Saturday, December 18, 2010

Gifts 101

Ah, tis the season to be knitting Christmas gifts. Or, in my case, New Year's gifts.

I find that I start going into nervous meltdowns if I start knitting Christmas gifts for people. I either start them too late, get distratcted, or am unable to find the time to finish them.

This is why I usually shy away from knitting presents for my friends, unless someone has given me a specific request. My neighbor from downstairs has given me a good one: she wants a draft stopper in the shape of a caterpillar. Gonna be fun trying to figure that one out...

I've also started knitting a lace scarf for one of my coworkers.
the scarf is the "strangling vine" lace scarf pattern by Nicole Hindes. I love the lace, but the sticker shock from the Handmaiden Seasilk she used gave me a small anneurism.

Instead of the handmaiden seasilk, I used Cascade yarns Pastaza, which I'm starting to regret. The yarn is nice and warm, but ITCHY. 

Something I love doing this time of year is crocheting lace snowflakes. They're quick, relatively easy, and just something I can do while watching netfilx on a cold evening.

They take me an hour (instead of a week) and give me the instant gratification that I so often crave when working on a project. I'll tie little notes to each one and send them out with Christmas Cards or attach them to presents. So dang awesome!

Now to figure out how to knit a giant caterpillar that will keep the draft out...hmmm....

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Hoo, where to begin...

Firsties, making good progress on the socks. Finished one, just started the heel on the other. Boyfriend tried on the finished sock, it fits pretty well although, as I kinda feared, the foot is a touch short. Also, I'm a bit nervous about if I have enough yarn...if all else fails, Boyfriend will just have to deal with a sock that has a different color toe.

socks so far:

I have the great privilege to work at Harborview Medical Center, in the cafeteria. I won't lie, the work can sometimes be incredibly frustrating (like when a customer spills ranch dressing all over the salad bar I just spent a half-hour getting clean and organized) and rushed (there is nothing quite like trying to refill soup when all of the radiologists decide that they want chowder at the exact same time), but the benefits (both monetary and otherwise) are great. One of the greatest joys a person can ever experience is witnessing a person healing, getting better day after day, coming to see you and giving updates as to how they are doing, and simply being a positive impact on that patient's experience.

With that being said, Harborview Medical Center is a great place to work....for the most part.


Tonight seemed like a typical Sunday night. I was working the hot line next to the grill cook, keeping the area clean and such. We closed on time, got as much as we could in order for the next day. Until.



I had to restock my beverage cart.

This task is usually nothing special: I just wheel the cart into our back pantry and refill the mountain dew and gatorade so we can have easy access to it tomorow. I did so, as usual, but there was something definately not right...I bumped the door on my way in, and it shut behind me. No big deal,  that's happened before. The door is always unlocked before the PM supervisor leaves.

But not tonight it wasn't.

As I was trying to leave with my full cart, I grabbed the door handle...woudln't budge.

Oh crap.

I gave it a few shakes...still nothing.

"Hello??? Help??? Can someone let me out?"

I began to call out, hoping that some of the dishroom staff would be able to hear no avail.

I really started to panic...did Supervisor lock the door early tonight??? How long am I gonna be stuck??

I kept on pounding at the door, yelling at the top of my lungs for a good FIFTEEN minutes before Supervisor and Grill cook finally let me out...Grill cook couldn't stop laughing. The dishroom staff snickered at me as I passed with my drink cart in tow, glowering.

Supervisor told me that she didn't realize I was stuck in there...that she heard someone shouting "Help," but that she assumed that someone was watching TV on their Iphone.

I am totally not making that up.

I put drink cart away, muttering angrily under my breath..."seriously? SERIOUSLY??", got the rest of my work done as quick as I could given that I had lost fifteen minutes, and was able to clock out just before my seven minute grace period was up.

I came home, still furious, and did what I usually do whenever I am royally pissed off: I called Mom.

The first thing she did was snort with laughter. As did my sister. And everyone else I have told this epic tale to.

But I digress.

Phone call to mom honestly brought me down to reality...My grandmother (who was the one to teach me the basics of knitting and embroidery) had just had a stroke. Luckily, she and my grandfather recognized the symptoms right away and went to the hospital, where she is now resting comfortably. Mom says that she's stabilizing, is talking and conscious, and hopefully the damage to her brain is only minimal.

That news honestly brought me back down from my tower of resentment and frustration. I have no right to be complaining about being locked in the pantry when my grandmother has just had a stroke. My mom is flying out to see her; I'm sending my love with her. And I will be praying HARD for my Gramma tonight.

Here's to knowing our priorities.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

pattern for the zelda bag

Since I finished the lifebar bag, it has become clear to me that there is no way that it can be really functional...I tried putting my wallet/cell phone in there and it sagged and stretched down to my knees, almost.

This bag definatelty needs a liner, and a little bit of fabric stiched over the strap. I'm definately going to make another one, but if I do, I'm going to use a more purse friendly fiber, like a stiff cotton or tweed. The soft wool was not an appropriate fiber. When I first bought the yarn for this project, I had a scarf in mind; however, I came to the realization that:

a. If the scarf were to be about sixty inches long, I would need to make about fifty hearts. Now, I loved playing Zelda, and I loved hunting around for the hidden heart pieces/containers, but I could never get that many and the scarf would end up just looking a bit ridiculous, and

b. When buying the yarn, I wasn't paying close enough attention and didn't buy enough of the black color for even half of a faire isle scarf, let alone a full one.

hence, the bag was born. I'm going to give a shout-out to my fellow knitters in this blogosphere: I'd love to post a color chart for this pattern, but I'm too cheap to get Microsoft office. Does anyone know how I can go about doing it?

As far as other projects go, I'm working on a pair of wool socks that are intended for my wonderful boyfriend. I'm being super careful to not jump the gun with these; I've had a terrible habit of starting the toe way too soon and having socks that are way too short. Here's sock number one:

Not too terribly original; just the basic sock pattern from the "Knitting for Dummies" book, only I used a stockinette stitch for the leg instead of the ribbing pattern (I find that it makes the sock a bit itchy, especially if using wool and this yarn is a little scratchy). Socks are one of my favorite projects though; not too terribly difficult when you get used to turning the heel but enough complication to give me a bit sense of accomplishment. I may not have a Master's degree or make six figures, but I can knit a sock, dammit!


Sunday, November 28, 2010

First post

So hello, fellow wanderers in the endless blog-o-space.

I'm kind of new to the whole blogging thing...but my main goal with this one is to post my knitting projects, get some feedback from other knitters (hopefully) and esentially grow into a more established knitter.

I've recently been trying my hand at making my own patterns....which is quite difficult, given that I have the attention span of a small insect and can barely finish projects ever without starting a few thousand others. However, I have finished one; it's far from perfect (the seaming looks like total crap and the pieces are nowhere near even, but black wool is oh, OH so forgiving.) This purse was quite simple, and was my first attempt at faire isle knitting.

 To answer your question: no, I don't throw swords when I'm feeling good.

This is the other side, for when I'm feeling drained:

and here it is modeled. All hail the master spoon.

Honestly, aside from the color work, I mostly "winged it" on this pattern. For the hearts and the "life" symbol, I sketched out a color chart on some graphing paper and followed it. I jotted down the beggining plans for the bag (for the record, it was CO 54, but I added a few stitches on each side when I deciced the bag ended up being too small) The strap I totally forget how many it was. My boyfriend and I were watching South Park reruns and I wasn't paying full attention.

I was, however, paying attention enough to get the bare bones basics.

The purse is worked with:

Cascade yarns superwash merino wool, one ball black and one ball red.
Size 7 4.5 mm straight needles

knit entirely in stockinette. A ton of tweaking was done after the bag was blocked and sewn together, so it turned out much smaller than I had anticipated.

Even though this purse is far from perfect, I still find it all kinds of awesome. If I could do it all over again though, I would choose a more sturdy fiber than wool for this bag...perhaps a tweed...something stiff that won't stretch as much when it holds something heavy.

first post, first project <3 hope ya'll enjoy!