Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Repurposing the Uggo

Wear Your Knits Challenge Day #17 & 18 were repeats of Sizzling. I wore the red sizzle cotton sweater on Monday and the purple lower cut one on Tues. I really like them and am so glad I made myself start WEARING my hand knits! You've seen the photos so will spare you armpit-reshots.

Here's one that didn't quite make it to the WEAR portion of our challenge....

Ok, the truly scary thing? Is that I have enough to make that horrid sweater TWICE! 970 yards of WORSTED WEIGHT COTTON hand dyed in a strange variation of the rainbow. Now, I like the colors. I do. They'd make fabulous socks. If they were WOOL and FINGERING WEIGHT. But as a sweater? Being worn in PUBLIC? Not gonna happen.

This whole Wear Your Knits Challenge really got me motivated. I've finished or fixed a lot of sweaters that were just sitting there patiently, never seeing the light of day. One other perk is that it's forced me to LOOK at each of the items I've created and decide to DO something with them. Wear them, Gift them or FROG them. This baby? Frogged. Quickly. Without even looking back.

I pulled it out to make sure it was indeed as freaky as I thought it was, and yes. There's a reason it's been buried in the bottom drawer under all the crap yarn part of the stash. I had no ideas on what this yarn could become other than a CrapLoad of washcloths, and that's not gonna happen. My dear friends got me started with some great ideas. By 11:30pm, I'd pulled out the size H crochet hook and went to town granny squaring it. Now, this giant pile of cotton is on its way to becoming a couple of crocheted granny square market bags! If it works, I'll pop a free pattern up here when it's done.

The really horrid part? When I pulled out the price tag that went with the yarn. $60 (minus 20%). SIXTY FREAKING DOLLARS ON COTTON?????? *urp* Oh, I think I just threw up a little bit in my mouth just now. Sorry.

Now, I have no issue with people that WANT to spend $60 on cotton yarn. Really. It's just that my stash wants have changed SO FREAKING MUCH from the time I was a new little knitter that it's frightening. OHhhhhh the wool I could have bought....can't you see it? Cascade 220 in huge piles....ah well. Live and learn. And make granny squares.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Wear Your Knits Challenge Days 14-15

I'm amazed at how many different hand knits I was able to pull out of the closet and WEAR in the month of May! The cold weather snap helped a bit, but that's clearly over, temps are supposed to be in the upper 80's with serious humidity. Looks like I'll have to pull the big cotton uggo out later this week to make the last 5 days. It's made me FINISH some projects, BLOCK others and decide which are truly wearable and which need to either be frogged or find other homes.

Day #14 of Wear Your Knits Challenge
Weather was still cold, had no socks left to wear, so got creative. Wore this "pair" with my orange jacket. I don't have normal shoes. All of my shoes are either clogs or mules (no backs) so I figured as long as I only crossed ONE leg and kept the other out of sight, I'd be ok. Each one matches the jacket, just not each other. :) The other socks are both sitting in the darn-it pile.

Day #15 Challenge
Pattern: Chicknits Eyelet Cardi
Yarn: Cascade 220 gifted from CheryKnits! Color is actually much more orange, camera angle was funky.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Welcome to the Animal Freaking Planet

First, the knitting, then the animal stories.
Challenge Day #12
I was a bit of a slacker yesterday. Tossed on a wool felted bead bracelet. Not knit, but made by hand.

Wear Your Knits Challenge Day #13
Pattern: Sizzle by Wendy Bernard (2nd time for this knit)
Yarn: Classic Elite 100% mercerized cotton frogged from previous sweater. Purple (even though color looks blue here)
Knit: Just finished on Sunday!
Comments: Love this sweater, but forgot that the combo of a LOW neckline to begin with and the way 100% worsted weight cotton yarn grows and grows means I'm now VERY GLAD for the white denim jacket I'm wearing. I keep hearing "boom chicka wah wah" disco p0rno music in my head. Good thing I'm not well endowed or we'd be in trouble! Next time I knit this sweater, I'm SHORTENING the neckline. (At 2pm that neckline is at least 2-3 inches lower than the photo.)

OK, now the animal stories...
Seriously? Randy the Rat now has a friend. Meet Pluffy. She's the grey rat hiding in the shed with Randy. That husband of mine.....I swear. He is not allowed to go to that damned little petshop in Shawnee any more! I thought that was the worst of the animal issues at our house, but oh no. (Don't worry, Randy's actually a girl so there's two girl rats and no possibility of baby ratlings in the future.)

Apparently word got out in the animal world that we're a "rodent friendly" house. These two critters showed up last night, which caused all manner of "awwwwww"-ing and "can we keep it"-ing and GROANING (wanna guess who was saying which?)

The cute little mouse is a jumping FREAK of a critter that could jump FEET at a time, the kids and husband had more fun than you can imagine hunting him down. He showed up in our garage yesterday afternoon. The bunny was cornered in the garage and then OutdoorMan grabbed hold. Some discussions followed where it was decided that the rats would probably EAT either of these critters if put into their already too small cage and that NO, not even if that were an angora bunny, would I allow it to be trained as a pet to hop around the house.

I even pulled the "but the momma bunny would be sad without its baby bunny" card. That did the trick. I'm not proud. But I'd totally do it again. I have enough critters that eat and poop and cause mayhem in that small house already. The kids decided the bunny would live a much happier life hopping around eating fresh veggies from gardens than stuck in a cage. Outdoorsman pulled the "but it could get eaten by a hawk" tactic, but the kids weren't buying it. Life in the great outdoors combined with a happy mommy and baby bunny triumphed. After some petting, bunny was set free.

Kids took the jumping mouse up to the field next to the school and set it free. Outdoorsman sighed and went to play with his rats. I went and sewed the ends in on my Wear Your Knits Challenge Day #12 sweater. And made everyone wash their hands. twice.

Monday, May 17, 2010

I feel so Laura Petry-ish

Wear Your Knits challenge day #11.
I love this sweater so very much. It makes me want to say "OOOOOHHHHH ROOOOOBBBBBBBB" and dance around in my living room. Wow. I miss the Dick Van Dyke show. Mary Tyler Moore ROCKED the classic 60's look. I feel fashionable just putting it on. How many sweaters can you say that about? Well Done Wendy Bernard!

Pattern: Ingenue by Wendy Bernard.
Yarn: Cascade 220
Knit: Dec 2009 worn all the time!

The only perk of having the weather turn cold again was pulling this baby out of the closet! I have to say, though that my favorite shot of the sweater was the first one taken, just after weaving in the ends....
Ingenue Sweater with Santa

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The perfect combination of yarn and pattern

Wear Your Knits Challenge Day 10
Pattern: Chickami by Bonne Marie Burns
Yarn: Frog Tree Pima Cotton & Silk
Knitted: 2008 and worn ALL the time

This is the 3rd of my Chickami sweaters. The two I've knit with Frog Tree cotton & silk blend yarn are FABULOUS, they wear amazingly well, throw them in the wash, lay flat to dry, wear and wear and wear. They look great on their own or accessorized under a jacket for work. The one I knit out of 100% cotton looks like a big drapeless turd. (I wore it the other day, the tie dye striped tank.)

Note to self.....STEAM out the damn crease down the middle of your sweater BEFORE taking photos for blog. Ah well.

Here it is all jacketed up for work.

I'm currently knitting my daughter one out of light blue frog tree. I think I need at least 4 more of these puppies for myself as well. They're also knit in the round with NO seaming. Quick knit. Too bad I'm out of frog tree...

The view from my designing spot in my "craft room" (I somehow always end up on the floor). My camera was sitting on the table and had this in its view window. I thought it was a cool shot so took it. My "craft room" aka office is the dining room. You can see a bit of the china hutch which has china plus tons of ziplock bags full of handspun. I've even got little yarn cakes of hand dyed goodies sitting in each of the tea cups. I'll have to get photos if I'm ever in here before dark.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Cool Felting Blog!

My felted wool bead bracelet tutorial was featured on Craft Gossip's Felting Page. I think I spent HOURS roaming back through her tutorials, finds, ideas & tips. Very fun blog. Go visit and say "howdy!"

I *heart* tutorials so very much. It's a good thing I'm a disciplined worker drone or I'd spend my whole day just roaming around blogland printing, dreaming, blogging....

Oh my holy hell....I just discovered Craft Gossip has pages with tutorials for EVERYTHING! Not just felting! oooohhhhhhhh bestill my heart. I'm off to browse work diligently and mark for browsing hours over the weekend!

Happy weekend, everyone!

And then there were two

I'm down to TWO pair of wearable hand knit socks. It's a disgrace. TWO. It's not that I don't darn. I darn all the darn time. I've just realized looking back through ravelry that I've not made a single pair of socks since July 2009. I'm hard on socks. I *occasionally* forget to put on shoes while walking out onto the driveway, the porch, the street. I don't just get holes in my socks, the bottoms evaporate. Yes, I know Elizabeth Zimmermann has a great re-sole-able sock pattern, but I don't care for it. I like knitting my socks top down and round and round. I've got some ideas for those socks that are no longer darnable....if anyone happens to have some socks that are beyond darning, keep me in mind. I'd love to re-purpose them.

Wear Your Knits Challenge Day #9 (yesterday) was this lovely pair of my basic socks. Yarn: handmaiden casbah Needles: 1.5 hiya hiya double points (my faves) Knit in March 2009.

I love my kiwi spinning wheel. Here's another shot. The kiwi carving turned out dark and outlined from the way the varnish turned on the wood. I *heart* it very much. Looking down and seeing a hand knit sock and a kiwi, it just makes me smile.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Two Minute Handspun Necklace

Day #8 on my Wear Your Knits Challenge...

BAM! How 'bout that? I freaking LOVE this idea! You KNOW we've all got some skeins of yarn that are so fabulous they're hard to put down. We carry them about the house, petting them, talking to them, (or is that just me?) loving them but we're not quite ready to knit them yet. Why should such fabulous skeins be stuck in ziplock bags shoved into dark drawers, tubs, shelves? why oh why? They should be WORN! They should be CELEBRATED!

This idea works amazingly for textured art yarn, laceweight skeins, sockyarn, chunky stuff, whatever you've got that you want to show off!

This is 42.5 yards of fabulous 100% silk handspun and gifted to me by my dear friend Teri! It's still deciding what it wants to be when it grows up, maybe a beaded necklace, maybe a lace bookmark or headband. In the meantime, it got to be worn today! I think it's the perfect compliment to my flipped-up collared BRIGHT orange denim jacket. Don't you agree? Now get out there and WEAR a skein of your favorite yarn!

Now, for my non-knitting friends...a Tutorial!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sweet Mother! I've found my photographic "style" and it's not pretty...

All the advice & comments about photographing your knits, yarn, etc for blogs & etsy shops all say the same thing. First use natural lighting. Check. Second, get up close and use macro settings. Check. Third, find your "Photographic Style". A style so "you" that immediately upon seeing a photo, everyone KNOWS who it belongs to. Apparently a true artist will "fall into" their own personal style. It'll just suddenly appear out of the multitude of shots they take. (ummmm, is it too late to change that now?)

First, the Wear Your Knits challenge Day #7 photo.

Pattern: Glee by Rachel Bishop. Good old knitted-in-the-round with minimal finishing. I love that!
Yarn: Knitpicks Andean Treasure (sport weight 100% alpaca) WARM and soft
Knit in 2007, worn often in winter over a black long sleeved t-shirt.
Due to the weather dropping severly, this baby gets one more wear before the humid 90 degree weather makes it unwearable.

SO...anyone picking up on the TreasureGoddess photographic style yet? Bueller? Anyone? Yup. Armpits. Armpits and funky backgrounds captured on an angle. Holy Crap-A-Moly! I mean I know I had one or two armpit shots on the old blog, but seriously? You see angled armpits & wooly sweaters? You know it's ME! (We should all be thankful it's not wooly armpits sticking out of wooly sweaters, it could be so. much. worse.) The only way an armpit shot could be MORE TreasureGoddess was if you instantly heard banjo music in the background. How High class is this shot? That's Randy the Rat's cage in the lower left corner of the photo. boggles the mind, doesn't it?

I knew I posted an armpit angle shot once or twice, but how often do I finish a sweater and post a pic? Once every 4-6 months? As I scrolled through old sweater photos, I was amazed. Photo after photo was armpit, armpit, armpit. Wow. I am clumsy and can't get the right angles when using the timer. That's a no-go. My family royally SUCKS at taking photos of anything yarn/fiber/ME related, that's a no-go. I'm thinking the only hope is to train my daughter before she changes from the "ok, I'll tolerate mom for modeling her yarn/hats/knitted stuff" to "I'm not doing ANYTHING yarn related with this woman they SAY is my mother!" I've not got much time. She's 13 1/2 yrs old and only mildy tolerates my yarniness now. I have to pay her in sonic banana shakes for any modeling shots. There are many photos with eyes rolling that don't make the pattern pages.

On a non-armpit related note, my very favorite hot pink felted wool bracelet was chosen in a cool treasury on etsy! Please click the treasury and see the amazing hot hot pink creations by these artists!
Hot Hot Pink Treasury

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mango, baby! and "what not to wear" for knitters

Oh, I loves me some MANGO ORANGE hand made goodies! Please click on the Mango Treasury above and wander about in etsy. My orange handspun supercoils yarn was picked to be in the treasury, and there's some fabulous orangy mangoey stuff....the hand dyed silk wrap....ohhhhhhhh It's very hard to resist!

Wear Your Knits Day 6

Today's all about the orange. Mango treasury, Orange handknits--good and Orange Handknits--bad.

Day #6 of Wear Your Knits! is the Essential Tank from Wendy Barnard (yes, one of her knits AGAIN) in her book Custom Knits. I freaking LOVE this sweater and wear it almost once a week.
Yarn: 100% merino. I'm known for knitting a FEW merino wool sleeveless sweaters.
Knit: 2009

Old photo, yet another armpit angle. Worn with denim khaki's, leather jacket & cowgirl bootletts (slip ons that don't have heels, mules?). Left the orange cowgirl hat at home as that may be a titch much for Monday morning at the office. :) Cooler weather today sure made it much more comfy for the sleeveless merino sweater!

Have you seen Fit to Flatter? I'm LOVING the series! Stash Knit Repeat is doing a series of very detailed posts on how to pick sweaters and other knit wear to FLATTER you. I can't tell you how many times I've knit a sweater just because everyone else was knitting it, and it looked HORRID on me. All that time, effort and money wasted! I've done my share of frogging and reknitting, but seriously this lady is a genius. It's like the "what not to wear" for Knitters! It rocks. And it makes perfect sense!

As I was searching through old photos on flickr to find the orange tank, I happened on a few of my own versions of "what not to wear" disasters. And they happen to both be orange (imagine that). I thought you may enjoy a walk down my scary memory road.....

The handspun knitted toilet seat cover aka scary shalom. Lovely pattern, knit in the WRONG yarn for the WRONG body type. *shudder*

And my personal favorite hideous knit, the Leaky B00b Sweater. A fine example of when pooling goes bad.... wow.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Doozers sing about Knitting!

Happy Weekend everyone!
Muppets rock.
Muppets signing about knitting REALLY ROCKS!

Days 4 and 5 plus window watching

Day 4 Two-Toned Shrug from Stephanie Japel's book Fitted Knits, one of my ALL TIME favorite knitting books.
Yarn: Aurucania Natural Wool
Knit: 2007
I wear this baby ALL the time, I love it!

Day 5 Chickami by Chicknits Bonne Marie. Also worn ALL the time! Also a favorite designer and fabulous quick knit.
Yarn: Pima Cotton/Silk by Frog Tree
Knit: ? can't remember. It was knit pre-ravelry, so probably 2006?

Old photos as the camera's dead and the charger's packed ready for a weekend at the lake (hopefully). Any stalkers/robbers out there, we have my cousin staying at the house for the weekend, so I'm not announcing an empty house. Besides, unless you're a spinner or a knitter, we've not got crap for you!

Window watching is apparently quite the sport here at the office building. Being the only soul in this building without a window EVEN THOUGH we have THREE empty offices WITH big arse windows, (wow, bitter much?) I wouldn't know that there's a lot of activity going on outside these glass walls. Yesterday I was called into an office three times to see the show. Once was for the local family of deer passing through the woods at the edge of the parking lot. Once was for an adorable big fluffy dog romping about with his owner. The third was for a lady wandering about that had lost where she parked her car (and we have a very small parking lot). I wonder if she'll be called LCL (lost car lady)....

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Wear Your Knits Day 3

Are you tired of photos of me yet? cripes almighty. It's only been 3 days? I'm gonna run out of cotton sweaters in a few more days and will have to get creative.

Pattern: Chickami from chicknits Bonne Marie
Yarn: Knit One Crochet Too Ty Dye Cotton
Knitted in 2007
Not worn often as it's too dang big. You can't really tell here, but I like my cotton summer sweaters to have a little negative ease as they G-R-O-W as you wear them. This baby is just a bit loose for my taste. I'm probably not going to wear it again unless I can shrink it down in a hot wash. It's 100% cotton, so there's a chance.

Riding in the elevator on the way back from lunch today a man said to me "Oh! You're the girl that..." Here I think I probably rolled my eyes and expected to hear "knits outside" or "crawls around in the grass taking pictures of yarn" or "is the Crazy Yarn Girl" or something yarn related as that's the usual talk of the building. What he said was "Oh! You're the girl that's always walking across the grass. You're the Nature Lover!" I choked on my tongue in a very unladylike snort/cough/burp noise and said WHAT?!? He said he works in the bottom floor and he and a guy he works with have decided that I'm quite the nature girl since I'm always walking or sitting in the grass and drive the big truck. wow.

I often forget that my office building, made entirely of dark glass, is actually ALL WINDOWS. Hence, the nickname Crazy Yarn Girl (overhead in elevators and when walking by the smokers' post in the parking lot due to my yarny photo shoots & knitting breaks out in the park next to the building). I walk across the grass because I'm L.A.Z.Y.! It's a big arse short-cut instead of walking all the way around the building on the sidewalk. If I'm wearing heels, I walk on this itty bitty cement edging about 5 inches wide, which is right next to the building.

I must be the only person in that entire building made of windows WITHOUT AN ACTUAL WINDOW of my own. It must be nice to sit there gazing out at those trees, birds, flowers and the building's resident knitter/nature lover.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Wear Your Knits Day 2

Pattern is Tomato by Wendy Barnard. Yes, I do actually knit sweaters not designed by WB but I do love her top-down raglan styles and well written patterns.
Yarn: can't remember, but it's a worsted weight blend of mostly cotton with a touch of cashmere. Soft and almost fuzzy.

Knit in 2007, maybe worn 4 times since. I think it'd work well over a white shirt as a vest in the fall too! I actually started out the day that way, but almost burst into flames by 8am and had to change to a little lighter version. The neckline is a bit plunging for me, so I accessorized for the office with a scarf and jewelry. I'm feeling quite the fashionista these last 2 days. :)

OK, now for the not so pretty. Please click away if you've eaten recently. This yarn was frogged from one of the first sweaters I ever knit. The sweater I went to a local yarn shop to buy yarn specifically for. I had my printout in my little hand. I asked the LYS worker for help. She told me, "As long as you match the gauge, it doesn't matter what kind of yarn to use. Let me repeat...AS LONG AS YOU MATCH THE GAUGE, IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT KIND OF YARN TO USE. *cue creepy horror movie music now*

She SAW the pattern. It was a sweater made entirely of ribbing. She found me worsted weight cotton with just a touch of cashmere. It was expensive. And did I mention it was mostly cotton? And that the sweater was ribbed? Entirely ribbed?

Ok, last chance. Click away if you've got a weak stomach.

I warned you. Holy crapamoly. Could I have looked any frumpier? And could the sweater have been any heavier? seriously? The ribbing? The way it just hung and sagged down to the hips? HORRID! The scary thing? I was so freaking proud of knitting this damn sweater and getting gauge that I wore it. In public. Even on a date with the man that ended up marrying me. I know. It boggles the mind, doesn't it?

I swear. That woman should be locked in a small room with plastic needles and red heart acrylic yarn. Not the new "soft" acrylic red heart of today, oh no. The squeaky, so rough you got splinters from it acrylic red heart of yesterday. I think I like the new sweater this yarn got to grow up to be just a titch better than the original. What do you think?

Monday, May 03, 2010

CHALLENGE Wear Your Knits Day 1

Welcome to visitors from Whip Up! I apologize for your first view of my blog to be an armpit shot, but that's just the kind of high quality blog fodder TreasureGoddess provides. :) If you've not been to Whip Up's site, why not? Amazingly full of tutorials, patterns and creative ideas to get you motivated to create! (My felted wool bead bracelet is due to show up on Whip Up's site any moment now. woo hoo!)

OK, on to the CHALLENGE! After one more season of packing up beautiful hand knit clothing that was ONCE AGAIN not worn for an entire season and unpacking beautiful hand knit clothing to put on shelves that weren't worn the LAST TIME they were out for the enitre season either I decided enough was enough! Why do so many knitters (and crocheters) spend hours of their lives, money they quite probably can't afford, creating these amazing items and then NEVER WEARING THEM? It's time for a change! I'm going to challenge myself, and anyone that wants to come along for the ride, to WEAR YOUR KNITS! I know this would've been much easier to do in the WINTER or FALL, but I imagine there's enough cardigans, light scarves, sleeveless sweaters, headbands, wrist cuffs, etc that we can do it. Or at least be motivated to try.

Come and join the crazy! WEAR your HAND KNIT/CROCHETED/SEWN creations! I figure if you run out of hand created stuff, at least wear a purchased sweater or cardigan or headband to keep in the spirit! Because I'm a true slacker at heart, I'm only aiming to wear something hand created Monday through Friday for the Month of May. I'm going to slum out on the weekend and go back to my usual cropped jeans & t-shirt & crocks attire.

DAY 1 Monday, May 1, 2010
Hand Created Item: Sizzle, by Wendy Barnard.
Knit in 2006
Yarn: Classic Elite Yarns Provence 100% mercerized cotton
Before this worn maybe 3 times TOTAL, all in 2006.

There's really no rules to the CHALLENGE. Just try to wear something hand knit, crocheted, sewn, beaded, created by YOU each work day of the month. See how far you can get! Join the ravelry or flickr group and let's see you WEARING your hand crafted creations!

the Flickr Group

the Ravelry Group

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