Thursday, December 29, 2005

fucking cool

knitted graffiti. fucking cool. i'm in awe of these women.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

the christmas miracle scarf and matching hat were a hit!

we had a very nice christmas. travis' cousin really seemed to like the seed stitch keyhole scarf and matching hat that i made for her. she even said she loved the seed stitch pattern and the color. everyone oohed and aahed over them, and it was a very satisfying reward for my efforts.

here's me modeling the finished product. i'm going to have to find a new model, i'm sick of looking at pictures of myself!

oh, i forgot to mention -- i did block the hat and scarf and i really like the results. it made a huge difference on the linen/acrylic blend yarn. so now i'm convinced that blocking is definitely not just for wool. thanks to everyone who gave me lowdown on blocking.

the receiving end of things also went well. we received fewer gifts this year, which is a very good thing, and they were all very thoughtful. i got the knitting book i wanted! i also got this freaky little "20Q" toy... has anyone tried that? it's just a cheap handheld toy that plays 20 questions with you and guesses what you are thinking. it's so good at it that it freaks me out. it's kind of addicting -- we played it the whole way home from pennsylvania.

although i had planned on taking a break from knitting after christmas, i couldn't wait to try out my new knitting book. i started on some legwarmers in an eyelet pattern for my friend cameron. i'm using some blue red heart supersaver that i have leftover from the long striped scarf i made travis. so at least it's a break for my wallet, if not my hands.

Friday, December 23, 2005

weird tank top thingy revisited

i promised a pic of the weird tank top thingy the next time i wore it -- well, today is the next time i wore it.

i "designed" it to be worn with this jacket. you can't really tell in the picture, but the green yarn has a bit of the same shade of pink as the jacket.

don't i look all clean and freshly scrubed? i had just gotten out of the shower this morning when i got travis to take the picture.

the rest of my outfit for today, in case you are interested, consists of:

~kasper jacket from filene's basement
~tommy hilfiger jeans from filene's basement
~american apparel long sleeve tee
~old (12+ years) anne klein II necklace
~14 gauge stainless steel captive bead ring earrings (i never take them off)
~pink vegan "ugg" type boots from earth shoes (not visible)

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

i finished knitting the christmas miracle scarf!

tonight i am going to attempt to block it, and then i have to weave in the yarn ends and i'm done.

meanwhile, since i have a few days before christmas and almost an entire skein of yarn left over, i'm making a matching seed stitch hat to go with it. i have about an inch and a half done so far. i'm not going to worry about blocking the hat, so if i don't finish it until sunday morning, that will be fine. yay! i can finally stop stressing about knitting this christmas present and start enjoying the holidays.

Friday, December 16, 2005

my knitting guardian angel

i guess i must have good knitting karma after all. yesterday morning my knitting (the seed stitch scarf that needs to be done by christmas) fell out of my messenger bag as i walked to the metro. of course i didn't realize this until i noticed it wasn't in my bag, and then had travis check at home for it when he got home in the evening. by then, we were getting a couple of inches of freezing rain and my poor knitting had been outside for over 8 hours!

i was so upset because i've already put so much work into the scarf, and if it were lost, there was no way i could get it done by christmas.

i knew it was in a plastic bag and that it must have fallen out of my messenger bag near the house, but travis swore he hadn't seen it on the sidewalk on his way home. sympathetic to my desperation, he went back outside in the rain to check again as i sat in my office stressing out and waiting for him to call me back. well, thanks to my knitting guardian angel, he found it!! someone must have picked it up off the sidewalk near my house and tied the plastic bag to our neighbor's chain link fence. inside the plastic bag the partially finished scarf and yarn were just fine!! i can't believe how lucky i am. today i'm putting up a sign outside thanking whoever did it, and asking her to stop by my house if she gets a chance so that i can buy her a drink or something to thank her.

Monday, December 12, 2005

switching gears

after a sleepless night saturday night stressing about the cookies 'n creme poncho, i decided to make travis' cousin a scarf instead. i just am not at all confident that she will like it, and i've put too much time and money into it to not feel good about giving it to her. i personally like it, but it's pretty funky-looking. it's definitely not something that would appeal to everyone, and it's no fun to knit for someone unless you have some minimal level of confidence that she will like it.

on top of that, it's stressing me out because i need to buy more yarn to finish the poncho (i've already spent more on it than the secret santa rules allow) and christmas is less than two weeks away (keep in mind it has taken me three weeks to get halfway done). knitting is supposed to be fun, not something i stay up all night worrying about. so i've put it aside, and i'll finish it when i get the time.

meanwhile, i'm about one third done with the scarf and it's really pretty. i'm using the cream stylecraft "linen-look" yarn that i bought in san francisco from my yarn stash. it looks and feels like a linen/wool blend but is vegan. i'm making a short "keyhole" scarf in a seed stitch pattern. if i have enough time and yarn when i'm done with the scarf, i'll make her a matching hat like the seed stitch hat i made for myself. i feel much better about the gift now -- it's conservative yet feminine, pretty yet practical, and i feel like it's the kind of thing that any woman would like.

Friday, December 09, 2005

can someone explain blocking to me?

i thought only wool projects need to be blocked, but after surfing other blogs it seems like people block non-wool. should i be blocking finished objects that are made from plant and synthetic yarns? what about this poncho i'm making that is a mishmash of cotton, bamboo, soy, AND acrylic -- including some yarns that are "dry clean only"?

if i should be blocking vegan yarns, how do i do that?

any advice on blocking vegan yarn (or not blocking it) would be greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

snowman christmas tree ornament

i keep thinking of non-knitting craft projects i want to do to procrastinate from working on my poncho. last night i made this snowman christmas tree ornament as a hostess gift for a tree trimming party we are invited to:

i made it entirely out of scraps -- scraps of white, black, and blue/yellow/green yarn, orange thread from an old sewing repair kit that i got free from a hotel, and scrap cardboard. the "snowballs" are made by wrapping white yarn around circular pieces of cardboard. then i embroidered the buttons, eyes, and carrot nose. finally, i knitted him a little scarf and sewed the whole thing together.

since i didn't have any small knitting needles, to knit the mini-scarf i used bamboo skewers, which i sanded and rubbed on wax paper to smooth them. not an ideal solution for sure, but good enough for government work, as i always say.

i must have been inspired to make a snowman by the beautiful scene i woke up to yesterday morning, after the first snowfall of the season. this is what my street looked like when i walked to the metro yesterday morning.

our house is the closest one on the right. if you want to see more pretty pictures i took on my walk to the metro, check out the full set on my flickr page.

i guess i'm doing a series of photos of my morning walk to the takoma metro during different seasons. there's a set from fall, and now i've started one for winter.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

starbucks challenge

this has nothing to do with knitting, but it does have to do with being vegan...

siel at green LA girl has been doing a great job of challenging starbucks to live up to its promise to french-press a cup of fair trade coffee for anyone who wants it. please check out this letter to starbucks and consider signing on.

i haven't been participating in the challenge because i am lucky to have access to independent cafes that serve fair trade organic coffee, and i'd rather patronize them than starbucks even if starbucks did serve fair trade coffee. but if you live in an area where starbucks and other chains have a near monopoly, please consider joining the challenge. it's easy! all you have to do is go into starbucks and ask them to french-press a cup of fair trade coffee for you, and then report the results.

Friday, December 02, 2005


i've had to rip several inches of the poncho and several hours of work, about to where i started knitting at the cpr class. i guess that's what i get for not giving the class my full attention. but i swear, i know how to do cpr: check, call, care! ... "annie, annie, are you ok?!" ... ABC (airway, breathing, circulation)! ... look, listen, feel for signs of respiration! ... rescue breathing is 1 breath every 5 seconds! ... cpr is 15 compressions (at a rate of about 100 per minute) to 2 breaths! ...

now can i have some good knitting karma?

on a happier note, i've gotten a lot of compliments when wearing my seed stitch hat and several of my friends want me to teach them to knit. i'm excited for vegan stitch 'n bitch on sunday and hopefully i'll get a lot done on the poncho this weekend.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

knitting is only for old ladies

i had a funny exchange last night while knitting in public. i waiting for my cpr class to begin and was having a conversation with a gentleman in his fifties about how neither of us act our age. (i'm 34, by the way.) he said "but you are acting older than your age by knitting!" i told him that actually, knitting is very hip with the younger generation these days. he cracked up as if i had told him that top hats were back in style. he kept laughing and laughing and saying things like: "oh yeah right, i'm sure a lot of young folks are knitting these days" and "who are you trying to convince?" i just smiled and warned him, "you are showing your age, if you don't know that knitting is hip now. not that i particularly care whether it is hip or not."

he kept it up, laughing and making fun of me, for literally about 2 minutes, which is a long time to sit there laughing at someone! he thought it was the funniest thing he had ever heard, that i would try to claim that knitting was hip. i just sat there smirking and let him have his fun.

if i ever start arguing with someone 20 years younger than me over what is hip, that's when i know i'm over the hill and it's time to retire to the porch rocking chair to shake my cane at all the young whippersnappers.

p.s. i'm about a quarter done with the cookies 'n creme poncho. i got a lot done during cpr class, but don't worry, it was just an annual re-certification. this is the fourth year in a row i've taken the class and i know the material inside and out even without devoting 100% of my attention to the class.