Friday, February 23

YPF: Black Leather Cord

Shown on Rowan Big Wool.Black leather cord on Rowan Big Wool
I bought 4 spools of this to crochet a pillow for the living room. What? You were thinking 'black leather bustier' from the Citibank identity theft commercials? Oh, please, this is suburbia, not the The Chicken Ranch SAHM reunion.
"Simple Crochet," by Erika Knight will be my guide in this endeavor. I may back the pillow with another crochet piece using butcher's twine, in lieu of black velvet. I'm mulling over the potential effect of Neko's 24 claws on it. Speaking of which, here's Chuy giving Neko a big hug.Chuy and NekoNow, isn't that sweet, they're color coordinated!

Last Sunday, the AT&T Austin Marathon passed through the neighborhood. The race route went right in front of the Episcopal Church, so they sent a priest out to bless the runners. Across the intersection was a group of drummers from a local high school which made for a Mardi Gras-esque atmosphere.Blessing of the runnersAnd Spring must be coming because I saw this guy in the front yard. It's a Downy Woodpecker, I believe, but all you birdwatchers can correct me on this one.
Downy WoodpeckerI will leave you with a couple of clues to one of my current projects. It involves hot pink vinyl and gold braid.

Wednesday, February 21

Fashion Week Victim Scarf

Theory and Practice
Finished size: 6x50," unblocked
Yarn: 2 bags Tandy Leather Crafts Mandala Wool/Roving, approx. 30 yds./$20
Needles: size 50/25mm
Gauge: 1 st=2", 1 row=1"
Weight: 1lb,5oz/600 gms

Cast on 4 stitches. Slipping the first stitch of each row, work in st st until a foot or so of wool is left. BO. Fling with caution.

Zsa Zsa says she would use this to dope-slap Prince Frederic after the funeral.

Tuesday, February 20

When logic and proportion

Jonathan Player for The New York Times

have fallen softly dead.

Thursday, February 15

YPF: It's Yarn. Really.

Erin Baiano for The New York Times


Forgive me, Turtlegirl, for not posting a real fiber pic but this has been bugging me ever since I saw it in the NYTimes Fashion Week coverage. Last year, there was the Marc Jacobs porcini mushroom hat and now this. The above creation is from Isabel Toledo for the Anne Klein Fall 2007 collection. I don't have so much an issue with the idea of it as much as what a total waste of probably some excellent quality yarn. I do hope customers get a free pair of needles with each purchase.

I can only imagine the maneuvers needed to get in and out of taxis in that thing. Okay, vent over. I'm going to check out Al Franken's web page and think Happy Thoughts about presidential campaigns lasting two years...

Tuesday, February 13

And Minerva is her name

My New Wheel

Sing along, humming "Little Deuce Coupe" by the Beach Boys.

Well, I'm not braggin Babe, so don't put me down
But I've got the coolest spinning wheel in town
When a Lendrum comes near me she don't even try
Cause if it had a set of wings, man, I know she could fly
She's my Majacraft Rose
Now you know what I got
My Majacraaft Rose
Now you know what I got

Just a Majacraft Rose with an mdf wheel
But she'll outspin a Jensen like it's standin' still
She's made out of rimu and she's signed by Poad
She'll do 19:1 with a top end whorl
She's my Majacraft Rose
Now you know what I got
My Majacraft Rose
Now you know what I got

She's got competition footmen with two on the floor
And she purrs like a kitten till the bobbins roar
And if that ain't enough to make you flip your lid
There's one more thing, I got the handspun, daddy

And lookin' at the line, the drive band's green
Well, she blows 'em outta water like you never seen
I get pushed out of shape and it's hard to steer
When I get spinning in all four gears

She's my Majacraft Rose
You don't know what I got

Friday, February 9

YPF: Handspun Merino

merino handspun

Merino handspunAmazing what fiddling with the light setting will do with the same yarn. It's cold and grey and I'm fighting the same bug that has spread across the state. Thanks to UPS tracking, there's a very special box making its way to my house...MY NEW WHEEL!

I have been obsessively looking at wheels on the web for the past couple of months and reading up on the pros and cons of different models. During this process, I became less and less shocked by the prices. I started justifying the cost versus other items in our budget, as in I made three different sets of curtains for the house(BIG savings), I bought some sweatpants at Goodwill(BIG savings), I drink cheap wine(ok, no savings there), I could see a shrink but I don't (phantom savings), if I work out enough I can fit back into my old clothes and not buy anything new(future phantom savings), and my children can get their college degrees online and live at home(huge future savings with immense negative fallout). Then my practical self asked my compulsive self, "Will this make you happy? I mean, really happy?"
"REALLY REALLY REALLY HAPPY!" was the response. Knitting self has been pouting ever since.

So, today a piece of exquisitely made wooden furniture that happens to spin yarn has arrived at the airport and is making its way across Austin. Can you spinners guess what I got?
Here's a hint: cotton, bamboo and silk blends. The winner gets a virtual pat on the back. This ain't bingo night at church, people.

The downside is that I won't get to play with it until tomorrow. We're having some friends over for our annual Martinis and Meatloaf dinner. So I better catch a quick nap before the hungry mob arrives. Neko has decided to invade the Ottoman Empire.
Neko sprawls

Tuesday, February 6

365 Days and counting

(722 people have looked at this shawl made from recycled sari silk. It went to the frog pond months ago.)

Holy Cats, I've been blogging for a whole year! If it weren't so much fun, I'd be alarmed at the fact that I've posted 110 times. 110 as in every 3 or 4 days I think I'm amusing enough to inflict my sense of humor, knitting and photographs on the internet knitting community. 110 as in my friends don't even call me anymore, they just read the blog. And the rest of y'all have been really patient, supportive and pretty tolerant, even when I leave gratuitous wisecracks on your blogs.

So, what have I learned or accomplished in the past year?

Random remarks about a family trait will lead toe-pinching fetishists to your blog.

Comments on your blog is like having your very own cheering section--remember the Knitting Olympics? I regularly read the blogs of knitters who followed my KO project and left enthusiastic comments--we're bonded for life, people! I get all warm and fuzzy when I get comments. On the flip side, I tend to not comment on the megablogs that get 75-150 comments. The only exception was "You Knit What?" which I still miss dearly.

Reading other blogs and checking out the links(with a glass of wine and a credit card) will result in spontaneous online yarn and pattern purchases, including booking a flight to London and tickets to the Knitting and Stitching Show. Family and friends are planning an intervention to manage my manic/compulsive tendencies.

Meeting other bloggers is fun, especially when they're even more amazing in person. The only drawback is when they live thousands of miles away. Cheers, Hila and Sigrid!

Ditto joining a SnB group. I can't imagine my Sunday afternoons without Entrelac, Robincat, Ceci, Renee, Regina and the other knitters to swap tips, show off new yarns, gossip and goof off with. Our Sunday gatherings have been a haven where I ditch 'Mary the Mom, Wife and Director of Lost&Found' for Mary, The UFO Enforcer and Stash Enabler. Oh sure, they've raised their eyebrows a time or two, but once they got their grubby mitts on the Anny Blatt Factory Outlet goodies, they stopped mentioning psychotherapy.

Hanging out with spinners in your SnB group leads to....spinning. I can't believe I'm doing this. Really. I used to be one of those people that thought "Why waste all that time spinning yarn when you can just buy the damn stuff!" Now, I'm mulling over warm weather blends, wpi, scotch drive, hand carders and the prospect of a new wheel.

"The Idiot's Guide to Creating a Web Page & Blog" was a sound investment. The Ashford Knitters Loom, er, not so much.

(89 people have looked at my assorted Habu delights.)

I like to take pictures of yarn. I never took one until the Knitting Olympics. Then there was 'Flash Your Stash.' And later, the trip to Provence. Now, I have a digital SLR camera, a mini light tent, a tripod and a sneaking suspicion that the guy at the camera shop tried really hard not to laugh when I pulled out a skein of yarn and photographed it. This yarnpr0n has led me to join YarnPrOn Fridays, The Yarnographer's Forum and reguarly update my Flickr page. I try to take the kind of pictures that I'd like to see in Vogue Knitting and Interweave. Luckily, there are no industry standards regarding the BMI of the yarns involved and the models don't smoke or drink up all my diet Dr. Pepper. This activity has also led to an intimate knowledge of my camera's macro setting and a pair of reading glasses. I hold Turtlegirl and Trillian42 accountable for this extracurricular activity.

Joining a KAL is the kiss of death for any project I start. Sexy Knitters Club killed 'Somewhat Cowl' which I have since frogged and am using the yarn for the slouchy cardigan in "Greetings from Knit Cafe." Sunrise Circle Jacket is lurking around here, somewhere, probably afraid that I'll turn a gimlet eye upon it with visions of frogging. I love KALs, but monogamy is not a word in my knitting vocabulary.

(73 Rowan lovers checked out 'Sharleen,' which uses Biggy Print. It's too hot to wear here in Austin. sigh.)

The internet is the hottest place for knitting, without a doubt. The knitmags are all following trends that started on the internet. You'll find small batch handspun yarns on Etsy, beautiful rovings, fresh new patterns, any group you can imagine and tons of information on the boards like Knitty and Knitter's Review amongst others. (A special thank-you goes to the Knittyheads for being extra wonderful about Archie--you really comforted me during a horrible time.) I don't hang out on Knitter's Review very often, mainly when I want to watch a good catfight(or start one, just make a crack about Elizabeth Zimmerman and head for cover). Knitting blogs are an amazing source for seeing how a pattern really turns out, how different yarns knit up, links to hidden treasures and provide a whole range of reading material. They serve as the zeitgeist for the whole knitting/fiber community.

Destashing massive amounts of yarn is good for the soul. It also frees up lots of space for new friends for the stash.

(22 people looked at Sumo wrestling on Japanese television.)

2007 will be the year of the finished project, colorwork as in Dale of Norway, knitting from the stash, improving my spinning, opening the mail, paying bills, scheduling dentist visits for the kids, getting the dog neutered, washing the car, pondering the state of world affairs and hoping DH's upcoming book will get mentioned on Oprah.

Friday, February 2

YPF: Roving

Dudleyspinner's merino roving in "Archie" and "Auxvasse" colorways. Thanks alot, Robincat for throwing temptation my way. We all know how much faster it would be to spin this up if I had a wheel...grrrr.

And here's the latest in the "Cat&Dog" show. Neko looks for the nearest exit while Chuy is still trying find the entrance.