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.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Close Encounters of the Skirt Kind

Hey everyone! I'm here to tell you that green sock the first is still not done and neither is the cabled scarf (and I want them both to be done so I can make myself a sweater). All this not-done-ness was starting to wear on me, so I thought....what's easy and fast?
Answer: Sewing!! Or better yet, cheater-sewing! It makes any decent sewer feel faint but it's quicker and also? I don't care if my hems are raggedy. I present to you....the cheater skirt.
(I forgot to take a before picture but know that it looks exactly like the after only with a black tank top on top)
All I did really was attack the dress with a seam ripper until I figured out that I was doing more harm than good, then I trotted downstairs and grabbed my scissors and hacked off the top part, then (sewers might want to sit down here) I left it ragged and freshly cut. It's ok, you can't see the ragged waistline until you're practically peering down my shirt (which nobody, I repeat NOBODY *glares at certain rapist friend* is allowed to do).
I didn't spend a lot of money at forever21, which in turn means that my skirt was not manufactured by soulless marketing people who stole it from different designers and forced sweatshop laborers in China to create it. The moral of the story is:

(button created by my secret weapon)

And now, the sucky pictures you've all been waiting for....

The carcass lies, freshly dead, amid piles of mail and random stuff. So this is where dresses go to die

Use your imagination here. A lot.

Newborn skirts aren't that great at taking pictures

Or striking sassy blogger poses

So there you have it. Skirt-o-rama. Enjoy!

Also--does anyone have a problem with wearing a slinky LBD and rainbow tights? Because that is what I may do tomorrow. If you think it would be horrible, speak up. If you think it would be mildly entertaining, then good. Entertainment is what these tights were brought into the world for.
<3 Maggie

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Dear Green Socks,

Our relationship has had some good times, and some bad times. The second I saw your yarn in the yarn store, I knew we were meant to be. I could barely wait until I got home to cast you on. Those were our salad days, back when you were innocent ribbing and then simple, mindless knit stitches all the way down the leg.

But things got complicated when we got to the heel. I didn't believe you were possible; I lost faith in you. I had to rip you back. Things got particularly tough during our fight involving a broken needle and a sad, snarled mass of yarn.

We didn't speak for a while after that, and I'm sorry. It took me a while to forgive you but as soon as I did, I could resolve my mistakes. Things started to pick up and now that I've had some time to think this over while knitting the foot, I wanted to say I'm sorry.

Your soft, gorgeous yarn, your beautiful green color. When you are done, you will be the perfect socks for my mother. I'm sorry I doubted you and cursed at you and abandoned you. It turns out that your yarn forgives frogging, and you, beautiful green socks, forgive all my mistakes.
Ever thine,

(Oh, and P.S.--I just saw those comments in my little Stats box....from somewhere around June. Endless apologies for heartlessly ignoring you guys!!!!! I have got to get it together)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Houston, We Have A Problem

School hath once again started, and once again I am swamped with homework. My brain cells are all tired out after a week of hard work, so instead I'm going to show you some long-promised pictures of various UFOs (unfinished objects) around the house.
Apologies in advance for the horrible pictures; I'm too lazy to locate my camera and take good ones so I used photo booth.
 The cabled scarf. My current during-class project of choice, and not yet fallen out of favor. Pattern: A simple 6-stitch cable (my first cable! I feel like a Real Knitter now, cabling along. Isn't that silly?). Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease Chunky, 80% Acrylic 20% Wool. Thick, warm, durable and affordable it's a good beginner yarn although not the softest. 
 The Infamous Rug. The colors are way prettier in person. I have no idea what this yarn is, having lost the ball bands long ago but I can tell you it is most definitely acrylic, from when I had no idea about yarn, is pretty colors but definitely not soft, and from when I was inexperienced with the ways of gauge. Was going to be a rug, may have to be a wrap due to inexperience with gauge and sheer monotony of all those basket weave stitches.
 A BUTTCRACK! Just kidding. Am I the only one who still thinks that joke is funny?
 The bias scarf. This has been in the land of UFOs for a long time. It's very pretty, from a pattern book I own called Fashionable Projects for the Beginning Knitter (don't laugh, it's....let's just say 'vintage'). Easy, fun and really quite elegant. The only reason I put it down was because it's not very portable. The ball of yarn is one of those huge pounds of boucle from Joann's and is about the size of a watermelon.
The Sock. I can't speak of the sock right now. We're taking some time off. I screwed up the heel and I have no idea how and I have to rip it back and so I'm healing my pain with the cabled scarf.

These are not the only unfinished projects, naturally. There is also the dress I started during the summer, but I'm on the long stretch of 20 inches of plain moss stitch so....I'm taking a break. And others lurk below the surface of the yarn room, I'm sure.
Crafters, tell me honestly: do you have tons of unfinished projects lying around the house?

<3 Maggie

Monday, September 5, 2011

the next martha stewart

That's right....another cooking experiment. That's also involves rainbows again. drumroll please......!
Those are giant rainbow pancakes if you didn't guess, don't feel too badly. It's been mistaken for chicken before.
CB and I, creators of this work of art, found inspiration in Jane, lord of all things rainbow, but unfortunately she left before she could instruct us on how to execute our brainchild. Here's a handy tip: if you decide to make a giant rainbow pancake use two spatulas and handle the pancake gently or else it will face-plant in the skillet and send little bits of rainbow batter everywhere.

Aren't we cooking geniuses? I don't want to sound pretentious but I think we might just be the next Martha Stewart. All three of us. At once. Looks like Martha Stewart will be developing MPD.
<3 Maggie

P.S. Everyone's fine, the worst thing Hurricane Irene did was turn my aunt's driveway into a giant hole and possibly flood a very nice yarn shop in the area. 
P.P.S. LOOK! a picture! I do keep my promises sometimes.