28 October 2008

No Rhinebeck Stories For You

I know. I know. I was going to post about Rhinebeck. However, I never got the photos from Christy, so I have no photos of Rhinebeck to post with. Sue me! I'll post some stories from Rhinebeck and leave others.

Let's start with an update on my knitting. I finally finished one of Helen's Socks (ravelry). It looks awesome, and I say that with no humility. Why be humble when your work rocks? Check out this sock!

WIP for Socks

I promise, Helen, I'll wash it before it gets to you! I already cast on for the second sock, but I have not knit very far into it. I'm still at the cuff.

Also, thank you to people who gave me their opinion on the toes. I decided that I'd just knit until I ran out of yarn and then buy more yarn if needed. I know I'm going to end up buying a third skein of this yarn for what amounts to an inch of knitting in the round, so if anyone out there wants some sock yarn or would like anklets for small feet, let me know. I know I can get a pair of size six and a half anklets out of a third skein, if I got one.

I also have been knitting on my Slytherin scarf, as Paul and I have driven a fair bit recently and it is ideal for being a passenger, even if it is dark out, because it is all knit, knit, knit. I got past the first stripe sequence, after ripping out my screw up from the Rhinebeck drive.

And that's it for knitting updates, folks! I didn't knit much. I prefer to spend time on the computer reading knitting blogs. I think on my next post when I run out of podcast reviews, I might do some blog reviews. As for podcasts... Well, I finally dumped DoubleKnit from my lineup. I just never got too excited about the show, and I didn't really care for their reviews of books and movies. When I last listened to the show, I literally thought, "Let me get this one out of the way and then enjoy some Manic Purl." After listening, I went to iTunes and removes my subscription.

As for Knitter's Wading Pool, I skipped about six episodes and found the newer ones to be a little more palatable and a little more my own speed rather than being too basic. I'm going to stick out this podcast for another three or four episodes and then rethink my subscription.

I'm currently listening to Knaked Knits, but I've yet to make any conclusions on the show other than I want to listen to several more. I'll update with my decision on it later.

BTW, Helen, tell Bryan that the only two D&D podcasts I listen to and can recommend at this point are not live play podcasts. They are The Tome and Dungeon's and Dragons. The latter one did have several podcasts of Penny Arcade and PvP comic creators playing some D&D.

For those of you interested in spinning, the latest episode of Manic Purl dealt with her new spinning wheel. The latest episode of Stash and Burn was of interest to all sock knitters, I'm sure.

And, now... a quick Rhinebeck story. While wandering the fairgrounds, a lovely woman came up to Christy and asked her if she could photograph her Clapotis. She told us she was trying to photograph all the Clapotis(es?) she saw at Rhinebeck. Christy nodded, but quite nicely pointed out that I also had a Clapotis on. It's not very Clapotis looking as I made a skinny scarf version out of Golden Chai.

Trying To Photograph My Clapotis

See, would say that's very Clapotis looking, would you? Either way, the lady kindly asked me to get photographed as well after she asked me what yarn it was made out of. I nodded and got my photo taken, and she was talking about Ravelry a bit, when I noticed her Ravelry button had the name somebunnyslove on it. I immediately geeked out and told her I was in her ISO and destashing group! We got to chatting about the group and her blog, and I'm now sure she believes she has a stalker. Sorry if I scared you, if you should read this. I swear, I'm not a stalker, I just happen to love your group. It makes me want to buy yarn all the time. It was really awesome recognizing her and talking to her in real life. She showed me a skein of Wollemeise that I had almost attempted to buy from her since the colorway was named Paul and I saw her post one minute after she posted it, which is the only way to get Wollemeise. Unfortunately, I did not buy it, and it was signed by the Yarn Harlot at Rhinebeck. Bah!

Lastly, for the other crafts, I took my "Learn to use your Sewing Machine" class this week. I learned how to do a blind hem, how to make a buttonhole, and how to sew on a button. I'm thinking of taking the beginner's class since they teach zipper installation and gathering. Today, I took the time to repair Paul's pajama pants and my own Banana Republic dress. Both were successfully fixed though my dress was more obviously skillfully fixed. Paul's pants look kind of wonky, but I figure they are only pajama pants and I want to make him some new ones anyway.

That's all from me for today!

20 October 2008

Back from Rhinebeck

So, this is just my initial "Back from Rhinebeck" post, in which I tell you about my new stash, but not my experiences at Rhinebeck. I'll also update you guys on the latest project work.

Well, let's start with my acquired goods.

Rhinebeck Goodies

It is definitely quite clear that I was in love with red yarn. I found this slightly mystifying since I've been in love with buying green yarns for the last few months and I had thought I was entering an orange phase. I picked up and fondled both orange and green sock yarns at Rhinebeck, but all that I purchased were red. As red as my love for them.

So, did I buy a ton of indie yarns? No, sadly. I fell in love with quite a few, but, stupidly, I didn't buy any on Saturday. By the time I came back around on Sunday, most of that which I loved was gone. I did decide that my favorite combination of fibers was wool and silk, though I did find one wool/silk/bamboo that was decidedly delicious. Christy and I stopped at Decadent Fibers fairly early on. The last time I visited one of their booths, I got my mother-in-law a nice felted pumpkin kit. This time, I couldn't be bothered buying anything. I think I'm over the crazy variegated yarns. They still had great prices, but they didn't tempt me at all.

Oh, damn, I'm getting into the experience rather than the stash. Back to the stash! I bought some pretty red wool that is kind of mysterious. It has no name on its label. It's apparently a chunky superwash wool. I got two skeins at a little cash only booth near the back of building 22. If anyone knows what booth I'm talking about, please tell me! They gave me a nice pattern and I promptly lost it and my heart is breaking about that now. Sigh.

Red Mystery Yarn

This yarn's destiny is a hat/scarf combo for my darlingest darling, Nathan. As I told Christy, "I'm looking for the softest, warmest, most beautiful red yarn in existence for him. Also, faeries must have spun the yarn." She mocked me resoundingly for this, but I held firm. Near the end of Sunday, I had mostly given up hope for finding my fantastic yarn. (Indies do beautiful dye jobs, but they mostly fail when it comes to red yarn from my experience at Rhinebeck.) When I came to this booth and saw this yarn, my heart rose in hope. Then... I felt it. It was so soft. So smooooooshy. It was gorgeous. It was one hundred percent wool. It was perfect.

I also bought two skeins of sock yarn that I could probably buy on the internet, but I don't even care. I had never felt them before, nor seen them in person, so I willingly plunked down some cash for them. What do you see down there?

Schaeffer Anne

Schaeffer Anne, in a gorgeous red/brown colorway. I was afraid that the mohair would make this yarn 'icky', but I liked the feel of it better than I liked the feel of Heather (which contains silk instead of mohair). This is why one visits as many yarn stores as possible.

Folks, I also found a place selling Socks that Rock. At first, I was saying to myself, "But I hate photos of their yarn knit up. And I can buy this online." Then I found a Rare Gem colorway that only used one color.

Another Shot of Socks that Rock

Next thing you know, I'm at a counter paying for stuff.

Christy and I had a lovely drive up to New York. The autumnal leaf colors were out in full force. We got to chat. We got to stop at the world's largest rest stop (two floors, FTW!) and get some Starbucks. We listened to my music and I introduced Christy to several singers and bands I loved. We got to sit in traffic at Rhinebeck. I received several messages with photos of Nathan from Paul. I had ordered Paul to do this.

My next post will not come soon, probably. I need to get some photos from Christy as I stupidly forgot my camera. What will that post include? My experience with a snotty bitch of a stall owner, my meeting with Somebunnyslove from Ravelry in which she ended up believing she had a stalker, the approximately eight billion Clapotis (what is the plural of Clapotis?) and Ravelry buttons seen, how I completely fucked up my damned Slytherin Scarf, and, last, but not least, meeting Kate Gilbert! EEEEE! Seriously. I totally met the creator of the Clapotis.

Peace out, my friends. I end with a picture of the ubiquitous Ballband Dishcloth pattern knit out of my Sugar'n'Cream.

Ballband Dishcloth I

12 October 2008

Okami -- Dreams Come True

As some of you who read might know, my ultimate dream in life is for Paul to discover a deep and abiding love for Japanese RPGs such as Kingdom Hearts or Final Fantasy. Then I shall be able to knit or cross-stitch or whatnot while he plays the game for me. I get the story and the crafting! Sadly, Paul shows little to no interest in spending several weeks leveling up characters so that they can upgrade their cute clothing, pets, or hair to do more massive damage. Oh, Paul... Nowadays, when Paul gets home, however, we often put Nathan down to bed, and then I veg out on the computer.

Paul loves to spend time with me after he gets home, and I've been greedy. He'll ask me if I want to watch old episodes of Friday Night Lights or Buffy, and I'm all, "Nah... I'm just going to read my blogs." Well, this weekend, Paul pulled out all the tricks. He asked, "Do you want to sit and knit and I'll play a Japanese RPG?"

I paused. I tried to be nice and protested, "But you don't like Japanese RPGs." He said, "What is this Okami?"

I had to think about it. Where did I get Okami? I had wanted it. I knew that, but I had not felt justified in purchasing. Then, it hit me. "Bryan let me borrow it when I got the blood clot, only I sucked and never returned it. Oh, well, he's too busy nowadays anyway. No time for him to play video games." (Sorry, Bryan, I'll return it. I promise.) I paused and added, "It's supposed to be a critical favorite."

So, Paul started to play the game for me while I knit next to him. Helen's socks, which had been languishing and never growing, have now been knit to the first of the toes. Only, I'm stuck.

Sad Sock

I ran out of my first ball of yarn at the toe. I had been all prepared to buy a new skein of the sock yarn since I thought I would need a third to complete the sock, but to buy a skein to get two toes basically? That's a bit much. Do I try to find someone else online who has one fourth of a skein of Lorna's Laces in Douglas Fir? Do I simply buy a cheaper Knit Picks yarn in a coordinating color and finish the toes with that yarn? Do I buy another Lorna's Laces in a coordinating color and finish the toes with that yarn and then knit either Nathan or myself some socks with the remainder? Any opinions, guys? I really need to pick one of these options, only I am not sure which to pick. Until I pick one, I'm not making any headway on these socks, either. Sigh. Do you think this yarn would look good with a dark brown, an ecru, a sage green, or a pink? Either way, I've shelved this project until I get that yarn and that might not occur until Rhinebeck or beyond.

I also shelved my Slytherin scarf (ravelry) for now, perhaps. I think I want to work on it in the car on the way to Rhinebeck, if Christy drives.

What am I doing, then? Well, I bought some lovely dishcloth cotton.

Dishcloth Cotton Dishcloth Cotton

I'd like to make some Ballband Dishcloths. (Dishclothes?) I love knit dishcloths, as they do a fantastic job for wiping counters and cleaning floors, but I don't normally have the patience to knit them. I find knitting socks and scarves and tanks more rewarding. However, when I went to Joann's Fabric today, I felt like a total failure due to my fear of sewing. To bolster myself, I bought some yarn which I know I can bend to my will.

Lastly, check out my awesomely awesome (ie, crappy) sewing skills!


It's the headband cover I made for myself. Folks, I'm going to take some sewing classes. I think I might need to.

08 October 2008

Erk. Podcast Good. Casted Bad.

I love listening to all my knitting podcasts, but if I hear or read one more person use 'casted on' or 'casted off', I'm going to throw my iPod or shove my monitor off my desk.

The past tense of cast is cast. In other words, yesterday, I cast on for my Slytherin Scarf. I did not casted on.

(Also annoying, when people switch the words waste and waist in a blog post. It sounds disgusting and wrong when I read, 'Then I casted on yarn for the waste.')

Not that I'm judgmental. So, Podcast update!

I gave Doubleknit a try. I'm keeping it on my list for now, but I'm not too positive it'll stay in my subscribed section. It's a dialogue between two ladies. Both work at a yarn store if I'm listening correctly. They discuss knitting, books, and movies. Unfortunately, I'm not very interested in their book and movie discussions which is souring me on the podcast, as I find their knitting discussion very interesting. I don't get involved with knitting podcasts for movie reviews. If I find my taste overlap with the podcasters', I can forgive this. I do not have overlapping opinions with these podcasters.

Speaking of overlapping hobbies, opinions, and whatnot... SockTart! I spent a lot of time listening to Socks in the City several months ago, and I was loathe to let it go. The combination of that podcaster's overly enthusiastic voice and her very slow output of podcasts recently, however, encouraged me to drop it. I was fairly sad about the whole thing as I love to knit socks. Luckily, SockTart filled it's spot in my heart and then some. Maire plays World of Warcraft, quotes Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (Discworld) on her site, and has a nice calm voice. Win! Best of all, she highlights sock patterns I've never heard of and informs me about Sock Knitting News I'm interested in. Thanks to her, I joined Sock Knitters Anonymous on Ravelry. As I plan to buy massive amounts of sock yarn at Rhinebeck (what I consider massive anyway), I hope to compete in future Sock Knitters Anonymous events. With all that said, I did not like her only dialogue episode, but that was due to how off-track it got and the quality of the sound.

My latest listen is Knitter's Wading Pool. This is a cute podcast, from a single podcaster. Again, I reiterate, it's terribly cute. I'm just not sure it is for me. I feel that the questions she has and answers are fairly basic. I think this is the podcast I should have listened to when I started to knit. Those first few years when I feared knitting, this would have been ideal for me. I'm going to give it several more listens, but if you're a new knitter? Please check it out. This podcast will help explain things to you, and the podcaster has a lovely calm voice.

Lastly, Craft Mentality. I wanted to like this podcast, as I need a good sewing podcast to listen to now. This was not it. I, in fact, got angry while listening to the first podcast. This does not happen that often. It's a dialogue podcast between two individuals. I gave up on it almost immediately, and I don't regret this. This was partially a cooking podcast too, which helped me to drop it more quickly. While I love to bake and would listen to a baking or cupcake podcast, I have no time for cooking, that most hated of activities. To put it bluntly, I'd rather sweep the whole house and do all the laundry and clean the bathroom than make any dinner more complicated than "I followed the two steps on this easy mix meal box. Added water and brought it to a boil. Voila! Instant meal!"

So, what am I still listening to that is not mentioned above? Knit Picks Podcast (though it is on my shit list with all the damnable interviews), Stash and Burn (LOVE!), Knittingatnight, Manic Purl (LOVE ALSO!), and Pixie Purls. You might think to yourself, how can she listen to so many podcasts? I drive a LOT. I also listen to podcasts while I feed my baby. And while I clean. People, I'm listening to podcasts of D&D games that are being played. I listen to podcasts at least three hours a day.

04 October 2008

Lousy Blogger

So, it's been like a week since I last blogged. To be fair, I didn't have much to blog about. I have knit, but barely. I haven't really sewn. I've fake crafted.

What have I done? Well, I finished a pretty nice pair of Koigu anklets.

Socks for Talena

Aren't they cute? All it takes is one skein of Koigu to make anklets like these. Well, that's true if you have six feet anyway. It's not like one of those skeins is going to cover Paul's feet, even in anklet form. I'm ashamed to admit it, but my legs are really that white, by the way. I'm the palest person you know. It's as if the sun has never touched my skin. If you're thinking to yourself, "Go out and tan" right now -- STOP. I could sit out in the midday sun in the middle of July for about four hours without suntan lotion, and the odds of me getting any darker or burnt are very low. I've got really odd skin.

Now, you might think from the fact that I've got my feet into these anklets that I am keeping them. No, I'm not. My cousin Talena is very pregnant and she deserves a nice pair of warm anklets for the hospital or for the house in winter, if she'd like. My own knit anklets were the nicest thing to wear in the hospital after delivery. They were almost like slippers, but I could wear them comfortably in bed as well. I loved them. Plus, I like to knit for others and I do not really love the color of these socks as much as I should. Maybe if they had more green in them...

I've been thinking of making some cards because I've got some fairly pretty paper sitting around in my house from a card making kit.

Pretty Paper

I'm still not on it though. I know I need just one or two more items to make cards, but I don't have the energy right now.

What have I sewn? Sweet Jesus, all! In my efforts to imitate my new hero, Blair Waldorf, I've decided to wear more headbands. At first, I was like, 'This is brilliant', but then I remembered that headbands cost money. Even the cheap-o ones from my local supermarket. However, if I'm buying cloth anyway... I sewed a simple tube of green fabric tonight, turned it inside out and stuck it over the cheap black headband. Now, it is SUPER cute and green. I can do this with any leftover fabric I have too. I'm basically just making headband covers I can change out. Next step: wearing my hair down more. Next next step: losing weight so that I can comfortably wear dresses or skirts all the damned time. Paul would totally get behind this step and change in clothing style, I bet.

Lastly, back to knitting, I'm most of the way down a foot for Helen's socks (ravelry). Whee! They are taking forever, but will probably be one of my all-time best looking projects when completed.

In great news, I discovered my size seven 16-inch Addi Turbo circulars too. That means I can happily cast on my Slytherin scarf whenever I have a free moment (ie, never).