Sunday, July 29, 2007

Off week?

Everybody seems to be just a bit off this week. I just stopped by to read one of my favorite blogs, the Panopticon and found that Franklin's not 'feeling the love', or at least not the way he really needs it. This makes me sad. I've actually met Franklin, and he's awesome! I met him at the first 1000 Knitters shoot, I was #25! (how special). Here's a picture of us.

He made me feel super comfortable right off the bat, and was uber-sweet. He just chatted away with you as you knitted. He said he wanted it to be just like I was sitting with my Sn'B group chatting and knitting along.. and it really was! That man has talent I tell ya! A knitter, cartoonist, writer and photographer to boot - man, I'm jealous. It makes me sad that there isn't someone special that has noticed and appreciates his talents. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for him.

Later, I downloaded the most recent episode of Cast-on (a fav. podcast of mine), heard that Brenda was missing her podcasting mojo! And the Yarn Harlot is all up in arms about not having enough personal time.. Sheesh. Seems like everybody's having a bit of a week here. I hope it all improves for them.

My week, well it's crazy in it's own way because M's on his way to Charleston - without me. :( His new school begins in a couple of weeks, and I am staying here to work, and continue bringing in some sort of income. That's the part that makes me sad about leaving. I really do love both of my jobs, and all the people I work with. I'll miss them more than the city itself. But it's nice to know that although I can't take my jobs with me, I can take the friendships I've made. As soon as the house sells, I'll be heading down to join him.

It's the first time since we've been married that we've been apart for any length of time. We did live 2 hours apart while we were dating, but this is different. It'll be interesting to see how it goes, and it'll be a good test. During the summers, his school sets up an internship for him somewhere in the country, that specializes in his trade, so I may be without him again for a few months. We'll have to see how it goes. Keep your fingerst crossed for us! :)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Lions and tigers and bears! Oh my!

The heading should actually read.. Bunnies or bears or giraffe's? Oh my!

My brother and sister-in-law are having a baby in August, and I am torn between what I really want to make them. (They don't read this blog, so I'm ok) My struggle is between what animal, and how it should be made - sewn or crocheted.

It began with an idea, long before they were pregnant or even married, back when my mother passed away in '02. Going through her closet, there were so many of her dresses and scarves and things that I just couldn't part with, but at the same time, didn't have any idea what to do with them. I donated many of them, gave others away to my mother-in-law and friends and family members, but there were still those certain pieces that, to me, were just the essence of my mother. Pieces that if I closed my eyes and pictured my mother, that's what I saw her wearing. So I took the clothing, and not knowing what I was going to do with them, packed them all into a box, or two, and stored them away.

Finally, I had a wonderful revelation - I would make baby quilts! Four of them, one for each brother, and one for myself, for when each of us had children. It would be for our first-borns. I had only gotten married in the year following my mother's death, so this seem do-able, as my older brothers married the next year, and the year after that, leaving me pleanty of time to make these blankets.

There was only one small problem... I'm not a quilter. The fact that I made a quilt, years ago, as a teenager, gave me the confidence to pick it up - given a bit of time and dedication. But as we all know, life happens, and I never got around to it, and the boxes of fabric followed me from Louisville, to Chicago and finally here to Homewood. I have accepted the fact that there is no way I will ever make one baby quilt, much less four, despite all my great intentions, and redesigned my idea into a patchwork teddy bear, or bunny perhaps. In the meantime, I learned to knit, became a better crocheter and found the world of Amigurumi. And after making a few softies for my friends children, I knew, that in a pinch, I could crochet a softie that I would also deem worthy of giving to my first niece or nephew. Hence my struggle begins...

I desperately want to make a patchwork softie out of my mother's fabric to give to the first of the Tamburro babies. So I've been looking for patchwork bunny or bear patterns that I like and not finding many. Then a friend suggested I just make a patchwork squares or patchwork strips of "fabric" and then trace a design out of that, and I love this idea! So I then asked my brother how they were decorating the nursery, to give me a better idea of bear or rabbit, since they're not finding out boy or girl. He tells me green and yellows and ... giraffes. A giraffe! What a great idea! I could crochet a giraffe pretty easily, and even make up the pattern on my own! Hrm.. what to do.

I went to Flickr to give me some ideas, and in my searches, I found my absolute favorite giraffe - (All her softies are gorgeous). I love the simplicity of it, and the fabric is awesome, but I don't have a pattern for it, and I'm also questioning my skills because I want this to be just perfect. I have a teddy bear pattern that I like, but I'm just not in love with it. Then the idea of a crochet giraffe seems easy and doable, especially in the time I have remaining, but that's taking away from the whole fabric idea. *sigh*
Bunnies or bears or giraffes? Oh my!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Incipio Bud to the rescue!

Do you ever have one of those days where you run home to see if your package came? Well today was one of those days and it came!!! YEAH! I got my IncipioBud! To understand my excitement, you have to hear a small tale of woe. It started when I put my foot down in the wrong place and landed on my ipod shuffle docking station. To my chagrin, the result was that the headset prong, (which protrudes straight up from the dock) snapped off. ARRRRGGGG! (not to mention ouch!) This meant I could no longer download, change or recharge my shuffle. It was pretty much rendered useless. So, I went on to find a replacement dock. ... IT'S $30!!!! That's almost half the price of the shuffle itself! I was outraged. So, after calming down a bit, I did some surfing online, and found the best thing ever!!! It's the Incipiobud!

It was under $9, (included shipping) and it ROCKS! I truly like it better than the original dock - it's smaller, you don't have to worry about a cord getting in your way, it fits in your pocket, or purse, or your case or almost anywhere, and it doesn't take up any more/less room than the other USB port-thingy when on your computer, and because of they way it's shaped, I'm not worried about snapping off the end like I did on my other dock. It was an agonizing wait, but it's over now. To tell you the truth, I ordered it on Tuesday late afternoon and got it this morning - that's really no wait in my book, I'm just impatient. I'll admit something else here. This is actually my second one. I lost the first one because I was carrying it around so much... so I guess there is one downfall - if you're as absentminded as I am you may loose it somewhere. But on the other hand, I can order 3 of these things and STILL not pay as much as they charge from Apple. Yea! Anyway, I'm going to go listen to my ipod now. yea. If you want one, you can get one here.

Friday, July 13, 2007

First Real Sock

I'm so proud! I'm knitting my fist ever toe-up sock! I've knit a sock before, but only one. Yes, that's right - I was sucked in by the single-sock-syndrome. But I'm not even sure if it counts because it was top-down and done when I first started knitting two years ago, to teach myself how to use dpn's. I had chosen a simple cheap acrylic yarn, that was colorful, and therefore easy to follow the stitches that were supposed to be on my needles - and it didn't turn out badly. I can't even remember where I got the pattern, or anything about turning the heel. For some reason, that sock and I just didn't connect. Perhaps that's why I never finished the second. I'm doubting there will be any problems in finishing with this one!

The pattern is from my pattern-a-day calendar, and is called Wyvern Women's socks. I will admit, I started the toe about three times before finally moving onward to the pattern. My first attempt turned out well, and was pretty focused. I learned how to do a provisional cast on through knitting help and then figured out how to do the short row shaping with a little help from knitty's sock article. Then I decided that well, I might as well start the other toe from the other end of the yarn, that way I'd have both toes done and remember how to do it. But the second toe wasn't turning out so well.. see here?

One toe is definitely smaller than the other. It wasn't shaping up right! i was doing something wrong. So I started to tink back.. and then rip back the 1st toe to see what I had done. Finally I just had to frog both toes and start over. Ah well. The third time went really well, and It'll make doing the forth even better right? Here's where I am now... it's looking pretty good eh!?

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Rivel Ravelry

This is good, but so bad! To my surprise, I just got invited to join Ravelry - and it's soo cool! You get to put in all your fiber information - patterns, needles, yarn... what you're working on, what you want to be working on, what you've done.. the works. I'd equate it to an online knitting/crocheting notebook or diary, mixed with My Space/Friendster and Flickr. The bad part is, it is so fun to play with and update that I'm not doing all the things I'm supposed to for the move. I was diligently working on bills and packing and cleaning, and then was distracted by the email notice with my invitation. I think what makes it a bit worse is that I just started playing with this blog - another distraction from what I'm supposed to be doing. Now all I want to do is take pictures of all my completed projects and post them.
Why is it that you can find so many distraction to keep you from what you really should be doing. *sigh*
ah-yup - off to be good.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Begin at the beginning

...or in the middle, or perhaps at the end. It all depends on how you look at it. I'm beginning a new phase of my life with my hubby M. We're embarking on a journey across the country to Charleston SC. I'm excited. And a bit nervous... and excited... and still nervous, but it'll all work out in the end. Sometimes you have to go somewhere else to find where you need to be, and right now, M needs to be in Charleston - or at least by Aug. 1st. He's going back to school to learn ornamental plastering at The American College for Building Arts. It's an amazing school that teaches you different trades the traditional way. I'm going to follow once the house sells. Anybody wanna buy a house in Home-sweet-Homewood IL? 4 bdrm, 2.5 bath and a great kitchen!!

In the meantime I knit or crochet. It's my crafty habit that keeps my mind from wandering into that room in my brain full of problems that can't be solved. It's a matter of redirecting my thought process to let the brain figure out what it needs to.

Currently I'm crocheting, and working on my first hyperbolic crochet piece. It's pretty cool. The Institute For Figuring is putting together a hyperbolic coral reef out of crochet, and they had a workshop with Margaret Wertheim, and she taught us how to create the hyperbolic forms that look like parts of the Great Barrier Reef. Loopy Yarns had donated some yarn that we were using to learn, and then I added some of my own that I got from Sister Arts Studio. So, mine is part
Lambs Pride ( turquoise ), part Cascade 220 (the brown/green heather) and the fringe is Madil bamboo.

Previously, the Madi bamboo yarn had been fighting with me on what it wanted to be. First I tried a tank top, but the colorway came out looking too much like cammo-gear. Then I was thinking sock, and was in the midst of learning how to make a short row toe-up sock, when I went to the workshop and found that what it really wanted to be was the edging to my hyperbolic coral reef! Sometimes, you just have to listen to the yarn.