Sunday, April 23, 2006

Because I'm feeling a little self-absorbed right now

Go to Wikipedia. In the Search box, type your birth month and day (but not year). List three events that happened on your birthday. List two important birthdays and one interesting death. Post this in your journal.


1871 - Four major fires break out on the shores of Lake Michigan in Chicago, Illinois, Peshtigo, Wisconsin, Holland, Michigan, and Manistee, Michigan. The Great Chicago Fire is the most famous of these, having left nearly 100,000 people homeless, although the Peshtigo Fire killed as many as 2,500 people making it the deadliest fire in United States history.

1939 - World War II: Germany annexes Western Poland.

2004 - Martha Stewart goes to jail.


1890 - Edward Rickenbacker, American pilot (d. 1973)

1943 - Chevy Chase, American comedian and actor


1869 - Franklin Pierce, 14th President of the United States (b. 1804)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Note to Self

Next time you try to sneak out before a seminar, make sure you're not wearing an ankle bracelet with bells on it.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Stuff On My Cat

Wow. I've found an incredible new way to waste time. Check this out: .

Friday, April 14, 2006

Kids these days...

What is the with the number of people having kids these days that don't want to know the sex of the child? Two of my friends are about to become uncles for the first time and neither, I repeat, neither family wants to know. I mean, sure, miracle of birth, blah blah blah, but there are purely practical concerns here. What color do you paint the nursery? What kind of clothes do people buy for it? And more importantly, what am I supposed to knit?
Well, luckily I'm clever.
Even varigated yarns tend to have pink or blue in them, and if parents are picky, it might look more masculine or feminine. I don't like green, at least not baby green, and it tends to look boyish anyway. Yellow is safe, and I have a thing about ducks, so I made this little fair isle duck hat. I charted the little duckies myself. This would become my standard "I don't know what I'm having" baby hat, except for a few small issues.
I can't give both friends the exact same hat because one, that would be lazy and wrong, and two, they're roommates. Luckily, Kristine was around to make a few suggestions. She said she uses a lot of white for babies. Since the hat pattern I like to use is pretty simple, I knew I needed a little more to it. She suggested making it with an eyelet row and weaving in the appropriate color when the baby is born. I need to pass these off before the kids are actually born, though. I could have sent it with a plain eyelet row and let the parents weave it in, but I'm pretty sure that's the last thing new parents would want to so. So, and here's the clever part, I wove in both pink and blue ribbons. That way, when the kid is born, they can just pull out the wrong color. It's a lot faster, and also sort of fun and destructive. I think even new parents can handle that. This would also work with just about any kind of baby item, so I now have a solution when these new-fangled parents get crazy ideas in their heads.
If I spawn, I'm so finding out what it is the minute I can. Technology is here for a reason.

A dangerous new addiction

So last week the 13th anual Fleece Fair in Greencastle, IN. I say that like I know, but it was my first time anyplace like that. It was pretty impressive. There were three big fairground buildings full of wooly goodness. I expected to buy a lot of yarn, but I actually wound up buying a lot of things to start spinning. I bought three different kinds of roving, and two drop spindles. I had the first 6 oz. of roving spun and plied withing 24 hours. If I were a good blogger, or had some self control, I would have documented this process by taking pictures along the way. Well. I also knit it right away. Here's a little picture of the yarn left over. And here's the little purse I made out of it. Not bad for a first try, if I do say so myself.
Unfortunately, I'm now hooked. I've been eyeing spinning wheels for while, but I got to try some out at the Fleece Fair. I'm still madly in love with the Kromski brand (it's just so pretty), but after playing around I think I want the castle style instead of the other kind (whatever it's called).
The stuff I made first is bulky, but I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. I am going to try to spin a little bit thinner next time. I also got this purplish-pinkish-with-some-white roving and some electric blue. That picture may look like a Care Bear barfed on my floor, but trust me. I'll spin it eventually.
The spindles are cute too. I had tried spinning on a bottom whorl spindle, and it didn't go so well. It turns out that the top whorl is actually easier. This wooden one is painted like a night sky with stars and a crescent moon. The little one is made of fimo clay and is really psychedelic. I think the blue is going to look so cool spinning on that.
It is becoming increasingly clear that this is not so much a hobby as an addiction.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Bad Blogger, Bad!

So I really haven't posted in about a week. It's not that I haven't been making things. I've been making way too many things. I've just suddenly become too lazy to take pictures. And right now I'm trying to avoid doing homework, which is pretty successful, really.
I took a trip home and passed off an awful lot of things to my mom. She got a crochet little handbag, a big crochet bag that just needs handles, a scarf, and a corset style belt. I made her promise to take pictures, but I'm pretty sure that's not going to happen.
It's surprisingly hard to take pictures of yourself, so please enjoy these pictures of Hello Kitty wearing a shawl and a hat and scarf set and a monkey wearing a scarf. The scarf is really cool, look at the closeup. It's recycled sari silk yarn, which I adore but really can no longer afford, and it's in a modular knit pattern. The pattern was so fun to make I'll probably do it again, which is pretty rare for a scarf. Although I think I'll use much cheaper yarn. This little bag is exactly like the one my mom got, only hers is in denim blue. This one has an extra eyelet row that's going to get a little white ribbon as soon as I stop being lazy.
Another advantage of the trip home was that my mom bought me some books. I generally try to support the LYS, but when my mom is paying, I'm not going to complain about where she gets it. Besides a couple of Jane Austen books (don't ask, I'm just in the mood), I got two knitting books. First, was the Yarn Harlot's new book, Knitting Rules. I was expecting another book full of rants about knitting, but it turns out, this one has some practical knitting advise too. She has basic patterns for hats, socks, and scarves, and funny justifications for why you should knit them all. I read it cover to cover the first day I got it. The other book was Posh Pooches, a kit that has tons of patterns for dog sweaters, polo shirts, etc. and comes with needles with little dogs on the ends. It's incredibly cute and silly. I was immediately commissioned to knit sweaters and scarves for my parents' dogs, Bob (full name: Wild Bob the Nerf Herder), a Welsh corgi, and Bullwinkle, the world's stupidest Weimareiner. I made the first scarf that night for Bob, and it looks pretty cute. I've been promised a picture, but we'll see how that goes. It's a cute little scarf, actually. It's an oblique rib pattern, so the ribbing goes on the diagonal. It's so much better than regular ribbing, which generally makes me want to stab myself in the eye with my knitting needle. It's also got a little keyhole so it stays on (fairly) well. I'm making a matching scarf for Bullwinkle. They want me to make the sweater for Bullwinkle that's based on Elizabeth Zimmerman's Pi shawl. I've been meaning to try a pi shawl for some time now. It figures that the dog will get the first one.
Anyway, back to work with me. Look at some pretty pictures.