Saturday, December 10, 2011

Tutorial: message in a bottle necklaces

It's been a while since a good ole' tutorial, hasn't it?
Blogging is semi productive and therefore gives me an excuse to have a break from studying for midterms. After this, it's back to the salt mines. So my brain's broken right now. Hi.
Anyway, I'll shut up. You're hear for the bottle necklaces, aren't you?
Over Thanksgiving Break when we visited the Meteor Crater, I picked up some weird little souvenirs. They are these mini glass bottles filled with semiprecious stones that I don't actually think are found at the Meteor Crater. But they were cute, if strange, and I knew that I could easily make them necklaces. Necklaces are always more appreciated by your friends. "I brought you back a necklace" sounds a lot better than "I brought you back a souvenir bottle filled with rose quartz." Here we go! Also, if you randomly found little glass bottles you could make them real message in a bottle necklaces, but again...."rocks in a bottle" doesn't sound as catchy.
Look at my pretty necklace....

stuff you need: 
-one (or ten, I think the cashier thought I was insane) little glass bottles filled with pretty rocks
-thread (three colors)

huzzah! easy-peasy.
Let's get started.

Step 1: Cut your 3 colors of thread as long as you want--allow extra room for tying the ends together so you don't end up with a choker. Since necks come in all different sizes, it's best to try the length on the recipient.

Step 2: Thread the needle with your three colors. This part sucks. I'm sorry. There's nothing I can do about it except mumble sympathetically as you poke yourself with a needle for the umpteenth time.

Step 3: Release your pent-up frustration and stab viciously at the bottle's cork so that the needle goes through it from one side to the other. Make sure not to break your cork in the process. Also make sure the line is reasonably straight and not too close to the surface, otherwise be prepared for the bottle to break free at the most inconvenient time.

 Step 4: Remove the needle. Tie the ends together. Double-knot them. Triple knot them to be sure. Try it on to make sure the thing will still fit over your head.

Step 5: Cut off excess thread, wear or gift, feel fashionable. Or, if you're me, rinse and repeat. Feel satisfied that you are doing a productive thing while simultaneously procrastinating.

My pretties....
 Happy holidays!
<3 Maggie

P.S. iPod cameras suck. Back to the real camera.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Save the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus!

....I have no idea where that came from and am a little disturbed that it's appearing on my title suggestions. Listen up, guys. We have to save the endangered tree octopus. IT'S ALL UP TO US.
In other news, midterms are coming so instead of a post you get pictures from my vacation. Enjoy. (I have a crafty thang all lined up but the pics are on my iPod. By the way, IPODS HAVE CAMERAS. I mean, I knew that, but I didn't connect it with blogging. Way easier than photobooth for the crappy-quality pictures you so desire. The things I do to avoid finding the connecter cord for my real camera).

This is Terrible's Gas. I made jokes about it until my mom told me that if she heard one more word about my terrible gas she'd leave me by the side of the road.

This is the London Bridge (for real). Some rich dude brought it over from England and....I kid you not....created a lake around it and made it a tourist attraction.

I told you I wasn't lying. That there's a bona fide lake.
This is the kitschy town they built around the London Bridge, because of course this is what London looks like.

I love it anyway. Is that wrong?

This is my stalker. I swear he followed me the whole trip.

This here is one Meteor Crater. For real. It's legit, guys.

This is the Grand Canyon. Isn't it pretty?

This is us at the Grand Canyon. Aren't we having fun?

There was Snow. And yes, I took a picture. I have no shame.
The weird things you can find in the desert.
How was your vacation? 
<3 Maggie

Sunday, November 27, 2011

dear Jane,

If you are Jane you are not allowed to read this until tomorrow. I'm watching you.  You know what? Go ahead and read it. Get excited!

Do you remember that post way back in August? Well, guess what?


I finished your gloves. I knit them as we were driving through Arizona. Those gloves picked up a little Grand Canyon juju for you, some kitschy Meteor Crater magic, and they also saw a place called Terrible's Gas (I knew you would appreciate that). To model them I tried to replicate your famous poses, but you know nobody can model like you so I'll have to get a picture when I see you tomorrow.

 When I met you in seventh grade, I was afraid. When we were friends in eighth grade, can I admit something? I was actually still afraid because you are the total opposite of Miss Knee Length Skirt over here. Thanks for that. I can't imagine life without my hip, emo friend who can punk out a polo shirt, listen to music way too loud (don't you know that hurts your eardrums? I am ashamed of you, young lady), talk about the weirdest things until 3 a.m. and still get straight A's the next day. You are the Queen of Awesome.
Thanks for encouraging me to be just a little bit sassy.

Sassy yet?
Yarn: Lion Brand something-or-other I pilfered from knitting club. Pattern: Alice Wrist Warmers that I modified because my yarn was the wrong gauge and I wanted them shorter. That's right, your gloves are inspired by Twilight. 

Get out there and rule the world, you little hipster.
Love, Maggie

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Reward System

Hey guys! Sorry for not posting for a while. I was getting so good at it too. Pride goes before a fall, I suppose.
I have a little reward system. For instance, when I finish some homework I usually give myself a little treat. A cup of tea, some knitting, five minutes on the internet (Warning: this can mutate into "five hours talking to people on the internet and then its midnight and you don't care about finding x anymore"). On bad days I struggle with the temptation to give myself a square of chocolate after every math problem (that's a lot of chocolate). Usually it works because I do more productive things so I can earn more rewards and eat more chocolate. But sometimes it backfires and I feel rebellious and think, I wrote my name and that is productive. Screw it. I do what I want. And that's what happened with blogging. I posted and felt good about myself and since it was a post that had actual things in it I felt even better and now wham, bam, thank you mam. I did eat chocolate though. And go on the internet for five hours. It was fun.
In other news, the other reason I haven't been posting is that I'm writing a novel. For nanowrimo. No, it's not because of this blog. Are you kidding? That only happens to people like Hyperbole and a Half.
In other knitting news? I'm making rainbow socks (I know. More socks). Expect pictures soon.

edit: Actually? Expect pictures now.
This is my living room and not my bathroom. I know that sounds weird but its a preemptive strike. People have thought pictures like this were taken from my bathroom. I don't know why. Do you see a toilet anywhere? (Good. I made sure not to get that in the frame). 
This is probably super random by now, but I like to think of it as "The mind of a hyperactive three-year-old inside a bomb-sexy woman"

<3 Maggie

Friday, November 4, 2011

Things Finished

Thing One: The long-awaited socks! (They were actually finished a while ago but.....well....I'm lazy. You knew that already)


Thing Two: A hapless seventh grader I accidentally gave a preview of ninth grade health to, since she was in the room with me when I triumphantly pulled my math homework out of my bag.....and discovered it was a sheet on how to do a self breast exam.

Thing Three: Another green sock. These socks have a story behind them, but I'll tell you later. That's right. You'll just have to come back and see. Now is not the time, young jedi.

Yarn: Cascade 220 Heathers color "Dark Spruce", Pattern: basic sock in worsted weight yarn

Thing Four: The Noro beanie! Whew, this thing flew (I finished it a few days ago too). I swear I only knit on it for four days during class and bam! A hat.

Yarn: 1 skein Noro Silk Garden color 84, pattern found here
Thing Five: My delusions of grace and romance. I'm not a klutz.....why do you ask? Those Disney princesses just set the bar way too high.

<3 Maggie

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween and Weird Random Stuff

Yesterday was Halloween. I dressed up as a crazy cat lady (easy, I had everything already since I am one in real life) and convinced my non-trick-or-treating friend to go trick-our treating with me.
Carly, Ana and Ana's friend Allie (Taokaka, Inigo Montoya, dinosaur?) were also there. That might have helped, since his other option was to stay home alone watching the Lovely Bones while all the girls went off into the night without him. I think he made the right choice.
Tons o' fun :D
I forgot what I was going to say, but it was clever.
Oh yeah. While we were out trick-or-treating everyone else thought we were hooligans. Mothers would hustle their widdle baby toddlers away from us as we passed, saying in hushed tones "watch out for the teenagers, sweetheart."
I told one of them, "we won't bite." she glared at me suspiciously and started walking quickly in the opposite direction.
So much for that.
Now I am home, struck down with some weird cold thing and lacking the energy to do anything but stare at the wall, knit, and surf the internet.
At least I have candy (and a tube of toothpaste.....funny, there didn't seem to be a lot of people lined up for that house).

Friday, October 28, 2011

Green Overload

Greetings, earthlings. Right now I could just as well be a martian, since apparently the only color I wish to knit is green. I finished green socks (they're out of state right now and can't take a photo), but I've been knitting a green feather and fan scarf in secret.....only during school, so it's still not done. That has been dragging on for weeks. Maybe I'll even take a picture of it soon.  Anyway, my wonderful father and grandfather gave me the best birthday present one can give to a knitter....a pick-yer-own-yarnfest. I go to the yarn sale and what do I get? MORE GREEN YARN. (It's very pretty green yarn, Cascade 220 in "Dark Spruce", but that's beside the point. It's green). I want to make that Patons Cable Cardigan with it but there is a limit to how much green I can stand.....
So friends, you'll surely not judge me for being won over by some Noro and starting a hat.
Yarn is color 84, beanie pattern can be found here, and I take back anything I've ever said about Noro yarns. It's gorgeous and more importantly, its not green. 
 I'm sure I'll be back to green things soon .
oh, and happy Halloween everyone!
<3 Maggie

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Birthdays and Yarn

Hey everyone! Yesterday was my birthday, y'all!!!!!! Thanks so much for all the birthday wishes <3
As a treat (and the reason why I neglected to check facebook for an entire evening--I know, I know) I went to see the Yarn Harlot talk at Vroman's. It was crazy. I accidentally got there half an hour early and every seat was taken and people were sitting in the aisles. I guess if you're a knitter you don't mind waiting, especially if the person you're waiting for is the knitting equivalent of Lady Gaga, only she wears pants.
I had to leave early and didn't get my book signed, but I still appeared on her blog. Look! It's me!
.....Squint really hard. You'll see it.
Anyways, back to the real world. :D
<3 Maggie

P.S. Micah, 15 feels the same as 14 only your mother creeps up behind you every few minutes and squeals "YOU'RE 15 NOW HONEY!"

Monday, October 24, 2011

Two-Timer: Dabbling in Crochet

 Apologies for yesterday's post, which didn't really make any sense. I was super tired. (This is zombie Maggie. Never disturb her). Um.....the gist of the matter was I am winding yarn balls on toilet paper rolls. Now, onto less confusing subjects.

This week, I had my first crochet lesson/club meeting where I actually got crochet (I lied. That was a few weeks ago but I'm only just now posting this). I can't say I'm good at it or even passable but I understand now how to do it. Knitting is always my first and only, but crochet--crochet is speedy gonzales! (No, autocorrect, not speedy gondolas). I'm making a lil purse bag thing out of some yarn that's been lying around for ages:

It was my 4th try. Don't tell anyone. I like my crochet skills to look effortless.
In other news? It's my birthday soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

<3 Maggie

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I've Got a Big Ball of Greyness

And I'm Going to Wind it All Somehow, Oh Yes.....
nobody know that song but me? Good. It will infest your brain and never come out. That's my strange Maggie way of saying I wound the entire. gray. cardigan. Remember that picture of the sleeve from a while back? Multiply that by eight because I'm too lazy to take a photo.
Eight skeins. Lots of dust and yarnlets. I got to try out my Soak wool wash for the first time--it smelled delicious. They all air-dried until my family got annoyed at me for reaching for a towel and grabbing a skein of yarn by accident (I hung them in the bathroom. It had hooks). So I slung them over the end of my bed. I realize I sound insane.
Now I must wind it. Luckily I found this neat tutorial on how to wind balls without a ball winder on the great wide internets. The purpose of a ball winder sounds really stupid until you realize how smart it is. The balls pull from the center so they don't go bouncing everywhere (get your mind out of the gutter). Oh, that reminds me. Ana saw a whirling swift at a yarn shop the other day. Do you think it will be enough to convert her to Knitterkind if I tell her you can buy them and have them in your home and use them as much as your heart desires?
Yarn. Winding yarn cakes. Watch the yarn cakes. Strangely compelling.

Friday, October 21, 2011

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough....look at pretty pictures on the internet

Sometimes I get really stressed out.

This can be for a multitude of reasons. School,

Drama llamas,

Pressing issues like my socks not matching or accidentally dissolving a shirt in bleach.

When that happens, there are only two solutions.

1. Look at pretty pictures on the internet.
(via Color Me Katie)
via Books of Adam

There. I feel better already.

2. Drink lots of tea and knit, knit, knit.

<3 Maggie
(P.S.--the sock's almost done)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

10 things I love about fall

1. The changing leaves and all the fall colors everywhere
2. The way you do not look insane for knitting a sweater
3. The crisp weather that is cool, but not as cold (or rainy!) as winter
4. My birthday!
5. Halloween and Thanksgiving
6. Pumpkins and anything you can do with them--pie, soup, jack-o-lanterns!
7. The feeling of coziness everywhere
8. Making enormous leafpiles
9. Hot tea makes even more sense
10. Apples!

  I finished this picture in art class recently. I found a decorative photo of some apples in my knitting book, Vintage Modern Knits. They looked so pretty I just had to paint them. Now I'm hungry for apples--apple cider, apple pie, and an apple tree!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Brought to You by Adorable, Inc.

This post brought to you by birthdays! I guess October is the birthday month. Supracool Ariella wants you to know that she is now 15 and not a drug addict (or 15 and pregnant), just mildly insane like the rest of us.

That's right. The best part is, she's going to be a knitter someday. Ok maybe not right now, but if we keep playing Howl's Moving Castle at knitting club she's bound to cave sometime in the future. Joooooiiiiiin usssssssssssssssssss........
As an added bonus, I thought I'd mention she's so darn adorable that she can come and mooch knitting club cookies and nobody cares. Well, actually lots of other people do that but that's beside the point. Happy birthday Ariella!
In other news, this is my background. I'm not obsessed, I swear. Well. Maybe a little.

In a good way. 
<3 Maggie

Monday, October 3, 2011

Birthdays and Other Cool Stuff

Happy beginning of October everyone! This general area of time--end of September, beginning of October--is apparently where all the cool babies get born, so happy birthday to my minions friends Pilar, Clarissa, and Isabel! Babushkas growing up so fast. *single tear*
So here are some words of wisdom for you, as you enter adolescence's troubled times. 

In other news, I have an actual finished thing for you. Behold sock the first!

yarn--Classic Elite Alpaca Sox, color 1870. Love love love this yarn. Sock pattern: the Basic Sock from the Patons Next Steps Four booklet (I'm learning). 
They don't really fit, which is good, because I would be tempted to keep them. The yarn is so soft I want to buy a million skeins and build a yarnpile and live in it. (Come on. Don't look at me like that. How cool does a yarn castle sound?). I grafted my first toe, after....a youtube video and a first try that was not the shape of any human foot. I still have to block it and weave ends in but for now I'm pretty pleased. This was knit (in my opinion) too loose so I think I'll go down a needle size next time.
Green sock boring. We seen enough green sock, you say. Fine. I have something utterly riveting, mesmerizing, and amazing to show you. When you see it, it will take your breath away. You will be able to do nothing but stare at this picture in awe for the rest of your life and when you get taken to the mental hospital it will be framed and on your wall so you can continue to know the wonder that is this picture:

....the other green sock.
<3 Maggie

Friday, September 30, 2011

Freeday Thursday

Thursday was Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year and a day off for our school! Being just about on the point of collapse, my family and I did the reasonable thing that busy people with a random free Thursday do.
We went to the beach (and yarn shopping).
I didn't bring my camera....(I have got to work on this blogging thing) but I can tell you it was gorgeous. We waded in the water, watched the surfer dudes do their thing, and found this cool shop on the pier that sells everything from psychedelic rainbow stuffed dolphins to seashell bracelets to Coke in glass bottles!
Seriously. My parents tell me that ALL coke was sold in glass bottles when they were kids. I'm so jealous! (My mom also got milk delivered from the milkman that still had cream on top.....IN GLASS BOTTLES TOO. Plus, they live in Ireland--land of the sheep and therefore land of the WOOL--plus her mom can knit--plus vintage clothing makes me unreasonably happy.....I was born in the wrong decade)
But I'm getting off track here. "We don't care about your day off" I can hear y'all whining. "Show me knitting. SHOW ME YARN!" Of course I will, voices in my head.
The haul--photographed late at night on a point and shoot, artfully arranged on my living room floor. I've always admired those bloggers who can take a picture of a dust bunny and make it somehow artful.....they are not me.

 -1 skein Noro Silk Garden, color 84 because I recently dug up a pattern on how to make a Noro beanie.
-1 skein sock yarn in the exact colors of a fall day. They also really remind me of foods, but that could be because this yarn is so yummy I want to eat it. (marshmallow.....cocoa....caramel....cinnamon toast....cranberry....mmm)
-1 old back issue of Interweave magazine because it has pretty things in it and an interesting article on reversible cables.
-2 sets of needles on opposite ends of the fancy needle spectrum, from Susan Boyle the dollar store favorite to Addi sock needles because it was all they had and also? I will ace self defense class with these.
-1 neat little bottle of Soak wool wash, which is a lot better than my current system of trying to block a scarf with the power of my mind and praying that things I knit never get dirty.
The big ball of gray wool used to be the sleeve of a sweater, but more on that in a bit.
Close-up of the Noro: this little beaut is absolutely chock-full of gorgeous autumn colors. It feels a little rough, but the colors were so pretty I couldn't resist....we shall have to see what the finished product is like!

Roasty-toasty sock yarn. It's so beautiful I kind of just want to carry it around and pet it.

 Ok, this qualifies as "a bit." Now about that gray yarn. I feel immensely guilty for frogging someone else's work, especially because they are probably a far more talented knitter, but there you have it. I was surfing the great wide internets and recently discovered a tutorial on how to recycle yarn from an old sweater. My mother donated a beautiful cardigan made of soft gray wool that she never wore--she paled somewhat as she saw the tangled and unraveling mess as I enthusiastically attacked it, but rallied when she saw the skein of yarn emerging.

 Here is a really great tutorial for this, and so is this one. I tried to use them, but ran into some issues:

 While the internet tutorials were excellent, I have to tell you bloggers? THERE WAS NO STINKING LITTLE SEAM THREAD. So I just kind of attacked it until I had a sleeve separated from the body and then I unraveled it. Seemed to work.
Infinitely bad picture. Basically I just wound the yarn around the chair to prevent meanness and carpal tunnel from winding the thing into a ball. The odd fishlike thing on the rug is the sleeve.
Now, I tackle the other sleeve, the back, and the fronts! I'm going to make the Cable Cardigan I showed you guys last time from it. Wish me luck!
<3 Maggie

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Random Knitwear

BOO! did I scare you?
Whew, that was about as witty as I'm going to get today. The voices in my head certain people have been saying I don't post often enough. I am going to try to fix that now but try as I might knitting is a slow art and I don't have a single thing to show you. Wait, I do, but I don't want to find the camera. Instead let's look towards future projects!

In other news, I got a Ravelry page and I have to say, Ravelry is just about the coolest thing since merino. I have been happily zooming along collecting an indecent amount of projects in my queue, so here you go. Some things I believe it is reasonable to attempt:

These are just about the cutest things I have ever seen. They would absolutely be on my needles right this second, only I don't know how to do colorwork. The point is, if I did, these would be the mittens to knit.

French Press Slippers
I have been on a constant slipper quest for three years, but when I saw these I knew they were perfect. Cozy yet cute and a relatively simple knit. Every time I look at another pattern, my subconscious says slyly, how about a pair of French Press Slippers? Thing is, the download requires money and a credit card.

Cable Cardigan
Exactly the same as the out-of-print Must Have Cardigan from Patons, but with a different name. I am actually going to knit this one when I obtain the yarn through obscure and to-be-blooged blogged-about means (can that be a word now?). AKA unraveling an old sweater. (A pair of French Press Slippers would look great with that cardigan.....)

Apres Surf Hoodie
I saw this pattern on Knitted Bliss (known as the "reading hoodie" thereabouts) a while back and instantly fell in love. So feminine yet functional! (speaking of feminine and functional, what about those French Press Slippers?)
Le Slouch Deux
A perfect autumn hat that I love almost as much as the invariable French Press Slippers.....

Enough for now. There are more, you understand, but I needs some fuel for blog fodder when my brain won't cooperate. If you'll excuse me, I'm going to cast on some French Press Slippers.