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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

I am not a bigot

I believe that crochet has a place in this world. I really do. I may even try it someday. I bought Deb Stollers book The Happy Hooker, and looked through it. I liked looking through it. (which is a good sign. Often with "crafty things" books, they get consigned to be sold on eBay or placed somewhere in the vicinity of the trash can, depending) What I am having trouble with is an idea that seems pervasive in the knit/crochet world now. That is the idea that all your knitting must be festooned with crochet. Or vice versa.

Hey - it looks great, don't get me wrong, but I see two problems.

Problem 1.) The knitters who do not crochet are not going to be able to make something they otherwise might love making/wearing.

Problem 2) The crocheters who do not knit are not going to be able to make something they otherwise might love making/wearing.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

AWWWWWW . . . Crud

I didn't make it. I tried, I knit my hands bald. I ripped and knit and ripped and knit. I didn't finish the sleeves. Damn. Oh Well. I am still an Olympian Knitter!

I think I would have finished if I had been working from a pattern. Since I wasn't I ripped as I kept having ideas. I did it though, I challenged myself. HAH! Not so cruddy after all.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

More KO or Going crazy the quick way . . .

Okay, Okay, on the main, my sweater is coming along well. The main problem is that (well, there are more than one) I design by the seat of my pants, so to speak, as my bum can't knit. This particular way of designing has benefits, but also serious drawbacks. Namely, ripping. Frogging. Or as I see it, total annihilation of 6 hours. On the good side, I am at the waist, on the bad side, I have been at the waist 3 times now. AAARGH! I still have the bottom and sleeves and any knitted flowers left to knit.

Another big problem is that other projects are calling to me. Damned sirens is what they are. (look at me, I am so beautiful, so deserving. What could be the harm in just casting me on? Oh how about another row? Hey look at that beautiful shrug in deco ribbon - that couldn't take too long, you started it before the olympics. How about just a few rows? Or what about that cropped cardi you are designing? Thats so soft . . . Knit in Moda Dea Dream thats just so fun. It's white and you know, white goes with everything. . . And you just bought that deco ribbon for the deco stardust tunic. You chose such cool colors. Deco Stardust ribbon in lapis blue for the top, and deco ribbon in scuba Dive for the bottom part. How useful will that be? I mean, it's almost spring here in TX. and you are knitting an alpaca sweater!!!

How about that wonderful sweater you were designing during the olympic opening ceremonies (before you figured out about the 7 hour time lapse between here and Torino) the one in Knitpicks Merino Style in color Tide Pool, such a cool turquoise and the fun of finding out that the merino style knits so great doubled and your idea of designing a sweater even fun fur haters can't hate (fun fur in citrus that goes just so charmingly, so tropicali, so springtime . . . or why aren't you finishing the Christmas (yes read that again, Christmas) presents.

Well, you gorgeous projects you SHUT UP! You just have to WAIT. It's only (gasp) 4 more days. Calm it - Will ya PLEASE!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

KO How it Goes

The KO is going well! There is a bit of a saga, as I DID have the sweater finished to under bust and then ripped the entire thing out because I hadn't had the most consistent gauge ( the baby alpaca needs a very consitent gauge or it looks, well, crooked.) The DH nearly had a cow.

I've got it done again to underarm. Yahoo... The only thing I am personally worried about is getting the knitted flowers done.

Another bonus is I've learned heaps about shaping, bust darts, etc. That the sweaters' BUST measurement doesn't have to be your bust measurement, but your rib cage measurement, that you can add fullness where fullness is needed - say tits - if you catch my drift. I wouldn't use this for anything but a dressy sweater but it certainly helps to know for designing.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

KO Day One

Well I stayed up last night to watch the opening ceremonies of the Olympics and the lighting of the flame. It was spectacular. Some of the dresses the women wore were a bit over the top, but all in all, pretty cool to watch.

I didn't cast on then because I was too tired. So I started casting on this morning. Then since I am designing my own, I changed my mind, and then changed my mind again. I have cast on this thing 5 times now. AAAAAAARGH!

I guess I am nervous. I am never nervous about knitting. Geez. I gotta get a grip.

Monday, February 06, 2006

 
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K.O.

I am so excited about the Knitting olympics I am finding it hard to concentrate on other projects right now.

I DID finish knitting the sweater on the cover of the new Vogue Knitting. (Shown Below) I knit it in Berroco Hip Hop, Blue and purple, and the stitch gauge is a bit bigger so if you use the Hip Hop, knit it down a size, or two. I do have to block the sleeves because (even though the instructions say not to) The lace pattern in the sleeves has no corresponding SSK to counteract the k2tog - so it biases. A lot. I am hoping Blocking will ease this bias. If I had been intelligent I would have noticed that this would bias and modified the lace.

I do Say there is a fair amount of good in this issue.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Knitting Olympics

Well, I added my name to the knitting olympics crowd. And WHAT a crowd! I almost felt guilty for submitting my name because Stephanie is working feverishly to get everybody's name up there on her blog with so many entries! Who Knew?

I'm going to knit a self-designed, neck down, raglan sweater in Baby Alpaca Grande (the orchid color) with red roses around the neckline, a fitted waist and a peplum. The Alpaca knits at 3 st. to the inch so I THINK I'll be able to finish the damned thing. I never seem to finish those knitting projects for myself so yes, it will be a challenge, although the actual sweater itself is simple. The roses 'round the neckline really ought to make the whole thing transform from mundane to wonderful. Maybe I'll add a puffed sleeve to the elbow, and rib to the wrist with a slight puff cuff as well. In any case I will post the pattern free when the thing is completed.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

YURG!!!!!!

Okay -so once again I haven't blogged for a while. Why? you ask? Oh Why THIS TIME? yeah, yeah, . . . Suzanne has a history of not blogging regularly . . . WHAT is her excuse this time?

Sick. That's what. Major nausea. Once again I didn't even feel like knitting, much less typing. I had a fever, extreme sleepiness, NAUSEA, more nausea, major aches nd pains. My frigging SKIN hurt. I didn't even want to be touched! OUCH! Even my wonderful painkillers for fibromyalgia didn't kill the pain or ease the fever. I ate acid reducers just so I could bear the nausea. I didn't eat for 6 days, and I'm still eating blandness. I look at real food, (NOT ANOTHER SALTINE - THANKS!) and drool, then think, well, my tummy just WON'T handle that well.

My advice - don't get this flu. Just sit down and have a long conversation with your body about it. Tell your body that it won't enjoy it at all. It's the most hellish - one of the worst flus I've had all season. It's bad - real bad. You wouldn't even like to flirt with it.

I had it for a week and a half and I still feel rather yukky.

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Double stranded

No, I am not ready to write about Morocco yet. I am still kinda whacked out from travel and simply do not want to discuss it.

I am knitting Ubernatural by Stephanie Japel. Actually I am knitting two. I am modifying the sleeves because my arms get cold. So they will be longer. Maybe have a frill on the cuff. I can NEVER follow a pattern - ever. I'm not sure if this is a good thing or not.

One of them is knitted of Peruvian Collection cuzco in red and the other is a double strand of Noro Silk Garden in the disc. Chartreuse, browns, pinks colorway. This was a very popular colorway evidently, (because once a colorway get too popular Noro seems to discontinue it, a good but frustrating policy) and I bought a ton of it to make the Not So Warm version of the Einstein coat, but it didn't happen. So I had all this silk garden in my stash. Lots and lots of it.

In any case its making a nice sweater. I like it better (the silk garden) double stranded. A word to the wise however, Matching the colors to make a double strand of a Noro yarn will make you a tad crazy. See you almost have to completely unwind a ball to find the right color match and then the repeats are soo long and gradual it's a major pain to get them to line up properly. Then the topper is this: When you have to join a new ball the end is always one of 6 different shades of mud. I am not knocking the mud shades. They are gorgeous. They are one of the points that make this particular colorway so lovely. But as I said, there are at least 6 of them.
I guess the way to double strand without losing your mind completely (a totally likely proposition, for me, anyway)is to strand it ball by ball as you go OR to match them all together before starting said project. If you do this you WILL have a giant ball of yarn in your knitting. space. But that's ok. It makes for interesting conversation - especially with non knitters.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

broken / a rant

Getting to Maroc. Qu'ell horreur! I have discovered that airlines have all gone downhill. All of them. Watch the TV show "Airline" for examples. There is little courtesy, little customer service, lots of waiting, incredible layovers, more incredible flight paths. The people in all countries seem to have lost any semblance of politeness (I cannot count how many people tried to run down my six - year old daughter in their haste) they push, shove and say incredibly rude things. They become antsy if because (for instance) my daughter (the aforementioned six year old) cannot move fast enough into her seat to suit them in their deep desire to get to the rear of the plane and store their overhead baggage. Christ. Maybe it was worse because of Christ anyway. We did travel during the Christmas season. (so much for joy and peace and goodwill)

This may sound self-pitying, but my body, due to the joys of fibromyalgia, feels broken. My body is broken. I want to cry. It hurts -physically,mentally, spritually. I feel useless. At Ch. De Gaulle airport - in a state of repair - I almost broke down. I wanted to be left on the runway to be run over by the next plane out. I almost begged. My body hurt, I was emotionally stressed and overly exhausted. When we arrived at our destination, I did cry. For about 2 hours. Then again in private, and then again 2 days later. My friends, who I thought I was travelling with, kept going on ahead of My daughter and I and I felt bereft. (Don't get me wrong, I love these friends dearly) You see there was this schedule and there was no room in said schedule for the young or the infirm. My husband valiantly put a foot out and that slowed them a tad.

I understand that a malady like fibro can be impossibly difficult to understand.(Maybe exercise would help) I don't understand it either. (Maybe exercise would help)The Frigging medical establishment doesn't understand it. (Maybe exercise would help)It's not fatal. You LOOK healthy. When your meds are working you seem healthy. It's a lie. Your body is broken. I can't unfold my body or fold it up if I have been sitting/standing for a period of time. Said sitting or standing may feel physically unbearable after oh - ten minutes, but changing your position takes a long time. (You sit or strighten one spinal disc at a time.) Unfortunately I discovered (again) that in this world of hustle bustle people simply do not have the time to wait. Oh and in case you were wondering ,exercise DOES NOT help, A little bit - yes, but anything beyond that makes IT WORSE. (The excercise thing really drives me nuts. It's all I ever hear. Do you excercise? Get some excercise. Excercise ought to help that! )

A Word to those travelling with disabilites. Take your time. If the trip is long BREAK IT UP into small pieces you can handle. Don't overdo it or there will be payback. Stay overnight at a flight change. It will cost more. Too bad. The cost is nothing caompared to the feelings of devastation you may experience. Save up an extra year if need be. Above All TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!

In spite of all my moaning and groaning of this day, people, I do love you. Funny, that I should feel this when I hurt most. But really I do. Take care of yourselves. Be good to your family. Love one another. Please, let's make this world more bearable, even for those young or strong enought to bear it well already.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Back from Maroc

Oi yoi yoi. Jet Lag Day. I am tired. But I am here. I begged to be let off the airplane at Ch. De Gaulle airport and left on the runway on the way TO Maroc, nd the flight home was not much more fun.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Time for Knitting Hell!

I still think about my kitty and I'm still so sad. I keep expecting to see him lying on the sofa here and blinking his eyes at me. (We used to do that to each other, squeeze our eyes shut at each other. It means "Mmmmmmmmmm! I love you" Or something like that in CAT. Try it. Your cat might squeeze his eyes back at you, Probably while thinking in the back of his/her mind . . .Why did it take so long for the large one to finally understand the eye squeeze? Geesh these humans are slow sometimes . . .)

And now hell knitting. - Means Start Knitting All Those Christmas Presents Now (the ones you SWORE up and down you'd start in Sept.) Until Your Fingers Fall Off.

Luckily for me - I have an extra month. I will be away from Dec.9 to Dec.26. I am going to Morroco with my Morrocan friend, Nezha, (The best friend ever) and her hubby over the holidays. We are holding our belated Christmas celebration (hey - I've got a five year old. Try telling your five year old "we are having no Christmas this year because we will be far away. Goes over like a lead ballooon. If you haven't got a little kiddo to try this one on, borrow someone elses. I dare you. The response will be . . . not exactly thrilling but loud, in any case. Sorta like a bad action film)

SO On Jan. 28. Yeah we'll have turkey and candied sweet potatoes and PIE and all that stuff, Saskias (my daughter) best friend and her Mum and Dad are coming too. Also The infamous Nezha and her hubby. I think the theme will be PJ day! Everybody come in PJ's. We will listen to music, lounge around, watch silly videos, lounge around, open presents, lounge around, eat, and lounge around, in short - all the wonderful things about a party without having to stand around looking swank, or even sittting down, looking swank, PJ MEANS NOT HAVING TO DRESS UP! No poring over the closet "Oh what shall I wear? . . . Will I look chic enough?" I'll just throw a bunch of cushy pillows everywhere for more luxurious lounging. ( I will of course knit. If I do not knit I do not relax.) Hey if it's PJ Day you don't even have to brush your hair! (Tooth brushings please) HAH PJ christmas it is!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

The Kitty

My most wonderful, loving cat, Buda, died yeserday at 5:45 PM. He was a seal point Siamese, and probably the only cat ever who would bump his forehead/top of head into your lips to get a kiss.

He died here at home. I held him and cared for him up until the end. Hospice is a lot of work. He lost control of his bladder on Fri and slept on hospital pads. So those needed lots of changing. I'd lie with him in my arms, not resting because this kind of care takes vigilance, but to let him know I loved him very much. He had the smells of me and my daughter and my husband right to the end. He quietly stopped breathing, after a few ragged breaths, then he twitched a bit and that was it. i think he was really gone long before his body finally shut down.

About half an hour later, after my hubby had buried him in the yard, next to HIS favorite cat (wife) my daughter broke into tears. It had finally hit her and it hit her like a ton of bricks. She cried hard for a good long time until we began reminiscing about all the wonderful things about Buda. (BUE-DA)

I felt exhausted. After all I did keep vigil for all of yesterday and almost all of 5 days beforehand. I watched and cuddled and watched and waited.

To Buda, and all the "Best Cats in the World" who have passed. Much Love to all of you. You made your owners happy just by existing.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

No Blogging for awhile????

I feel so guilty!

I have been knitting up a storm. Starting new projects, and even finishing some!

The weather here in TX ha been ungodly warm, so I haven't been able to wear my items. Poo! BUT a nice cold front is moving in so I AM HAPPY! Those of you who are sick of cold weather already, I am sorry but I have to say - I enjoy it.

I will post pix of WIP and UFOs very soon!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Organization

I've hired someone to help organize my yarn stash. She's not a knitter and is amazed at ALL THE YARN. I told her many knitters have larger stashes than my own and she almost fell over!

In any case we're about 3/4 the way done. Yahoooooo! All the balls of the same yarns are together! Happy Dance! This means I can actually find the yarn for a project and know how much of it I have. What a relief! I'll know if I need to get more or of thats not possible - design a striped sweater instead. What a great feeling.

I have a large walk in closet. If we lived in NY I could probably rent it for about 1000 dollars a month as a kitchenless apartment. Now I have my clothes sorted in there and my yarn!

Lets not talk about the yarn in the living room please. You'll crush my mood.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Okay! Designers/yarn dyers/ Spinners!!!!!!!

As stated earlier I am opening a business - Don't panic, it's in the baby stages. It will debut next year. Think about it. Do you design knitwear and haven't hooked up with a company that will sell your designs? Do you have a couple of really great designs you made up on your shelf? Do you want to make some extra cold hard cash doing something you adore and probably do anyway? This is not a magazine. It is a for profit store.

i AM SENDING OUT A CALL FOR DESIGNERS, JEWELRY MAKERS, DYERS, AND SPINNERS.

Write me at zarismuse@netscape.net if you want an info package. Please wait up to 2 weeks for delivery!

This is an exciting opportunity. I am looking for designs from hip to haute couture.
Babies, kids, guys, ladies, toys, pillows, purses, slippers and shoes. YES! Shoes!!!!! Amples and petites I want your stuff too!

Design whatever you like!

Jewelry people! Brooches, shawl pins, knitting needles!

Dyers! YARN!!!!

Spinners! YARN!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

I am starting a

wonderful sweater from the 2nd tricoter book, Handknit Style .The sweater is The Short Story, Pullover Shrug. It's knit in kidsilk haze, and I love this yarn. Soo soft and frothy.

I am also starting my hubbys Christmas sweater, knit in Decadence in Chocolate and Panache in cinnamon. I am calling it the chocolate sweater. It looks like dark chocolate with a sprinkling of milk chocolate. yummy. These Knitpicks yarns are really very good quality. I am happy that I don't have to search the web for sales as much to knit a sweater with great, soft yarns for under 100 dollars.

It will be a zippy cardi - ribbed. All the dark chocolate color with stripes of the cinnamon. His chest is 38 inches, lucky me- but his shoulders are very wide. He wears a 44 jacket.

I've really got to get out my camera and take pix of these projects for y'all. I know you like pix.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Dyeing

Well this weekend we are going to do some yarn dyeing. I bought 10 skeins of "Dye your Own" from Knitpicks. I think it costs 3.00 per skein for 200 + yards. Hubby bought me galleoons of Kool Aide from the local supermarket and I think we will have a ball. Hee Hee - pun intended. The only glitch will come if Mr. Postman doesn't see fit to deliver the package. He's kinda cranky that way. In any case I have some green yarn (Christmas green) Colinette "Skye" and I think I'll add some Blues and yellows to that so that it doesn't look like a wall of lawn when knit up. Instead it will have some chartreuse and Blue green in it as well. I do love green yarn.

I have a super jacket design (mine) that I'll make a prototype for. The main jacket will be knit from Muench "Touch Me" and Rowan "Kidsilk Haze" in silver and that stuff is so expensive that I believe a prototype is called for. For the kid mohair I will use CPY "Kid Merino"

That "Kid Merino" is great stuff. SOOOOO soft and MUCH less costly than "kidsilk haze" or "Douceur et Soie"

Making a protype is also good for pattern checking. (No wonky patterns here).

Now I have an observation/gripe. Often people slam "craft store" yarns because in the past the quality was not up to snuff. I have noticed that the not only has the quality of these yarns increased, but they seem to be runs from the same mills that sell to more costly yarn companies like say - Gedifra or Classic Elite. (Yeah a lot of these yarns seem to be from European runs. Patons "pooch" for example, is nearly identical fiber content etc. except for the dyework to some superbly expensive European yarns) These high end yarns also have more acrylic content in them than they used to, and something like Lion Brand "wool ease" sells for 2.99 a ball and has 25% wool content. A similar yarn by an "repectable" company with the same wool content and feel will sell for twice that! And it gets more respect from yarn snobs as well! (Being a former yarn snob myself I feel I can make that point without slamming anyone.) I guess as a recovering yarn snob, i feel a need to point out that taking a look and buying a "craft store" yarn is not in any way shameful! Make that sweater out of "Wool Ease" and love it to death! Hey - Barneys of New York uses Lion brand as one of their mills and they are not exactly, umm, bargain basement.

Don't forget to look at Jo Ann fabric Stores and Hobby Lobby as well. They have their own home yarn lines and they are pretty good too. They also appear to be from Good mills too.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

In Love with Lace

Yes, I admit, I love lace. It is fascinating. It is WAY better than endless miles of stockinette, Cables are so easy, I usually make them up as I go. But now Lace! it is an endless surprise as you knit it. I also find that it too is easy in most cases.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Okay

I am a heretic, I know it.

When I unravel a sweater to reuse the yarn (I've lost 90 lbs [bad meds] and most of the projects I have languishing from last winter are enormous), do I wash the yarn to remove all the crinkles? No, I don't. I just re-knit that yarn crinkles and all.

It doesn't hurt it and after wet blocking any crinkles that would show disappear. HAH!

I am currently puzzling out the PERFECT design for a knitted, felted handbag. I have Noro Kureyaon in color 95 and want the perfect bag, with a zipper and structure, you know, so its REALLY chic and safe and usable.

Usually I design by the seat of my pants - so to speak, (as my behind can't knit) by adding and subtracting ideas as I knit the garment (lots of crinkly yarn sometimes) and making copious notes as I go along. But for this bag I really need a plan. I'm going to peruse Ghees the handbag maven, for ideas.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Oh Yeah

I am going to start a knit pattern for sale business featuring my designs, and designs by other hip and not so hip knitters. I want a lot of variety and creativity. The patterns will be sold online for between 5 - 10.00 depending on complexity. Please - if you are a designer and you are interested, leave me a comment and I will get back to you.

I can even photog your garments for you if you haven't got the shutter bug or a suitable model.

Patterns should be original blah blah blah, and interesting with a variety of techniques, lace, fair isle, intarsia, cabling and etc. I love very simple patterns that give lovely results!

SO leave a comment and I'll get back to you!

So . . .

My psych asks me how many hours per day I spend knitting. I think awhile and reply "Oh, about 6" (Now for those of you out ther who are writhing in envy, let me remind you that this great and wonderful amount of time that I have has a thorn, a very big one, more like a telephone pole sharpened on one end - pointing into my side. I have fibromyalgia, (constant aches and pain all over my body - like the worst flu you have ever had - and nothing but strong , major meds will make it stop,lortab for you nosy parkers out there) possible bursitis in my hip joints, I need x rays on my back because I have facitis and a broken coccyx and no I am not 90 - I AM ONLY 44!!!!)

Back to the 6 hours of knitting. Even with that much time I hate driving to his office because it cuts into my knitting time. I hate going to the doctors for whatever reason ( I have a place on my toe that has hurt for 6 months now) and will I go? No, because it cuts into my knitting time. I don't really like to go shopping because it cuts into my knitting time. I only use my computer for about 20 minutes at a time because it cuts into my knitting time. In short it feels like everything cuts into my knitting time. I don't think this can be cured. I don't want it cured.

I remember at art school one of the professors said to us (when we were on a field trip to DC and in the National Gallery at the time) that he really was having a nice time, but all this was cutting into his painting time. From this I can gather that when someone has a craft they love they don't want to be bothered by anything else.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Oh yeah

I forgot to mention the part where he just cannot understand, when I have a closetfull, and now a living room full of yarn and 4936 projects (all in various states of "doneness") started - why in the world would I need to buy more yarn? For another project?????? His mind reels because he - mr. smartypants himself - yes - he who has a disgustingly huge IQ, graduated magna cum laude in biochemistry from Yale, and got perfect scores on all his SAT's - and his GSAT's (for graduate school - sorry I cannot remember the correct acronym for this) just CANNOT GET HIS MIND AROUND THIS!!!

Funny isn't it? I mean not that I'm stupid, my IQ is quite nicely above average (132 boast boast) and I graduated from one of the top art schools in the country with a 98.6 GPA (more boastful chest swelling) but interesting how this guy picked himself out a wife who had qualities (spirituality, dreaminess, artsy fartsy and KNITTING) that he just will never really be able to WRAP HIS MIND around~~~~

OH sure he gets the art thing, and really gets it. His mom was a phd in art history (gasp - from HARVARD) and he's a musician. But this knitting thing really has him whirling.

Maybe I should mention those 366 saxophones, or his quest
(with endless discussion) [imagine for a moment - if you will, the glassy eyed stare if I had an hour and a half discussion with him on the qualities and beauty of the moss stitch] for the perfect mouthpiece. Nah, I know it wouldn't work.