.

(okok, I know there's gotta be a better metaphor than that, but it's all I can come up with right now. I'll keep thinking about it...promise.)

Don't get me wrong. Things are going quite well, they're just BUSY! But I have managed to get a couple of my freelance projects wrapped up, which feels great. Now it is on to doing some design work for my portfolio, which is in major need of an overhaul, and has to be done FAST.

Anyways, the point of this mostly is to say that I'm TRYING to get some time in there for working on my sleeves for my lovely Turquoise Tunic - but it may just take a little bit of time to get any significant progress on it. Got some work on the sleeves done at last Friday's SnB, but it's barely made a dent. Arms are long! Oh well, wasn't it a creek that made the Grand Canyon?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I got my package

And here is what was inside.

The purple on the left is the Andean Treasure for Glee. It's baby alpaca and is so soft. I love it. I really do. I can't wait to work with it.

The middle row are just a set of regular Wool of the Andes that I got because they are just $1.99 and I wanted some color and who doesn't need more wool? In the same way that I like Color Aid paper, I like to place the hanks in differnet sequences and combinations

The upper right is a skein of Swiss Superwash and it is also incredibly soft. I should have stocked up on some more of those instead of the WOTA.

I also got a #2 32" circular in the hopes of trying magic loop. I'm not sure that the cord will be long enough for that, though. It seems like 40" is the norm. But it sounds like people get by with the 32". I'm surprised, though, that Knitpicks doesn't offer a longer cord for the smaller diameter needles - but with the rate that their business is increasing, I wouldn't be suprised to see them fairly soon.

I also saw today that Hello Yarn is offering acid dye kits, with everything you need to learn to dye fiber. This is the perfect solution for someone just starting out. All the mixing cups and eyedroppers and instructions. All you need of your own is white vinegar. I'm toying with the idea of getting one of these to do some varigated red yarn to possibly attempt the Stitch Diva Knitted Bodice. The Tilli Tomas yarn required, though incredibly beautiful, is awfully expensive. I'm keeping my eyes on the KAL to see the results people come out with - which will be lovely, no doubt.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

new arrival

It is very torturous to have a yarn order delivered to your office and not be able to do anything with it except look...

Friday, August 18, 2006

Thinking ahead for once...

I'm getting ready for my next project, and bought this pattern from Zephyr Style: It is called Glee, I love how slim and proper-but-slightly-saucy it is. I ordered the Andean Treasure that the pattern calls for from Knitpicks in an amethyst color. There is no way I'll have this ready while it is still warm enough to wear, especially with #5 needles (eek!) but I think it will be a good mindless knit, and will come out as something I'll want to wear a lot. These ladies as Zephyr style definitely have a great style for their knits - I'm going to keep my eyes on them, that's for sure.

I took the Knitpicks order to be a good opportunity to buy a pair of their new needles (#2) so I can try socks again, but this time trying to learn Magic Loop. I have a self-patterning yarn, so I'm going to try to find a simple stitch sock pattern. I'm sure I archived one somewhere, it's just a matter of finding it.

Here are some of the other options I was considering to knit up next...


1. Jemima - by Anna Raitte
2. Simple Knitted Bodice - by Stefanie Japel (Glampyre)
3. Rusted Root - Zephyr Style

In other news, I went to the record release show for this last night. Sooo good, and totally worth suffering throughout the broken air conditioning at the Knitting Factory!

Click on the album to check the Damnwells.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

mmm, snacks

I have a passing interest in new and interesting-flavored snack chips. Today my thoughtful co-worker dropped these by my desk (forgive the crappy picture, all I have is my cell phone). But these are Dodekai Babystar cajun-flavored noodle snacks. Very interesting - chili powder-ish and the noodles are similar to the crackers you get with soup from the chinese restraunt. I love their little cartoon mascot with the sombrero and bolero.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

yay for progress

I was stalled on fixing my decrease errors with the Turquoise Tunic for ages now. Something about ripping back on parts with partial lace just was so unappealing and I wasn't ever in the state of mind to tackle it. Little did I know the solution was much more simple than I thought. So tonight I've managed to rip back, fix the decreases, finish off both the front and back of the tunic, graft the shoulder seams, and weave in all the ends. Now all I have left are the sleees, which I will knit at the same time, and then the rest of the seaming.

Oh and the overdying. I'm not sure what color to add to get the effect I want. I guess I haven't pinpointed exactly what I want. All I know is the turquoise from Knit Picks isn't my favorite. I want to dull out the color a little bit - i don't know if adding some black would work, or perhaps some red to gear it towards more of a brownish color? I'll have to knit up some swatches and try out some stuff.

Here's some info on dying cotton on the knittyboard.

Now it's time to tackle my archive and decide what to knit next. Something for fall? Winter? Still enough time to do something for summer? An accessory?

Monday, August 14, 2006

re-introducing lekkercraft

I've completely remodeled my blog in an attempt to re-organize and re-motivate - in craft, but something I really need to do in life as well. I have a lot of work on self to do, and many changes to make, habits that need breaking and things I want and need to accomplish. I'm frustrated in this current cycle I'm in. I think that ultimately, for the way i want to live my life, it means my leaving nyc. It's a fantastic city, and I'm not leaving quite yet, but there are a lot of things that are important to me that I just can't get here.

I do love this city. I mean, how can you not love a place where you get a view like this?



This is from my rooftop. It was much prettier before they raised that building under construction about a week ago, though.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Flora

Hooray - an actual finished project! I've had the knitting finished for a couple of months now, but Flora was just waiting on some buttons to hold herself together. Just in time for summer, heh.

Yesterday I ran up to M&J over my lunchbreak (impatiently trying to weave through slow and clueless crowds of people and getting stuck at every single red light, of course). I selected two buttons, and the total for my purchase was $10 (Serously? I thought buttons were supposed to be, like, $0.35...). But, for what it's worth, M&J does have a really good selection of buttons, and most styles of buttons come in multiple sizes, colors, etc. You can buy just the amount you need - very good for special projects. And they have online ordering.

Flora was knit using under 1 skein of Manos (yum) on size 10 needles. It is the perfect size, and the decoration at the edges is just enough to keep interest in between the stockinette portions. The flower was fun to make too, and was really neat to see how it came together. The twisted stitch for the middle bits look neat, but it drove me nuts having to stop and pull and twist and loop. But new techniques are fun to learn - I never would have thought of it on my own.

And now that she IS finished, she'll be put away for a few months until it is fall again. And I'm still not 100% sure on this button (yes, even after all that, but it's too green-y). Most likely I won't go through the trouble of searching for something to replace it, but I'll keep my eyes out for something that works better.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

See? I do knit!

My progress so far on the back of the Turquoise Tunic. The Shine Sport is good to knit with, though I don't love the color I chose. I decided to forge on and once completed I plan to overdye the entire sweater - and try to take out some of the green, and perhaps subdue the color a little bit.

I've gone up half of the lace portion twice already and have had to rip it out twice from miscounting (or misunderstanding the chart). But I'm learning a lot about lace, and shaping, and charts. There's still a part in there that is a bit wonky, but it isn't really bothering me too much, plus this is the back, so I only have to torture people who stand behind me in a line and not my own self.

Yesterday I went to see The Notorious Bettie Page. Gretchen Moll did a good job playing Bettie. Pinup girls are cool :)

LekkerSightings
Saw the lovely Parker Posey earlier this week with her dog, and last night over after-dinner coffee, Michelle pointed out Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me) walking by our table.

Friday, May 26, 2006

My new crush...

Oh goodness, like I really need another internet addiction. But how could I possibly resit Pandora? Pandora reads my mind, asks me what my favorite music is and plays songs for me that she thinks I should know about and would make me happy. If I don't like it, I just veto it out of my life forever. And I can save multiple playlists, and can select them depending on my mood.

Try it out here!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Is it Friday yet?

Project Status
I'm up to the beginning couple of rows of lace on the Turquoise Tunic. Lace is fun, I've never tried it before. Is that real lace, or is it just lace-ish?

I'm thinking the sweater is looking good, I'm liking my stitches, and i believe the size is going to work. I swatched and swatched for this sweater, for the first time ever, as I've taken a personal vow to be mindful and careful and not rush to finish a project just for the sake of finishing it. I have three sweaters that are ready to be frogged to reclaim the yarn for other projects!

The sock I was complaining about was frogged, and I'm not sure i'll be revisiting it anytime soon. Although I may try again with a simpler pattern—I think I'm not much of a fan of how self-striping yarn looks in 2x2 rib. Anyways, its not on my priority list right now....

LekkerSightings
I had to look up her name, but yesterday saw one of the contestants from the old America's Next Top Model. Apparently it was April from the Second Season (or "Cycle 2" according to UPN).

Friday, May 12, 2006

design*sponge podcast

I love how every day Design*Sponge posts trickle in through my bloglines, giving be little bits of aesthetic joy throughout the day. Grace Bonney has an amazing knack for sourcing out some of the freshest, hippest, sometimes-obscure-but-always-inspiring new products—Everything from furniture, to letterpress, to jewelry and accessories, to interior design, and everything in between and beyond.

I was so excited in April when the Design*Sponge Podcast launched and I was able to listen to interviews with some of these fantastic indie designers (I'd list them here, but I really think you should go and check out the podcast site and take a look). Many of these designers I've had my eyes on for awhile, and some I've just learned about by subscribing. It's so great to hear from them on everything ranging from inspirations, current trends, how they got started, what's next on the agenda, career/creative advice, etc.

You can subscribe to the Design*Sponge podcast directly through iTunes, or you can listen directly from the Podcast site (link above).

Monday, May 08, 2006

office diy

Last week it was my task to create some artwork for the office at my 9-6 real-person job. The project had been on my radar for months, but had taken a backseat to the other things I’ve been working on recently. We were expecting an important visitor to the office it was time to revisit and hustle to get it done. We didn’t have really have a budget to splurge on purchased artwork, so I ended up doing everything in-house: capturing some video stills from the reels of some companies we’ve worked with, resizing to make them uniform, measuring, and laying out onto letter-sized paper.



The board consists of 93 sheets of heavy paper, printed from the Phaser (j’adore!) and simply taped to the wall. I wanted to buy mats to frame each sheet, but upwards of 100 artwork mats isn’t cheap. Solution? Floral ribbon—our office is right near the wholesale flower district, and 200 yards of black floral ribbon is <$10. Tack it up and it looks just like a frame, and actually I think it unifies the entire wall even better than the mats would since it masks all of the seams. This is a great, inexpensive way to add some art and color to a wall, and I’m thinking of doing a panel for my apartment, just using a bulletin board as the backing and some postcards. Plus, I’d never feel stuck with it – it’s easy to switch out the artwork if I get bored or finicky (which I will)!

Also, check out decor8 for another inexpensive way to display postcards (Isn’t Holly's Lotta Jansdotter postcard collection amazing?!).

Monday, April 24, 2006

new name, new blog

Current Project
The Simple Socks from Cat Bordhi's book on socks on two ciruclar needles. I am HATING the technique, but I'm still getting used to it and am hoping it will become more comfortable. Also, these are my first socks and my first small-diameter circular knitting whatsoever, so I know it will get better, and I'll figure out some of the tricks to keep it looking good. Or get it looking good, for that matter. I find that no matter how tightly I pull the yarn, I'm still getting ladders where I switch the needles out. I don't think I could pull it any tighter! I may try magic loop technique on the second sock and see how the two of those compare.

Next Project
Turquoise Tunic from Rebecca 31

Instead of the GGH Linova the pattern calls for, I've got KnitPicks Shine Sport (in, well, turquoise) on the way. I'm not a master at yarn substitution, but i think the gauge will be similar. I expect this to be rather boring to knit for the most part, but the finished product is sure to be beautiful!

I have to say that I love having KnitPicks as an option for purchasing yarn. I'm not advanced enough yet to invest in expensive yarns and be confident that I'll love the finished product. I have three finished sweaters that I plan to frog to reclaim the yarn for other projects that I will actually wear. I'm not precious about saving things I worked on forever if I'm not going to wear them. And I'm still learning about what kinds of projects I like to work on, and what will look good on me, and what I will actually get a lot of use from.


In other news....
One fun part of living in NYC is the occasional celebrity-sighting. In the spirit of a minor tabloid addiction, may I present....

LekkerStalker
Today's Sightings:
Daniel Vosovic (Project Runway finalist and just about my favorite celebrity-sighting EVER) and Moby.

Oh, and I bought both Rebecca 30 and 31 directly from the Rebecca website. I found that if you purchase two at one time, the price conversion plus the shipping comes out to about $12.50/issue, as opposed to the $16.95/issue it can go for at the yarn stores.