Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tutorial: Recycled Packaging with Handspun Yarn Scraps!

Supply List:
Toilet Paper rolls
Markers or paint & brushes
Clear drying glue (Aleene's craft glue or elmers works fine)
popsicle stick for applying glue (or use your fingers)
Yarn scraps...bonus points if they're handspun! YAY!

Friday, August 27, 2010

TreasureGoddess free patterns

All the links to tutorials and free patterns on the right are now fixed! Sorry about that, hadn't realized they'd all expired. cripes. :) Most of the pattern links to ravelry info pages. If you're not on ravelry, please send me an email to treasuregoddessATkcDOTsurewestDOTnet or leave a comment here and I'll send you the pdf directly.

Guess what followed Jeff home yesterday? Can we keep it? Can we? Yup. The husband now has a project! WOO HOO! How else did you think I found the time to actually work on the blog? Its paint is rusting off, battery was all crudded up, one of the seat cusions just is sitting on top if it, you can't tighten the seat belts and you get covered in rust when you ride on it, but it RUNS and it's so much fun!

When the husband has a big project to occupy his time I get so much spinning & knitting & blogging done! And the best thing? Since it's nice weather, I don't have to come downstairs and find oil pans next to open flames inside my house. (scan to the end of the post for photo).

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sleeves...cryptonite to the TreasureGoddess

What is it about them? Why do they derail my knitted projects so severely? They're TUBES for cripes sake. TUBES that take LESS YARN and LESS STITCHES than the body of the sweater. I knit sweaters in the round. It makes no sense what-so-ever. After taking a walk through my WIPS, I realized almost every stinking one of them is sitting waiting patiently for sleeves. The photos are all old. Apparently not only do I not feel like knitting them, I don't feel like photographing their lack of sleeveiness either.

Slinky Ribs by Wendy Bernard. Actually have finished the whole darn thing except for the sleeves. Neck edging? done. Hem at bottom of sweater? sewn down. button band? done. Sleeves? nothing. nada. nope. They're even gonna be SHORT. ugh

OK, this one's not too bad. The sleeves are actually THERE only because it's a raglan cap sleeve and they were part of the body. I've done the neck edging and only have the sleeve edging remaining. This one is pitiful that it's not completed yet. If I motivate myself, I could actually WEAR it before the cold weather comes in.

And who could forget this little sleeve incident? Looks like I'll be knitting THREE sleeves before this sweater is complete.

Maybe I don't need sleeves anyway. I wore this yesterday with a denim skirt and it was just right. :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

TreasureGoddess Tutorial on YouTube!

What do you think? Other than the fact that I can't stand still, it's a bit too dark, I talk too fast, my lake dress doesn't match the trademark TreasureGoddess ORANGE lopsided cowgirl hat and it's totally amateurish, what do you think? Is it at least helpful in learning a cool stitch for using handspun yarn? More techniques for knitting with art yarn will follow soon! PS--the video on youtube is much clearer (and bigger). Click HERE to see the TreasureGoddessChic channel.

This stitch is used on my Handspun Twisted Drop Stitch Scarf.

It seems I've always had a flair for fashion that's just a titch off society's norm. My aunt pulled this gem out for me the other day. I remember I LOVED this dress. Loved it so that I wore it almost every day. I also remember it came with an attached bow and I took it off because it would have made the outfit look "gaudy." Yup. I think the hope that I'll show a polished, professional image to the world as TreasureGoddess is not gonna happen. That ship sailed long ago. Man, check out the rick-rack on that dress! This world is a better place with rick-rack in it.

The knitting mojo is back.

Well that didn't take long. I apparently have a true addiction to craft. Though I couldn't bring myself to knit, I did instantly glom onto crochet, sewing -- I got out mom's hand-me-down Bernat machine and sewed up some cloth napkins, and even picked up the Autumn cross stitch project that has been sitting on the bed-side table since, um, LAST Autumn. Ah well. When I discussed with the husband the fact that I went almost 3 entire days & nights without knitting, he'd had no clue. To him anything slightly craft related is "knitting". He was not impressed with the magnitude of my knitterly loss. Ah well. I'z back now.

And I haz official FINISHED OBJECT photos! YAY!

Red/orange fluffiness is some hand dyed (by moi) 50/50 mohair/alpaca knit in Citron, an awesome free pattern from the Winter 09 issue of knitty.

The green number is knit with 2 skeins of Plymouth Mulberry Merino 50/50 merino/silk, only $8.50 a skein from a LYS, Knit Wit in Olathe, KS (no website). The pattern is mine, the Hippie Headkerchief & Shawlette. Only modifications are to knit until I ran out of both skeins, creating a little larger shawlette and also continued the stitch pattern right up until the bind off row, not doing a garter stitch edge. I love it so very much and just know it'll get worn a LOT this fall/winter! If you're interested in the shawlette pattern (shown here in green), it's $3. You don't have to have a paypal or ravelry account to purchase.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Man, I love fiber presents. Knitters ROCK!

Before I left, I gave a skein of my hand dyed laceweight heaven (1100 yards of silk/baby alpaca/CASHMERE) to a dear friend. When I returned from the family vacation, THIS lacey bit of loveliness was gifted to me! THANK YOU CHERY! WOO HOO! She not only knit my aoelian, but a twin out of some lovely blue lacey lamb as well. My colors aren't quite true on my version, it's actually a glowing warm mango orange. I dyed it HOT PINK and then overdyed with a wash of orange. It's lovely all knit up and I'm so happy to be able to wear it this fall & winter! (Chery's photo of me wearing the shawl wrapped around my head is the best color capture.)

I not only had this lovely shawl, but a present waiting in the mail as well! Kelly, from Celtic Cast-On, decided after reading about my post in which I shared my love of all things mohair, to SEND ME MOHAIR YARN! Just BECAUSE I love it so! How amazing is that? And not only is it lovely, hairy, fluffy mohair, it has ALL my favorite colors in it too! TWO big balls of Jaeger Super Kid. It's got greens, reds, ORANGES and all things yummy. I think it wants to be a lace scarf when it grows up. I'm flipping through stitch pattern books to find just the right pattern! I'll post a free pattern here when it's done. THANK YOU!

Am I the only one? Or do you all run about the house and yard flapping your arms like a big fluffy butterfly when you try on a new shawl? Nope? Just me. OK. Give it a try. If you're lucky enough to have a shawl like this one, I swear you feel like you will just lift off and take flight! (wonder if this is why all our neighbors seem to be moving away? nah, it's probably the dead racoon, barbequed squirrels and loud children. Not the strange lady taking photos of yarn in the grass and flapping her shawled arms like a flightless fowl.)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I have not knit for over 32 hours now

No, I am not dead. I have not broken all 10 fingers and toes. I am not blind (although my stupid retina issues from the big wreck in Jan are giving me big black flashes of light and three semi-permanent spots I'm going to have to give names to if they hang around much longer). I have put the knitting down. And walked away.

There may have been cursing.

Yup. You know how you can feel like a freaking GENIUS when you've knit something? This amazing power. I. MADE. THIS. You create a piece of clothing with substance, style and warmth out of some sticks and strings. You are a CREATOR of KNITTERLY things. You, my friend, are a GENIUS. Well, see above for how knitting can bring you back to reality. I am an idiot. I shouldn't be trusted with sharp sticks. How do I manage to feed and clothe myself on a daily basis? Yeah. And people think knitting's boring.

I broke a cardinal rule of knitting. I knit one sleeve on size 7 dpns. I found the sz 7 circular needle before beginning the 2nd sleeve. I knew it was wrong. I knew bad things could happen, but I was a CREATOR. I have a good and solid gauge. I didn't NEED to follow rules that apply to mere mortals. I got kicked in the arse. TWO INCHES wider. Yup. I don't have the heart to frog it back. I put the knitting away and will come back to it another day and start fresh on dpns like a good little mortal. I will leave the other monster sleeve and if I need the yarn to finish the sweater, will put it in the freezer and then frog it. Otherwise, it may become a freakishly long hat, which just happens to match the sleeve edging of my sweater.

I couldn't bring myself to pick up another knitting project, so I pulled out a bunch of noro kureyon wool scraps and a crochet hook. And I crocheted. and crocheted. and crocheted. I've got about 3 more half-skeins to go. Then I'll use the tails to secure the roses & toss them all into the washing machine to felt up into a lovely woolly bouquet.

I tried to remember the last time I've gone more than 24 hours without knitting something. anything. even a round on a sock. I can't remember. It's a little bit frightening. Am I the only one? Is that strange? ok, is that strange for a Knitter? Even on my honeymoon I put in a few rows after getting up in the morning on a sock. I think it's been over 5 years of knitting something Every. Single. Day.

OK, I have a super sweet (and not at all freaky like today) post coming SOON of amazing knitterly things I received when I got back from the uber-family-vacation. It involves MOHAIR and HAND KNITTED SHAWLS and CASHMERE and PICC LINE COVERS. Knitters rock.

I got a kick out of this photo when I was going through the vacation shots. You know how vacation photos always show the group SMILING and casual and posed in front of the mountain/lake/ocean? Well, I think this shot is a bit more realistic. I don't actually remember this instance, but am pretty sure you could substitute the following caption...."Get your ARSE OFF of [your brother, the edge of that cliff, the top of the van, your sister, etc] and don't MAKE me come over there!" We had such a good time! (and yes, that IS a yarn t-shirt I'm wearing. I got it from Twist, a cool LYS in Wichita, KS.)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Thank you Elizabeth Zimmermann

In true EZ style, I knit my way through the family vacation, across the wilderness for days 2-12 of the super vacation. The knitting? It kept me sane. Mostly. I believe EZ wrote in her Knitters Almanac that a shawl was the perfect vacation knitting project. You could knit forever on it and it kept you from killing your family members in pure frustration of spending so much time together in a close space. (I'm pretty sure she worded it a bit nicer than that, but it's a pretty close summary.) Citron shawl in TreasureGoddess hand dyed mohair/alpaca light fingering/heavy laceweight yarn. The ruffle was knit across the entire state of Nebraska and part of South Dakota.

To summarize days 2-12 of the uber family vacation, we did NOT get eaten by bears (though we saw pretty darn fresh bear poo on one of our backwoods trails in Montana). I think both of us parents should get awards for surviving that long with 4 children and a minivan and EACH OTHER for 12 days. There were a few Knit-Sanity-Needing moments, and I'll let you figure out who did what. Most of the trip was pure, relaxed enjoying nature and family time fun.

ONE of us had a major come-upart that included sobbing, cursing, sob-yelling and a wagging of a finger in the other's face and may have included the words "YOU GET YOUR ARSE BACK UP THERE AND GET MY BABIES BACK OFF THAT FUXXING CLIFF RIGHT FUXXING NOW!" or something to that effect. I actually saw a couple hikers coming down with their super backpacks, walking sticks and pack dogs. They stopped, and without making eye contact, quietly backed away in a non-threatening manner. Much like you're trained to do with a momma bear separated from her cubs. (This is not the cliff in the story, see the MOUNTAIN MAN is actually ON the boulder with the young ones this time? Their cliff resembled what's in the background of the photo. Somehow everyone was quite eager to please the momma bear and play by the rules after the "great come-upart". The kids refer to this photo as the one "just after mom lost it".)

ONE of us went onto a puffed-up-with-all-the-knowledge-of-the-world Professorial Explanation of WHY that mountain stream flowing along was "crystal clear mountain waters" and that anyone not allowing the children and him or herself to drink from it was denying the children a true American Experience. Because That's The Way Things Are. Yeah, well ONE of us later had massive exploding diarrhea all night long. The OTHER ONE of us only said, "Huh. How 'bout that" when he or she brought the Professor another roll of toilet paper. After much flushing, it was Explained that even the original Mountain Men would have one night of stomach upset to get their stomachs acclimated to the natural water and after that one night they were officially ready to drink from any mountain stream with no worries. I think the OTHER ONE of us should get a medal because he or she did not point out that this was the stupidist thing he or she had ever heard but just again said "Huh. How 'bout that" and walked away to pick up his or her knitting.

Yellowstone was absolutely amazing. We hiked around most of the HUGE park for a couple of days and even got to stay at the Old Faithful Inn in a suite that overlooked the geyser. It was a rustic inn and had no air conditioning or tv, just nature. It was fabulous. We saw bison up close and personal (one was even walking through the forest next to the parking lot and was about 5 feet away when we stepped through the trees...HELLOOO BUFFALO!, we saw snakes, deer, elk, more bear poo and bear scratches on trees with bits of bear fun in it, but no bears. We saw the campsite where the poor campers were mauled/killed the week before. ONE of us did a demonstration of the bear ripping campers to bits for the children and the OTHER ONE of us did a quiet eye roll in a dignified fashion.

We spent about 4 days in Montana near Red Lodge and in the Bear Tooth Mountains and even had 55 people at a family reunion. There was a "kids" baseball game that lasted for about 2 1/2 days including everyone from the about 6-26yrs old and a few dads here and there. There was full-body-contact croquet (our kids play a bit rough and introduced this sport to the others.) There was much running amok screaming, playing, giggling and drinking pop until midnight and then not being able to settle down until 3am. Parents were able to sit around sipping a beer, knitting, chatting and enjoying the sounds of all our kids playing and remembering our own childhoods of doing pretty much the same thing with cousins on Grandpa's farm in western Kansas.

All that and mountain scenery too? And did I tell you there's NO BUGS THERE? NOT ONE SINGLE TICK and I think all of us together had maybe ONE mosquito bite. TOTAL. I tell you, it was THISCLOSE to heaven. Can you imagine waking up, sitting on the porch with your knitting, a cup of tea and THIS as your scenery?

EZ had it figured out. Nature and family and knitting. Although I'm pretty sure she never lost it in a fit of rage/sobbing/cursing fright up on the mountain top. I did realize that it's a good thing I use circular needles as I'd have jabbed the CRAP out of that poor husband of mine if I'd been armed with a regular old metal straight needles in the backpack. Hmmmmm. Maybe there was a side of the laid back, relaxed, feisty old woman EZ that we didn't know. She used circular needles for almost everything too....... Naa, I just can't see it. I need to channel more EZ and less craZY on the next family vacation. Happy 100th Birthday EZ! You inspire us even today. In knitting and in facing the wilderness with a sense of calm and how one stitch after another can calm the soul.

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