Archive for the ‘Oh the Humanity’ Category

I don’t think I told you about my friend Braden. He runs Interrobang Photography, and took some great family portraits, as well as this headshot for when I got this article published.

 

Seriously… check out this headshot!  Did I mention it was like 8pm and DARK outside?

 

From Misc Pics

 

As a thank you for his relatively free service (I had to buy him lunch once. It was cheap), I offered him some knitted goodness. He asked for a scarf, because that’s what everyone asks for. I decided that he needs gloves more than he needs a scarf. I also decided to put something special on the gloves (which I won’t put on here, in the event that he decides to read this blog), but my execution has been less than satisfactory.

 

Here you see glove #1, take #2, right before it got ripped back to the ribbing.

From Warm Stuff

Mourn not for it – as it will soon see its destiny as a kick ass photographer’s glove!

It is done.  Finished. COMPLETED!  See for yourself…

 

From Train Scarf

Look at that caboose.  Isn’t it lovely?

 

From Train Scarf

 

Look at how both sides are the same… but different.  How bleeping cool is that?!

 

It is finally in the hands of its owner, who seems to be very excited to take it out for a spin when it gets colder.

 

I will admit, there are more than a few mistakes in it, and I started to leave them in on purpose.  A friend of mine saw it in progress, and said that it should be in a museum somewhere.  While she meant well, it sort of upset me.  I didn’t spend MONTHS of my life making something to hang on a wall – especially since it’s double-sided, so if it was hung on a wall, half of the thing would be lost.  No, I spent months on this thing so that it could protect a neck and face from the elements and look really cool at the same time.  I fully expect that this ‘piece of art’ will be sneezed into, coughed into, dipped in coffee, and otherwise abused by runny noses and the like.  It’s a scarf.  That is its destiny.  To cheat it out of its destiny to hang it on a wall defiles it in some way, and I won’t have it!  So yes, I left a few flaws in there, specifically to make it not worthy of a wall.  You want something to hang on a wall, buy a painting.

 

Also, to further solidify that this scarf is NOT to be hung on a wall somewhere, I told the recipient that if I found out that it was on a wall, I would drive over to his house, rip it off of the wall, and line his cats’ bed with it – because they have claws, and will tear it to bits.

 

Yes, I feel that strongly about it.  So if I’ve made something for you, and you’re “saving it”  Stop.  Wear it!  Wear the hell out of it.  Wear it until it starts to pill and come apart… I can always make another one.

 

Connie, that goes for this, too… although you won’t get to see the finished product until I’m out there in a few weeks…

 

From Baby Stuff

For someone who *hates* Chicago Winter as much as I do, you’d think that I’d be elated that Summer is here… and I am, don’t get me wrong.  But I can’t knit in this heat!  After walking for 5-20 minutes in Chicago heat-midity, it takes my hands a good 10 minutes to get dehumidified enough to be able to handle yarn with any sort of realistic tension.  I’ve discovered that THIN yarn works the best for Summer Knitting.  (I’ve finished Ed’s socks, but have no modeled photos yet, so you’ll just have to wait until he can put WOOL socks on….)

 

I’ve been making great progress on the fingerless “office” mitts.  I need them in the office for when someone decides that an office needs to be anywhere between 10 and 40 degrees cooler inside than it is outside.  Ridiculous!  You come in all ‘damp’ from walking in the outside heat-midity, then are flash-frozen as soon as you near your desk.  Simply absurd.  I have a space heater for the SUMMER!  Think of all the dead dinosaurs that could be saved by using LESS energy to cool a building.  SAVE the Dead Dinosaurs!  (or knit fingerless mitts…)

From Adventures in Lace

I feel like this looks like a dress right now… but it’s too big for barbie, and too small for anyone that I know… so fingerless mitts they shall be!

 

I’m making fast progress on them, so I’ve started thinking about what other Summer Knits I could do.  I went through my stash today and started pairing things up:

 

A hat for the baby Ashur.  This is the last of his yarn from his ‘going home outfit’, so I figured he needs a new hat

From Misc Pics

 

A pair of socks for me.  (I’m not looking forward to them because it feels like a long-term investment, but they will be AWESOME when they are done)

From Misc Pics

 

Another pair of socks for the only grown person on the planet who would wear what I have in mind for this yarn

From Misc Pics

 

A hat like my butterfly hat, but with fishies instead (this feels like an autumn project… but it’s been on my mind for a while)

From Misc Pics

 

*Something* with these.  This is the leftover yarn from my Autumn Cowl and some other leftovers from last year’s Christmas Adventure.

From Misc Pics

 

I decided to use up the rest of my cotton (from my first attempt at a sweater a year and a half ago) and make a zig-zag washcloth.  I am now DONE with cotton.  It makes my hand hurt.  I’m sticking to animal fibre from here on out.

From 2011 FOs

Once upon a time, someone started knitting.  Not knowing a lot about the knitting sub-culture, and it’s preponderance for ‘stash yarn’, this knitter decided to announce to her spouse that the amount of stored yarn (the word stash was not part of her vocabulary yet) would fit into this newly purchased ottoman (in suede instead of leather).  Both agreed that this was a good plan, and all was well.

Fast forward to about year later.  This same knitter’s stash had increased ever-so-slightly so as to not ‘comfortably’ fit in the ottoman.  Fortunately, this was a clever knitter, who knew exactly where her spouse would never look – inside a cabinet that was purchased to store the glass for his stained glass project (henceforth known as the Never-Ending Window Project).  Since the knitter’s spouse rarely, if ever, looked into his own cabinet, this was the perfect place to store her yarn!

A few months later, the knitter’s plan was still working perfectly, until her spouse’s youngest child stole her hat.  The knitter decided that this little child needed a new hat of his own.  Part of the knitter’s ‘stash’ was picked out specifically by this little boy, so she decided to “flash her stash” so that the little boy could determine which yarn would be used to make his new hat. Fun was had by all when the children decided that they should ‘make yarn’ with the yarn-ball winder.

From Misc Pics

Unfortunately, this ‘stash-flashing’ caused a severe case of Startitis in this knitter, resulting in a full-fledged Knit-Out.  In order to show off exactly how much of her stash she had used, this knitter cleared off the coffee table in order to take a picture of what measly stash she had remaining.

From Misc Pics

This knitter’s spouse, remembering the ‘Ottoman Deal’ commented that the Stash had ‘breached containment’ and complained that he had not been properly compensated with ‘lots of socks’.  Deciding not to argue, and therefore reveal the secret of her hiding place, the knitter crammed the full hanks, cakes, and skeins of yarn into the (&*&%^ ottoman, while considering exactly how many other people would receive socks before her spouse would receive his next pair.

While the yarn stash *did* fit into the ottoman (with the exception of the scraps, but those don’t count anyway…), the knitter decided that it was time to start a project with the skeins of yarn that took up the most space.  Unfortunately, they are among the least-pleasant yarns she owns.  100% acrylic yarn with a scratchiness factor that rivals the worst of wools.  The first thought regarding what to do with this yarn (after burning it) was to donate it to someone that would appreciate it.  Unfortunately, that is not an option, because this yarn was specifically given to the knitter with the request of a scarf.  One cannot turn down a request for a scarf – even if they don’t understand what they are asking for…  This knitter, being a clever knitter, decided that the only way to make working with this yarn bearable was to make a very cool pattern with it.  And so the Train Scarf was born.

Since there are two MASSIVE skeins of yarn, this knitter decided that both would have to be used at once – two birds, one scarf, so to speak.  The knitter looked at striping patterns, stranded patterns (weird for a scarf) and finally settled down on a train pattern.  But there was a problem.  This particular pattern called for ‘double knitting’.  What on earth is ‘double knitting’??

Being a tech-savvy knitter, google was consulted on how exactly double-knitting was done, and three video tutorials later, the Train Scarf was officially being cast-on.

Double knitting is a work of magic.  you cast on enough stitches for the pattern with TWO strands of yarn, and then k1,p1 in the alternating colors (following the chart), and when you flip your work over, you have a negative  image of what you were just doing.  Odd.

From Train Scarf
From Train Scarf

There are three problems with this particular scarf (Acrylic Scratchiness notwithstanding).  One, the knitter cannot watch Dr. Who and knit this pattern at the same time without making mistakes.  Two, mistakes cannot be fixed “the easy way” with a crochet hook and personal fortitude.  Mistakes must be frogged to oblivion, then re-knit properly.  Three, there is no sane way to confirm that you are knitting the pattern properly, because it just looks like alternating colors of yarn on your needles.

From Train Scarf

The only way to see a mistake is to have gone rows and rows past it.  An example can be seen with the wheels of the train.

From Train Scarf

When testing her theory on whether or not anyone would notice said issue with the wheel, the knitter asked her dear husband to look at the scarf and see if there was anything wrong with the wheels.  This knitter’s spouse looked at the scarf, and laughed heartily; commenting on how she ‘done f^^&&*ed that one up’.

Seeing that this knitter was obviously upset about this particular reaction, he ran to the kitchen to get a big bowl of ‘comfort ice cream’ for his knitter, and didn’t even comment that she didn’t share when the whole bowl was gone.

I think he knows that his next pair of socks is on the line….

… okay, maybe not an *ode* but certainly a post!

My brother is my webmaster.  He designed the template and maintains the blog.  As the Harlot says, he “makes blog go”.  He is a pretty awesome big brother.  :-)

From Misc Pics

As many of you may have noticed last week, the blog was down.  Now, let me be the first to say, it was NOT my brother’s fault.  *I* received the email that said that I needed to change something, but I never sent it to my brother so that he could “make blog go”.  Once I sent him the info, he officially fixed it.  That would make the fact that the site was down MY fault, and the fact that it is now fixed HIS fault…

See, he likes to build things. I *sometimes* like to help. :-)

From Misc Pics

So, since my brother has come to the Blog’s rescue, I feel the need to officially dedicate this post to him.

Remember when I thanked him for building the blog by making this?

From Cozies

Well, his wife, Natalie saw it and also wanted one. That’s when I made this.

From Cozies

Well, my brother saw how much more efficient the cozy with a bottom was so he officially requested a bottom for his Seamus cozy. When he was in town for the wedding, I picked up the stitches from the bottom and gave Seamus a bottom.  The cast-off stitches turned into the ‘neck’.  Can you see it?

From Cozies

They were both very excited.

From Cozies

That particular weekend, I was trying to get ready for a Bridal Shower at my house and a “Dinner Party” that only a few select people knew was a wedding. (My brother was not one of those select few.)  Given the stress that all of the weekend planning entailed, I have to say that my brother was an AMAZING help.

I needed to get the house clean enough to entertain over 30 people, but there were two children who just wanted to spread Legos love and joy all around the house.  My brother made sure that the house was clean when it needed to be.  Amazing.  (Legend has it that they officially told him to ‘stop sounding so much like Abby’)

This would not seem like a big deal unless you knew my brother and I from when we grew up.  He and I were *always* fighting.  15 years ago, nobody would have ever imagined that my brother and I would ever be caught working together, let alone *choosing* to make gifts for, and helping each other.  We were typical sibling rivals, fighting and getting the other in trouble (he mostly deserved it… I never did…)  See how happy we were to be seen together?

From Misc Pics

When we were cleaning, he noticed my Malabrigo Rasta Cowl and mentioned that he would like for me to make one for his wife.

From 2011 FOs

As a token of my appreciation of all of his hard work keeping my house clean, rather than make a California girl suffering temperatures in the thirties wait for me to get to the yarn store, buy the yarn, knit the cowl, and ship it to California (about a week); I gave up my cowl so that my brother could give it to his lovely, cold, pregnant wife.

Thanks, Ken! and thanks Natalie for whatever you did that made that miracle happen. :-)

From Misc Pics

(PS. It was freaking cold today. I really wish I had my Rasta Cowl. Natalie, I hope you really love that thing!)

I’m very confused… why is it that I can finish all of these…

From 2011 FOs
From 2011 FOs
From 2011 FOs
From Baby Stuff

but THIS seems like an insurmountable task?

From Baby Stuff

Seriously – it’s not that much to do… but it seems like SO MUCH EFFORT!

From Baby Stuff

is this Second Sleeve Syndrome? I’m going to lock myself onto the couch and get it done… but it is definitely something that will be suffered through.

It’s time for an update on where the Crazy Knitiot is on her personal “Knitting Impossible 2011″.

First, Baby Sweater for Ashur.

From Baby Stuff

The main body and button bands are done, and it just needs sleeves and buttons. Unfortunately, I do not have the correct size needles to do the sleeves, nor do I have buttons. Fun!

Second, the Sugar Cane Hat.

From Sugar Cane Yarn

Doesn’t look like a lot of progress, but I’m almost done with the band, and getting ready for the main beret part, which I’m looking forward to, because I’ll get to use one of my new KnitPicks circular needles!

Third, Mom’s Sleevies.

From Mom’s Sleevies

The first one is done. Well, actually that’s not true. The Second one is done – and the first one has been frogged so that I can knit a third that will match the second. For some reason I’m procrastinating. This is a more evil-er version of ‘second sock syndrome’ I’ve already knit two of these with this yarn, and now I have to make a third. It’s an easy enough knit, I just need the motivation to do it.

Fourth, my Dinner Gloves.

From Warm Stuff

Yes. At this point, they are balls of yarn. Moreover, they are balls of yarn in the wrong size. The pattern I picked (and paid for) calls for fingering weight yarn, and like an idiot, I ordered yarn that is 4 times bigger – worsted. Lovely. Improvisation is going to be the name of the game on this one.

Fifth, Ed’s socks.

From Warm Stuff

Still yarn. Ed is very jealous of the other projects I’m working on… he wants his socks!

So, as you saw in my last post, I finished one of the two sleevies that I’m making for my mom.  I have not started the other one yet.

I have, however, made progress on the baby sweater:

From Baby Stuff

That is mostly ‘swim meet knitting’…  Sitting in the stands for three hours on both Saturday AND Sunday to watch Jason swim for just under 5 minutes – in 30 second to 2 minute bursts. Well worth it! He’s so proud of himself, and we both made lots of progress. He competed in different types of swimming strokes for the first time (AWESOME!), and I got lots of knitting done (not as awesome, but pretty cool).

Also, remember that tragic ‘bread basket liner made out of sugar cane’? (horrible name) Remember how it was just basically a rectangle of fabric, not very exciting to look at, but very soft? Well, I did what any normal knitter would do when they have a half-finished project with really soft-and-hard-to-work-with-yarn and a deadline… I frogged it and started a hat!

From Sugar Cane Yarn

I had pulled it out of its hibernation bag, and officially hated it. This particular project was a reaction to very low self-esteem in knitting. Remember the tragic lace shirt that never came to fruition? Yeah, this project was me forcing myself to sit and keep going. “You can knit… see? There you go… knitting back and forth and making something. You do not suck as a knitter… keep going… see…? you’re making progress now!”

This thing has no real utilitarian use; and I can’t knit something that is pretty much a useless peice of fabric and maintain my sanity/love of knitting.

Moreover, I have also decided that my first failure with lace had nothing to do with me. It was the yarn. Or at least, the yarn and needle combo. This yarn is RIDICULOUSLY soft, and soft yarn plus aluminum needles equals slippity slip slip. I’m getting my KnitPicks needles (wood) in the mail today, so hopefully this hat will go much LESS smoothly, and more productively when I make the switch.

Also in the box coming today are the needles/yarn for my Dinner Gloves, and the needles for Ed’s socks.

Things are getting interesting! 44 days and I still have:
1 sleevie
2 fingerless gloves
1 hat
1 baby sweater (bottom hem, sleeves, button band, and buttons)

I finished the sleevie!

From Mom’s Sleevies

It goes perfectly with the other sleevie!

From Mom’s Sleevies

ummmmmm….. maybe not.

So pretty much my whole California Family is coming to visit in February for our “Meet the Family” dinner.

In preparation for the wedding, we have decided to get the families together BEFORE the giant shindig, so that they can actually spend time meeting each other.

This means that I need to have all of my California projects done by the weekend of February 26th, which is somewhere along the lines of 51 days from today.

First, these:

From Mom’s Sleevies

I am literally two rows away from getting the first one off the needles…. no idea why I can’t seem to get this one finished.

Then there’s this:

From Baby Stuff

The baby sweater for Ashur. The mom-to-be has seen it, so it must happen.

Also, remember this?

From Sugar Cane Yarn

I was making it for my grandmother out of the Sugar Cane yarn, then I was bored to tears with it, so I stole the needles from the cables and made a few more interesting things…. But she’s coming in February, and I’m only about halfway done with it.

On top of all of those, I was going to knit myself a pair of fingerless gloves, since I will be wearing a sleeveless dress in Chicago in February. After much consideration, I think I have decided to go with these (click the link, Aunt Sharron) The Belladonna Fingerless Gloves from Knit Picks. I don’t have the yarn yet, though…

So I guess that means that Eleanor and I are going to be separated for a while.

From Cowl for Winter Coats

I hope she takes it personally… all that messing with stitch count has consequences, Eleanor! :-P

It also means that the socks that I was going to make for Ed for his birthday (March 3) may not come to fruition.

Stay tuned for more episodes of  ”The Knitiot Attempts the Impossible”…

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