Sunday, September 30, 2007

Come on baby, light my fire

For various reasons, I've been bad about posting lately, but I'm finally getting around to it. The bag I'm calling my Firey Felted Tote was finished a few weeks ago, after a bout of felting with Lorna's Robo-Washer.

This was with some cool thick-and-thin wool/cashmere blend yarn I picked up at Sheep's Clothing on sale. I would have been hesitant to felt a thick and thin, or something with 10% cashmere, but they had a felted sample at the shop, and it was gorgeous. I bought about 10 skeins of this, and decided to make whatever bag would come out of it. I knit a garter stitch rectangle for the bottom, then picked up stitches all around it and knit in the round till I ran out of yarn. The strap is one of those double I-cord things that come on so many felted bags. I couldn't decided how I wanted to attach it, but I think poking it through and tying a knot worked out pretty well. I wanted it to stay securetly shut, but I didn't want to fold in the edges and lose a lot of volume that way. Unfortunatley, I think this yarn has been discontinued by the manufacturor, or I would highly recommend a bag out of this for yourself. It's still super soft when felted.
In summary:
Pattern: Made it up as I went along
Yarn: Queensland Collection Big Wave (90% wool, 10% cashmere), thick and thin, 55 yds, 10 skeins
Needles: I've forgotten already, but fairly large
Time: Maybe two weeks of light work
Cost: About $80, even on sale. But I enjoyed knitting it, and I enjoy using it to tote around the knitting, so it's worth it.

Simple Dishcloth/Towel

Nothing exciting here, but I think it's kind of pretty. My mom saw me making one as a dishcloth, and wanted some for herself, but as a towel. It's just the regular ballband dishcloth pattern doubled.

In Summary:
Pattern: Ballband Dishcloth, seen everywhere on the internet and in Mason-Dixon Knitting
Yarn: Lion Brand Kitchen Cotton in yellows and Peaches 'n Creme in white
Needles: Size 7
Time: A few nights in front of the TV
Cost: About $2, probably, but much of it was in the stash

Things you didn't know about whales

They are apparently very comfortable.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Two Packages

Fugly Friday is on vacation today, because I say so. I'm still dealing with complications from the wisdom teeth surgery. Unpleasant. I highly recommend avoiding complications. But I digress.
I got two packages in the mail today. When the boy became the ex-boy a few weeks ago, I civilly mailed him back his things. I just got my things back in the same box, with my return address label still on it.
He misspelled my name. My first name. We dated for a year, it was sitting right in front of him on the return address label, and I get a package addressed to Sara S********.
So I really needed the second package, which was from my secret pal.
Since I can't keep it in any longer, I'm just going to start with OMG Hello Kitty knitting needles!

I squealed.
There was more Hello Kitty-ness with this reuseable lunch bag.

I am powerless against this level of cuteness, I swear.
Then comes the yarn.
Here's a skein of Wool Bam Boo, which I have heard good things about, but never tried.

And two skeins of cotton angora. I didn't even know someone made a cotton angora! I'm very intrigued by this one. Pattern suggestions? It's tempting me right now, and if I had a pattern in mind, I'm certain I would cast on.

And last but not least in the fiber department, there's sock yarn!
100% superwash merino from a brand called Mama Llama (which is cute, but there's no llama content). I'm sure I can find something to do with this.
And to top it all off, there's a bag of chocolate covered dried cherries. I hear cherries are a good natural painkiller, so I'm going to do the responsible thing and keep eating until I feel better.
Thanks, secret pal!
Fugly Friday will be back when I'm not feeling so fugly.

Friday, September 21, 2007

The Tooth Fairy So Owes Me (Fugly Friday)

I mean, I know I didn't save them and put them under my pillow or anything, but getting those wisdom teeth out yesterday was way worse than losing baby teeth. Tooth Fairy, we need to have a talk.
Despite my being a baby, it didn't go that badly. I had three total, only two needed out, one was impacted. I can't even feel the one that wasn't impacted at this point, but the lower one is a serious pain. Also, my cheeks are still puffy like a chipmunk. Other than the localized pain, I'm feeing just fine.
I thought I would do something tooth - related in honor of my dearly departed, but despite the prevalance of knitted body parts out there, it was surprisingly hard to find.
I found this, but it's actually pretty cute.
The best truly fugly tooth-related thing I could find was the Baby's First Teratoma, which includes teeth, but I enjoy it for the irony that is clearly intended.
So if you have something better, let me know. Otherwise I'm going to go back to being drugged up on the couch.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


It is physically impossible to resist a twelve-day-old kitten. This is my professional opinion as a scientist. Especially if you've been thinking about getting another cat anyway, and one of your friends just happens to show up with one at the knitting group, and he also happens to be an adorable tabby.
Meet my kitten-to-be, Duncan MacLeod. (Yes, that is the Highlander. No, I didn't name him, but it's still cute and I'm keeping it.)

Could he be cuter? I believe the answer is no. I am completely in love with him already.

And I don't think he minds. He's a whole four weeks old in these pictures, and he's already grown a ton.
My friend Heather, who works at a vet's office, is fostering him. He was found all alone outside in some bad storms we had a few weeks back. They think the mom was moving her litter and dropped him. Heather raised him by hand, and they were a little worried about him for a while.

The first week she brought him in, he was so little he could barely hold his head up. Now, since Heather has done such an awesome job, he's an active, curious little guy.
After the second week, I was done. I had to have this cat. He still needs a little more care than I can give him right now, so Heather is still fostering him until he can eat crunchy food on his own. Right now he still needs canned yummies every four hours or so. (It's cute, but I can't do it while I'm at work.)

But I had to knit some little cat toys to send home with him at least.

He's doing a good job attacking them.

But then he decided they're also really comfortable, which is heartbreakingly cute.

Don't worry, though, Worfy is still my baby. Here he is enjoying his new compressed catnip ball (I highly recommend these, but I also highly recommend not stepping on them in the middle of the night).
I hope they'll get along. But I had been thinking about getting another cat to keep the Worf company during the day anyway, so maybe this will work out just fine.
The cat toys are really fun and easy. You can find links below. Vicki makes them for her cats and for charity, and I suggest you do the same.
In Summary:
Pattern: Vicki's awesome patterns for the whale and mouse.
Yarn: Scraps of cotton and what might be acrylic
Needles: Size 8
Time: Less than an hour to knit, stuff and seam both toys
Cost: Free! That's what the stash is for

Monday, September 17, 2007

A Thousand Words

Some of you (Lorna) have been complaining that I haven't been blogging very much lately. This is true, and here's why.
Somewhere along the way, maybe it was after everyone got their really cool pictures up on ravelry, I became very self conscious about my photography. Maybe it's just my perception, but everyone seems to have gotten a lot better at it lately. It's no longer okay just to take a snapshot of what I've made, now I feel like I should live up to the standards of all you semi-pros out there.
On some level, this is crap. I'm a knitter, not a photographer. My crappy 3 year old blue light special digital camera and I just can't keep up with the megazoom slr's out there. But on the other hand, it's kind of one more step of finishing. I've gone through all the trouble to knit something awesome, and now I have to think of an awesome way to show it too. This is not my strong point.
I have socks, a bag, a dishcloth, some cat toys, and even a kitten-to-be to show you. I'm going to have to bite the bullet before I get too far behind. But still, if any of you want to offer photo tips for knits, I'd be more than happy to hear them.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Stop the silence, stop the violence

Kate rocks. She is funny, smart (an MD!), gorgeous, friendly, a whole hell of a lot of fun to be around, and she knows her knitting. Not only is she all that and a bag of chips, she's also one of the most courageous people I've ever known.
Kate is speaking out, as a survivor of sexual assault and abuse. And not only has she not crawled in a hole and hidden from the world for the rest of her life, she's also off residenting (I know that's not a real word, but I like it anyway) in psychiatry.
I am floored. I don't know how a human being can have that much strength. I really don't have the words to express it.
So I'm doing what I do best, and that's knit. Because after all, she deserves a damn scarf. I've yet to come up with the appropriate pattern and symbolism, and I doubt I ever will. But I'm going try, and I'm going to knit just the same.
Ladies and gentlemen, it's time. It's time that, as a society, we step up and say this is not at all acceptable.
It's time to stop the violence.
And it's time to stop the silence.
One is not going to happen without the other. Kate is more than doing her part. Let's do what we can.
I know we knit for everything. We knit for breast cancer, we knit for poverty in all parts of the world, we knit for a friend that's having a bad day. Let's knit for this too.
Knit for Kate. Knit for the 1 in 4 women this will happen to at some point in their lifetimes. Email me at theoriesofstring[removethis]@gmail[removethis].com to start the campaign. I'm going to find a charity that supports survivors of abuse, and I'm going to start a drive for all sorts of knitted items.
Survivors of the world, you are not alone. We love you. We care. And we are going to put our needles where our mouths are.
And just to encourage you, everyone who contributes will get a reward, likely from my stash. (Not that you should need it, because this is a damn good cause anyway.)

Friday, September 14, 2007

Fugly Friday - Cover Edition

Today's fugly comes to you from no less than the cover of Knit.1 magazine.

Hat hair wasn't bad enough. Now we have full head-cover hair. Exactly what I need this winter.
Now look. I get the helmet liners if you perhaps, say, wear a helmet from time to time. Personally, it doesn't really come up much for me. But what is going on here? Not to mention that there's a version inside in silver that has weird ear circles. Judging from last week's fugly as well, I'm beginning to suspect there's an impending alien invasion and the designers just haven't informed us yet. Shouldn't we maybe add some tinfoil?
Although there are a few cute things in this issue, most of them are just pretty darn weird. And that's considering that this magazine is usually on the cusp of poor taste. It's worth browsing in the store for a laugh. But if this is what the "hip 18-35 year old knitter" is supposed to like, consider me tragically unhip.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Surprising Insight

From this weekend's entry in the Stitch 'n Bitch a Day calendar:
"Knit on, with confidence and hope, through all crises."
- Elizabeth Zimmerman
Amen, sister.

Friday, September 07, 2007

My heart needs some fugly.....

Luckily our friend the DancingFish sent me these. I had seen some things like this in Vogue Knitting, and wanted to post them, but she saved me all the work. Thanks!
Aparently chunky knits are big this season, but someone took this to the extreme. While I understand that skinny people are the only ones who can really get away with wearing them, I wonder how these stick-thin models manage to support the weight. It's sad, really.

This poor girl couldn't find her scarf and had to wear an afghan instead.
She looks pretty angry about it, but I suppose I would be too.

This one is from the Derelicte line. Is it a coat? Is it a dress? Is a giant knit garbage bag? It's anyone's guess.

I can't tell if those are sleeves, or bizarre extensions of the pattern. She might also have a dragon wrapped around her neck, it's hard to tell.

And I've saved the best for last.
What on earth is going on here? Aliens have landed, wrapped our heads in some sort of poncho that covers our faces and has knit in mittens. This might be more effective than a straight jacket. At least she has better shoes than the rest of them.
Anyone want to guess what the gauge is on these things?

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Walking Away

"Make a man a hat, his head will turn.
Make a man mittens, he'll wave good-bye.
Make a man socks, he'll walk away."
--Knitting proverb

God damn it. I hate it when those stupid little proverbs are true.

Sigh. I didn't even try to make him a sweater.