Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Rip-it Rip-it... Stop it!

frog [frawg] verb
  1. to rip out worked rows of stitches, often due to locating mistake, or simply giving up after        investing hours into a project.

In Japan, the kajika goes kerokero. In Spain the rana sings cruá-cruá. A beka would say bre-ke-ke in Hungary. Here in Norway, frosker sier kvakkIn the knitting world, however, frogs say "rip it, rip it." - Techniques with Theresa

Blame it on my constant need for perfection, or complete lack of patience- I am the ultimate frog-er.  I hate to admit it, but it is true.  Sometimes, I'd like to extend this verb out from the world of knitting, and use it to describe my actions in everyday life.  Case and point:  This blog. 

I have an abundance of grand ideas and plans, and a total lack of follow-through.  So it's been 2 months and 9 days since my last post.  What got me off track this time?  The list is endless.  It started with the kneedles though.  I was on a roll!  I knit the cutest pair of mittens (my first!), and made amazing progress on the Fiance Hoodie v4.0.  Then I put the kneedles down for a minute (or five), and moved.  And while I could definitely be settled into the new digs and knitting in my craft room by now... I decided to pick up yet another addiction:  Dominion.  Watch out, a board-gaming blog may be next.  Really.  I'm a nerd.  So, in an effort to perform a self-intervention, I decided I needed to put any further game related purchases on hold, and get back to the kneedles.

So, it is with great pleasure, and intense fear, that I announce my official enrollment in: 

The Knitting Guild Association's Masters Program

Wish me luck, that's all I have to say.  At least this venture doesn't have a time limit.  And with 16 swatches to (perfectly) knit at each of the three levels...  I have a feeling I'll be hearing a lot of frogs in my future. 

...rip-it ...rip-it ...rip-it

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Tubby Little Chubby All Stuffed With Fluff

Deep in the Hundred Skeins of Yarn where all I do is craft...

Mr. Gregory Peck

Meet Gregory Peck, the second project I ever knit (to completion that is). What happened while knitting him I began to think would never happened again (until Alec Baldwin of course).  I felt such a sense of accomplishment, not only upon his completion, but every step along the way.  One arm here, a stuffed belly there. There is something magical about stuffed animals.  And if you gave me all day, I could go on and on about past times with some of my favorite fluffy friends. Maybe that's why watching this little guy come to life was so exciting... give a pillow two eyes and a mouth, and just like that he has a soul. 

After stitching up the last little pieces of Gregory, and placing him proudly on my shelf, I knew making stuffed animals was my calling.  I wanted to just keep knitting, and not stop until my bed was filled with hundreds of my little friends all named and lined up just like when I was a kid (I know I wasn't the only one). Of course, as with all things in my life, I got frustrated when my next project didn't quite turn out.  And thanks to Ravelry, I had plenty more project ideas to distract me.  And so... Gregory sat there.  On my shelf.  All alone.  For two years (awwwww)

Then one magical day, the fire was lit again. And, as evidenced by the little critters I've already shared with you, it hasn't burned out yet. That feeling I got two years ago.  That calling. It was right.  Call it destiny, call it obsession, call it whatever you'd like, me and stuffed animals were meant to be. 

And so I leave you with Gregory's newest, and oh so adorable, neighbors...

Good Ol' Pals, Truman and Ralph
Warning: That bed full of stuffed animals might not be too far off...  I may even have to invest in one of those rainbow colored stuffed animal nets you proudly hung in the corner of your room in 1991...  Don't try and deny it.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Ask Me About My Kneedles

Hey, will you look at this!  My first post not from my desk at work.  (I swear your tax dollars go to employ wonderful, hard-working people, and most of the time I am one of them).  Where am I blogging from this snowy afternoon, you ask?  My newly reorganized craft room!  (My fiance got me a wonderful book Craft, Inc. for Christmas last year , which I finally decided to crack open and read.  It gave me just the boost of inspiration I needed to get it done).

Step 1:  An Inspired Workspace
Speaking of Christmas and inspiration, I made a trip to JoAnn's yesterday to purchase some goodies with my stack of gift cards.  So my question is this, do I have a sign permanently attached to my back which reads "Hey you, got a question about yarn and needles, ask me!"?  Seriously, I do not work for JoAnn's, or Michael's for that matter.  But without fail, Every. Single. Time. I am in the yarn aisle at a craft store, I get asked (and then followed around) by at least one weary customer.  

Last week at Michael's it was a girl with a month off school asking me which yarn craft to take up with her new found free time.  I had to convince this girl that 1. Knitting most definitely trumps Crochet, and 2. Don't wimp out and start loom knitting. In this same visit, I was approached by a frantic mom searching for the perfect gift for her 11 year old daughter who took it upon herself to get on YouTube and start knitting pot holders on chopsticks (seriously, way to go kid).  She wanted to know 1. If there was actually a difference between Crochet and Knitting (probably the number one question I get asked), and 2.What a girl would need to get started on a scarf.  I picked her out the same book that got me started, made a suggestion for the size of needles she should start on, and explained how to determine which yarn goes with what size needles.  I felt like I had performed my civic craft duty for the day, and went home feeling quite accomplished.  But yesterday, at JoAnn's, just when I thought I was going to make it out of the yarn aisle and into the fabric section (where, thank goodness, no one approached me), this woman came up to me with 5 skeins of yarn in her hands and asked my opinion about which would make the most expensive looking cowl.  When I made my selections, she demanded a supporting explanation.  I told her how much I hated working with one of the yarns she had chosen, and for the next 20 minutes she hunted me down in every aisle with another 5 skeins, always holding at least one of skein of said devil yarn.  Really lady, is it that hard to read the label?  When I said Lion Brand Homespun drives me nuts, I didn't mean that just the blue colorway was horrible, or just the red for that that matter.  I meant every single skein labeled Homespun frays exactly the same way, and you would be tearing out your hair by the end of that cowl if you went home with it. She finally left with an assortment of skeins and was sure to thank me on her way out.  Goodness gracious.  I love talking needles and yarn.  But really, give me a break sometimes.  

In the end, my trip to JoAnn's was quite successful.  I spent a whopping 6 bucks of my own money, and still have $45 left to spend!  I was quite pleased with my selections of yarn, notions, buttons, and fabric too!  So I will leave you with a sneak peek at what I think will become my first sale item:

Puppy Ears Anyone?
Disclaimer:  I love you Lion Brand, I really do, and I will continue to support your yarn, and suggest it to the million more people sure to stop me at the store in the future, but Homespun...  not happening.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

In the Knick of Time

I officially made it through the Holidays! And the best part?  I actually completed every gift I set out to make! (Okay, okay so there was one I didn't finish...the perpetually frogged Boyfriend Fiance Sweater, henceforth known as Samurai 2.0.. but we'll get to that later) It was a close one!

I was nearly knitting my future-brother-in-law's gift while walking out the door on my way, to Christmas #1.
Meric the Patriot Monster
I was on top of it for Christmas #2 and 3's gifts
Winter Survival Bag (Tissues, Cider and Chapstick)
A very happy girl and her new Comfy Cable Blanket
...but I actually had to set an alarm to cast-on, bind-off, and wrap up Christmas #4.
The Triplets of Bellevuemeade

All in all I would say Christmas 2012 was a great success!!!  And I would tell you that I'll get a head start on next year's ventures into the art of handmade gifts, but...  let's get real.