Yeah, I got some problems… Monday, May 28 2007 

Remember when I was going to not buy any yarn in 2007? Well, as you can probably already surmise, I “forgot” about my oath promptly after I made it. Last weekend I moved and came close to weeping when I realized how much yarn I’ve stockpiled in two short years. Eric was ridiculously patient with me and I suspect he finds the mania a little endearing but it was just unfair–his belongings took up about 1/6 of our tiny dwelling and of my 5/6s, 4/5 was yarn! Ugly.

I have plenty of stuff that I am no longer in love with and will try to sell, trade or donate. There is also some that I am in love with but I have a new philosophy–Knitter, know thyself. Maggie Righetti and the Stash and Burn ladies have really helped me with this, as well as knitters like Melissa, Ysolda and Adrian who design from scratch and make things that they actually wear.

What’s troubling is the random loose ball/half balls…those aren’t worth selling unless I put together some sort of grab bag. I think I’ve come up with a solution though. Maybe I will knit a bunch of hats with the beaded flowers I like so much. Come fall I’ll try to get a table at some craft fair or farmer’s market and maybe put the rest up on Etsy. I know I’m a slow, non-finishing knitter but I can make hats! That I can do. Come to think of it, I can probably make hats for little girls who hate wearing hats, like 8-year-old me, who quit the Brownie’s because I thought the brown beanie was demoralizing (read: unflattering) chapeau. I have no television this summer and limited Internet access…kinda by choice. Of course I love both and I’m not morally opposed to either indulgence but when I thought of the reading and crafting I could get without them…the decision was easy.

End rant,

CR

Cummington 2007… Monday, May 28 2007 

…was WAY TOO FUN! I am so happy to have a gang of ladies nearby who are as over the moon about spending a day huffing lanolin and giggling at bleating animals as I am. I was on the fence about Rheinbeck but I decided that Sheep and Wool festivals are pretty much the best ever.

As we arrived, Jenna’s car passed THE ELKINS-MOBILE exiting. That whole adage about logging ‘facetime’ with your bosses is all the better when it’s accidental! We (Jenna, Huelo and I) were half-shamed and half-proud to be revealed as total wool junkies. But I’m pretty sure the Elkin’s knew about our collective habit the day they hired us!

There are a lot of pictures of adorable animals and happy knitters over at my Flickr. Just a taste:

You can’t see my contribution, but this is Val, Spunky Eclectic and I modelling our handpainted hair!


Happy Knitters! Huelo, Jenna and Dena:


Bloggers…bloggers who blog bloggers…are the luckiest bloggers in the worlllld…(Megan and Melissa)


After a hard and fast deliberation, Jenna decides that this lamb burger probably had an excellent life on a posh farm…


This picture reminds me of Carnivale…maybe it’s the empty pew-esque seats or the old fashioned fonts on the posters…I love it!

You want to see what I bought?? Not THAT much, but definitely more than I expected to!!

Greenwood Hill Farm Merino 2-Ply DK in Pewter, a blend of natural greys. This was the only thing I was “looking” for…I wanted a soft, rustic wool for a really basic garter stitch shawl, like the Prairie Shawl from Folk Shawls. This stuff is really, really, really nice.


Spunky Eclectic spinning fiber, 8 oz. of South African Fine in Rocky Mountain High. Jenna has generously agreed to spin this up for me! I can’t tell you how excited I am about this! Hopefully enough for a hat and thrummed mittens with whatever is left over. I just noticed that this matches a favorite fabric of mine.


Shearling inserts! Probably for the inside of some felted slippers that I’ve been promising to make for yeaaaaaars. A pair for Eric and a pair for moi, both doing first position in this photo. All the comfort of Uggs, but on the DL.


Now to commence with my crazy week. First, to tackle these:


Then, to move. Lots and lots and lots of yarn. Then, working the Harlot event and easing back into Webs life in general (after this school year, it will actually be more like a 6-year-old running towards a pool to do a giant cannonball!). Speaking of her, she has written that when you move, somewhere in the old house, there is yarn. My apartment is so small that I doubt this could happen to me but I sort of feel like leaving a ceremonial ball anyway.

Speaking of yarn, JENNA AND KATHY, YOU WERE RIGHT. I have seen the light, and it is Log Cabin-y! To Jenny and Nicole of Stash and Burn, this is what you do with the “stupid single ball of Noro,” of which I have puh-LENTY. P.S. ladies, I don’t want to freak you out or anything, but I love you both. You had me at Macintosh square!! Hey, maybe I can Log Cabin a Macintosh square!!?!


Over and out,

CR

Minuteman Pride… Saturday, May 26 2007 

Andrew Card was booed throughout the presentation of the advanced degree he didn’t earn and doesn’t deserve. Pretty amazing that the UMass administrators refused to acknowledge the almost university-wide rejection of this action. While I’m being a bit political, I would like to say that I’m truly bummed about Rosie stepping down from the View early. It was exciting to see a show honor the fact that some people are spitting mad about the actions our government. It did sometimes devolve into bickering but it was bipartisan bickering, from ladies, on daytime TV! Elizabeth made an excellent point–male pundits engage in the same sort of hotheaded arguing all the time but no one reduces their passion as a symptom of gender.

In keeping with my spring cleaning frenzy, I got rid of even MORE hair!



With the blue bangs it’s looking a little Cookie A. which is funny because I just bought a few of her sock patterns at WebsFlicker and Twisted Flower, both very botanical. Since I’ve finally mastered the short row toe/heel, my sock confidence is on the rise.


Gotta say, I’m not in love with the Fleece Artist Merino Sock. I love the non-pooling/striping variegation, as I’ve said before, but the yarn itself is almost wire-y. It could be because I’m knitting it on size 0 needles, my 1.5 Knit Picks are in use and it felt a bit loose on those anyway. I’m hoping a wash will relax it a bit. I can’t wait to try the zig zag bind off on the toe!

Speaking of Webs, I’ll be working there over the summer. That will probably mean a decline in yarn purchases arriving via post, but it’s been fun to be a “civilian” yarn shopper this year. One of my favorite sites is so good I feel like I should keep it a secret, but that’s silly. A lot of people are already fans of Handpaintedyarn.com. There is a link between Malabrigo and Handpaintedyarn.com…the main differences seems to me Malabrigo’s focus on merino and the very good prices at HPY.com. I prefer the heartier wool over at HPY.com, it’s still plenty soft and reminds me of Manos. By the way, how adorable is this tiger hat?!

This is Colonia in Madre Perla (top) and Marmol.


This is the lace weight wool in Lettuce:

And Emerald Viv:


All delivered within days, and for a song! So pretty it almost doesn’t have to be knit…almost!

See some of you tomorrow in Cummington! Here’s what a friend of mine had to say about it:

“I hope you have fun at your Sheep Versus Dog event. I think it’s pretty effed up that you get such pleasure from seeing such cute animals rip each other apart, but who am I to judge? I’d put my money on the dogs.”

Ha,

CR

Ahhh… Wednesday, May 23 2007 

I recently decided to start going to therapy again as I’m smack in the middle of a quarter-life crisis. One of the screening questions was “Do you have trouble getting rid of things?” and I actually laughed when the analyst asked it. I LOVE getting rid of things! In fact, there is nothing more cathartic for me than emptying old Tupperware, recycling old magazines, shredding old schoolwork and making piles of clothing to drop off to the Salvation Army. Whenever I go on any sizable shopping trip I feel like I have to get rid of some older stuff to maintain equilibrium. A lot of old shoes have had to go to make room for the summer beauties! The Remix shoes have yet another fan, this time an actual fashion editor. Blueprint magazine is my new favorite, full of DIY projects and witty advice.

I’m moving into a new place for the summer (really close to work!) and I’ve been chucking stuff left and right. Some of you might be horrified to know that I’m not above donating or just plain tossing handknit items. Moving means facing the stash (no, this isn’t all of it!) and I’ve mentally ‘let go’ of a lot of projects.


I usually follow Jean Railla’s advice in Get Crafty for cleaning out my closet. It’s very common sense advice (toss it if it’s damaged or worn out, not flattering, unused, illogical for your life, or if it causes low self-esteem/discomfort) but it helps to have the pep talk. While I seem pretty spendy, I’m dead cheap when it comes to clothes so I usually have a fair bit of thrift store/clearance rack flotsam to toss and I force myself to do it often.

As for knitting, I have to accept the fact that grey stockinette will probably see more use than crazy Noro (I can always knit blankets out of it…). I really agree with Stefanie’s post about not really loving the outcome when knitting from published patterns. I’d like to start designing from the ground up a lot more. That said, I think there is still great inspiration out there. These were some of the things that caught my eye in the summer Interweave:

Little Smocked Top:

Josephine, especially the sleeve detail:


Bella Blouse, free online:

Another bit of Gaughn greatness:

Lacy Yoga Bags:


Spiral Boot socks:
And just like last time, some pretty tempting ads! I love Tulip from the summer Rowan:

And the latest offering from Blue Moon Fiber Arts:

Over and out,

CR

Puesta del Sol Friday, May 18 2007 

I ordered the yellow shoes! Eep! Since my first yellow shoe lust was sold out, I specified a back-up choice at Remix. Thing is, I’m going to be walking a lot this summer. To and from work (back at Webs!) and around that…not small…store. We once wore pedometers and were blown away at how many miles we all logged in a single day. I’ve actually got a bunch of sturdy looking sandals coming (along with a new incarnation of my favorite Hepburn-y go-to, the black ballet flat (currently Crocs Primas). The Primas are pretty great, but they can be embarrassingly squeaky and a little sad. I mean, even if it’s fancy rubber, I’m still wearing rubber shoes. I can hear people think to themselves, “Jellies are okay for 8 year olds, but geez…” Still, they’re bouncy and fun to wear. And, a friend of mine spilled soup on my foot the other day and I just rinsed it off! Anyhow, I’ll be trying on and send back as needed. I hate shoe shopping any other way, Zappos rules.

Anyhow, shoes–I momentarily feel guilty for how much I spend on them BUT, here is my reasoning–I have BAD feet, painful shoes can ruin your day, since I don’t own a car I can consider shoes to be a transportation cost (tires for my feet!), I spend woefully little on my wardrobe…uh…they cheer me up when I look down…

Okay, that’s enough of that. One of my main reasons I’m so excited about the Remix Shoes is that I have a new dressing goal. After seeing Pan’s Labyrinth I decided that I really needed to wear more: leather satchels, tweed, utilitarian aprons, shawls, Mary Janes with socks and dresses. Oh, and a little knife hidden in my skirt’s waistband! The best accessory. (Mom, if you haven’t seen this yet, we’re watching it together in June!!)


Thanks for all the awesome comments about my dress idea! I don’t really intend to over dye it unless I look truly appalling in that much yellow but I will certainly be dunking these swatches into a dye bath out of pure curiosity! Swatching normally doesn’t happen this swiftly but now that I’ve ‘leaked’ my idea I felt compelled to get going! First up, some simple eyelets, which I imagine would form an empire waist:


Could thread a ribbon through it, but that might be too twee for me:


This is the wrong side (flash is on, heightened orangeness!), which is the right side for the Eiffel Tower eyelets right above ribbon eyelets. I don’t know, they remind me of getting a run in one’s tights…not exactly a look I want to emulate. Blocking didn’t straighten them out at all. Blocking didn’t help my drunken attempt at Dayflower, either! Why did I save the hardest for last again? I was a goner after the last minute of The Office and the lace suffered. I blame John Krasinski completely!


In case you haven’t had enough yellow for today, here is an update of my travel project, my April/May Project Spectrum sock:


If you can call that an update…it’s on zeros and I’m actually leaving it at home when I head to the library. Simultaneous read-knit days are pretty much over for this semester. I love how perfectly variegated it’s knitting up, it’s veddy pretty. I should be working on my Sock Pal socks, but my order from Little Knits is lost in the ether, apparently…

I’ll leave you with a tease, a project that has come out of hibernation and will actually come in handy during some of the chilly thunderstorms we’ve been having lately.


More soon,

CR

Sketchy… Wednesday, May 16 2007 

*EDITED UPDATE: As naturalbodycare notes in the comments, the called for yarn from Fitted Knits is indeed a Knit Picks yarn. I am all for saving money and I do appreciate the effort that goes into knitting new garments. I still don’t understand why they wouldn’t focus on designing, or feature the photography and model from the book (which is totally allowed). It’s a beautiful shot and I know firsthand that a lot of work goes into those photo shoots! I am a Knit Picks customer and am really pleased with some of their products (needles, in particular). This wasn’t meant as a disparagement, I just wanted to see what other bloggers thought.*

First things first…I’m feeling snarky about something. I got the Knit Picks catalog in the mail the other day, I’m thumbing through and something starts to bother me. It’s been bothering me awhile but I can’t quite figure out the ‘rules’ of the situation. To promote books and their own yarn line Knit Picks, will knit a garment in their brand of yarn (versus the one called for in the original pattern). Many of us do this to save money without any prompting and there are definitely guidelines surrounding the use of free patterns published on the Internet (Hello Yarn‘s in nice and clear, as is Knitty‘s)…but what about this?

I suppose it’s okay and I’m sure they’ve researched the legality of it but it’s a little out of hand.

This was the most egregious offense in the recent catalog–not only have they replaced the yarn, it looks like they’ve replicated the photoshoot!! Is anyone else a little perturbed by this?


Could’ve been accidental…I’ve unintentionally produced a Japel-ish design myself, my Trinket tank has a twin in Fitted Knits. Stefanie and I do share a birthday, so it could be Virgonean kismet.


As I mentioned, I’ve got a big project planned for my summer (and knowing me, far, far, beyond) that involves a fuzzy bag of gold. The inspiration was a dress from Urban Outfitters:


I like the puffed sleeves but since the color I picked isn’t as sweet as the lilac I might try to do something more like a petal sleeve. Still dainty but simpler. Another option is a slight puffed sleeved with a button closure:


I’ve trolled my B. Walkers and this is the stitch pattern I’ve been most drawn to, Sunspots:


This particular pattern seems to be popping up everywhere I look. Right after I fell for this one and sketched out my ideas I came across this on Facehunter and I cringed. NOT exactly what I am going for, but eerily similar to my notes!



Some other stitch patterns I’m considering. I’ll have to swatch to see how they show up in the Kidsilk Haze…






I was thinking about the yellow…I thought long and hard before settling on that color. In a way I was being a contrarian, there are so many amazingly beautiful colors! I think it could be fantastic in the late summer and fall, especially with a contrasting dress or slip underneath. And if I hate it, yellow can become a delicious green. I couldn’t find any blog entries about people over-dying Kidsilk Haze…is it risky, sacreligious, unnecessary, what?

CR

Mother Sunday, May 13 2007 

Your childhood was eclectic and I know your teen years weren’t easy, even if you were Miss Houston Technical Institute. Besides having really cool clothes and lots of stories I know that whatever I’m going through you’ll have been there before. You made it out alive, so I’m sure I can as well.


My childhood was also eclectic–in retrospect, I’m really glad I was raised on buckwheat pancakes and apple juice popsicles. Homeschooling, constant trips to libraries and craft stores and music always–habits you gave me, ones that I happily continue.


You have taught me how to be a friend. The simple act of checking in or doing what you can to cheer someone up is something I’ve learned from you. You surround yourself with friends and they are lucky to have you. This DOESN’T mean that Vinnie and I forgive you for singing Twila Paris‘ “Forever Friends” in public throughout our youth!!


You are always changing, always improving. Being a mother of three hasn’t precluded you from going back to school, persuing careers and generally being a hot ticket.


This is a card you gave me for Valentine’s Day once and it is one of my favorite things. I am able to live in a world of possibility and beauty because of what you’ve taught me and what you continue to teach me.


I love you!

Cirilia

Incongruous. Saturday, May 12 2007 

So, it’s officially spring here in Massachusetts, and it is almost glorious. I say almost because I’m going through some love life tribulations that are sorta neutralizing my spring high. To be honest this whole year has been one big trial, with graduate school and relationships. I’m doing my best to keep my spirits up and that means a lot of walks, water, fruit (I’ve finally developed a taste for it, thank goodness) and of course, crafting! Between the AMAZING RAVELRY (are you on it? Let’s be friends!) and Project Spectrum, I’ve got plenty to keep my mind off of sad things (and you know, my schoolwork…)

Speaking of Project Spectrum, here are some scraps…

My February/March project is finally done. Here they are, very pleased with these. If they look a little fuzzy it’s because I’ve already worn them a LOT. They are the ever popular Jaywalkers in STR Lightweight, the Lucy colorway.Those who are sensitive to pooling might want to avert your eyes now…




YELLOW: I’ve just now opened a package from Blue Moon Fiber Arts and one of the skeins was looked like it would be brilliant sunny yellow, but it’s actually more like delicious peach ice cream, a soft orange:


I can learn to love it, but I’m in a serious yellow phase and I am a little bummed. I’m so into yellow at the moment that I’m seriously considering getting some serious shoes in ‘avocado‘. I learned about Remix from the painfully adorable Emily and it was perfect timing since I’ve recently committed myself to wearing REAL shoes at least 80% of the time. My feet are too bad for flip flops and canvas flats. Anyhow, yellow is perfect when your wardrobe is mostly grey and black, something I have in common with the lovely Jenny Gordy.

I have some big plans for this golden yarn that may not have been the wisest color choice. I know I can’t wear yellow, but that doesn’t stop me from liking it!


GREEN: My love for green yarn is well-known, and it hasn’t weakened any. I’m planning on doing some sewing tonight, a dress out of this lovely branch-heavy print. I’ll be sure to post it when it’s done. Oh, the STR Hoofle Foofle had a friend, Jade:


PINK: I started a sock in a colorway that might as well be called Project Spectrum April/May, because it’s a lovely lemon yellow, a deep raspberry and a bright emerald. It’s actually Fleece Artist Merino Sock in Paris, and it’s lovely. The pattern was a freebie that came with a Hello Yarn order. Thanks to Ravelry I realized that I’m kind of knit-stalking poor Adrian, I’ve knit about 6 things inspired by her knits! You know what they say about imitation…



Another ‘pink’ thought I had was on avoiding sun damage. It’s become more and more important to me over the years and I’m channelling almost all of my frivolous cosmetic money into my stash. After several CVS sales and coupon cash-ins I finally have the ultimate non-sticky, non-smelly, non-irritating, non-blemish inducing stash of sun protection. You can read all about it at my Flickr page.

In other news, I was the happy recipient of a random act of kindness from a UK blogger who sent me a little project bag after I mentioned I liked hers. It’s adorable, and this was such a nice surprise to get in the mail. I love getting mail, especially crafty mail.

Speaking of surprise mail…I’m starting to understand why the Sockapalooooza is bumming some people out…I haven’t heard from my secret sock knitter or from the person I have. I’ve emailed my pal and left secret comments on the blog. I have to be honest, I was a little perplexed by all the people freaking out when they didn’t hear from buddies after a few days but now I’m starting to feel like a….loooza. Ha.

Okay, I have killed a good couple of hours with this post, it might be time for me to get back to the schoolwork.

HI! Thursday, May 3 2007 

I’m alive. This is the View (pun intended) from my office, also known as my couch butt dent. Also known as the reason I haven’t posted any finished objects of late. To be completely honest, I also started a few NEW projects…which have been distracting me from the ones I could finish and post. Casting on seems to be my little coping mechanism.

The detritus on the floor. I am doing a paper on DIY/craft consumption, so those Blueprint magazines are my primary sources! The sock yarn…well…


It’s just more coping! It’s a two-circ-toe-up for Brett, my best grad school friend. It’s Regia Silk 6-Ply, perfect since he’s a fancy lad, whom you might remember from this massive post. My star tattoo (1 of 11) is fading!

To my left (allergy season requires tissues and BIG sunglasses!) That little stack of books are all about women in comedy, for my Politics of Sexual Representation final paper on Sarah Silverman.

To my right, my Bible and my best electronic friend. I’ve been texting so much this year I’m actually considering some sort of Blackberry for my next phone.


My hilarious dollar store mug, which I only pull out on stressful days.



It’s true, I don’t have anything finished to post. I got my sock pal, that’s exciting! We have a fair bit in common. She is open to anything and it seems like she leans towards the utilitarian…maybe I can spoil her a bit. If my pal is reading, HI! I promise to post a bit more between now and August. Should be easy since I’ll be working at Webs over the summer where it’s okay to think about knitting 24-7.

There has been a lot besides knitting on my brain lately and some of it is apartment related. I’ve been trying to figure out whether I’d like to live on my own next year but for the summer Eric and I have a sweet sublet with an option to renew for the year ahead. We signed the lease this A.M. and I saw bunnies and two black squirrels! The landlady told me that one was a baby (she could tell because of it’s puny tail). Cute animals and a savvy landlady, where do I sign?

Oh, I cut my hair! I wanted it even shorter but the smart stylist (his name was Butch) sensed that I would’ve just whined with it super short. Baby steps. I also dyed it black and the bangs are Manic Panicked Midnight Blue. It’s all part of my plan to convince the world that pale is the new tan.


Okay, time for some Alavert and big shades, I’m going for my catwalk. Brett has his daily promenade and I have my catwalk. It’s absolutely essential:


CR

P.S. I’ll be wearing my Croc Primas, not those killers!

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