Tuesday, January 31, 2006

More from the annals of "GOOD KNITTING INTENTIONS GONE HORRIBLY WRONG". Well, I suppose they can't have gone too wrong if they made a six-year-old happy... here is Goodwill Rainbow Haired African-American Disco Refugee Barbie with a Ballroom competition-style dress on. Doggone, that's horrid...

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Ever get that astounding, somewhat disconcerting, brain-jarring reminder of What A Terrible Knitter You Were When You Started? Here's my past, biting me in the butt. My daughter decided to author a book on Barbie Fashions, for the younger and uneducated little girls out there. She was planning on selling it, but decided after a little suggesting that donating it to the library would make for a much better deal. This is one of the pages. It's not so bad if you consider that I made it a couple of months into knitting. I was trying to learn how to make a raglan sweater and I thought, why not try it out on Barbie. Putting the chain-mail skirt with it was a stroke of fashion brilliance that I, personally, was not cabable of making.

Dude. That's some baaaaad knitting.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Okay, why am I not posting more work here? Camera issues. And... because Mizayki rules. So much. Dude, I am entirely in love with his imagery. What does this have to do with knitting? Not much, but as I usually watch t.v. and knit at the same time, I find that the Mizayki film festival on TMC (what, you didn't KNOW?) is proving to be so engrossing that my hands stop. I'm right now working on a set of felted car accessories (yeah, weird, huh? Can't go into details. K-N-I-T-T-Y frowns on it) and I was starting the smaller portion of the set when zippidy doo dah, stalled out when I watched My Neighbor Totoro. If you haven't seen it, do, and watch it with someone little. It's major cute. Totoro means troll. Not your standard LOTR troll, mind you... The little girl is named Mei (May) and she is so stinkin' cute--she reminds me a lot of Tucie when she was little.

I have decided, however, to start publishing patterns in earnest on the website. God Only Knows how long it is going to take to get the KoobKoobKoob published, so why not? I had also wanted to break the mold on the whole knitting book thing anyway by posting individual patterns for sale on my website, of course giving the book publisher a portion. Makes sense, doesn't it? How many times have you picked up a pattern book only to like two or three patterns in the whole book. Wouldn't it be better for everyone involved if the publisher and the author made the patterns available individually? What would they have to lose? Publishers operate on a profit margin of 5-10%. So if they make only $2.49 on a $24.95 book and the author on average makes a $1 per sale, then why not make $1.38 per pattern for each individual sale?

Just a thought. I would have bought several Suss Cousins long ago.

Thursday, January 19, 2006



As promised, the Wicked Felted Armchair Covers. Only knit up because I couldn't find burgandy-colored duct tape. Camo, Red, Green, your standard confederate Gray, Royal Blue, but no burgandy. What's the world coming to when your local Southern Wal-Mart doesn't carry the full selection? Almost makes me want to up and Yankiefy myself.

Mr. Jones was our somewhat ornery and small-minded neighbor. However, he was nice enough to give us his beat-up La-Z-Boy. Now being that I only subscribe to one magazine--Country Living--I never wanted a recliner. I think they are tacky beyond meaning.

But as I have had my way for 11 years, got the puppy eyes, and it was free, I thought, I can always knit armchair covers.

The first ones were disasterous. The second came out wavy around the edges (I used seed stitch instead of just i-cording them) but the result is pretty good, and much better than duct tape. I used Wool of the Andes from Knit Picks because folks, I just don't have the $75 for armchair covers when $30 with Knit Picks got me enough wool to make these covers, a pair of felted men's slippers and four skiens left over for a few bicycle covers. I have been told by someone who has forgotten more about felting than I'll ever learn to be wary of South American wools that sometimes they can pucker because they use small batches and it makes for inconsistent wool. But from what I can tell, it felted great and I have no complaints. It's also very nice just knit up--it's got a nice sheen and is really soft. I admit, I prefer Brown Sheep for a lot of felted projects, but WOTA is a really close second. The price just can't be beat. $1.79. Yep--no misnomer--$1.79. When you find yourself putting $40 into a small purse you're sending to your Aunt Emily in Scotland and know (from a purse that disappeared somewhere between here and Caeverendock Street in Prestwick) that it might not make it, you have to spend an hour round-trip in Memphis traffic to fetch the yarn in the first place--heck, there's no contest. I. Am. Still. Broke, people. (The Theology Major had decided to go back to college so that's broke + broke x broke / broke. You do the math.) I can make four for the same price and get it sent to my door within days. Although I'll miss a trip out and knitting in the shops with all the comraderie, with a two-year-old around, there's really no contest.

I used stick-on velcro to keep them in place and so far it has worked brilliantly!

Anyway, I digress. BEFORE:

SOOOoooooooooo very white trash.

AFTER: makes me look like a sauve knitter, n'est pas? (Let's celebrate: pass the cheese grits/pork rinds/Moon Pie and let's watch Jerry in our improved armchair).

Monday, January 16, 2006


Argh! I think I shall have to knit a GAUNTLET and throw it back at her. Canadians! Sheesh--always agitating. Citius, Altius, Fortius my a**. I'm going to knit my husband a sweater. DK weight.

Friday, January 13, 2006

I have started a new Yahoo Group featuring my (ahem) esteemed opinion on knitting books. Here's one that I posted on Amazon a while back that I think is worth reading... this really is a great book, rather obscured by the fact it's PKR (Pre-knitting revival. Geeze, I can barely remember those days...). It's a rather good book, though, with all kinds of nice little historical tid-bits on knitting thrown in here and there. I especially liked the bit about knitting in Peru, where it's done by MEN. According to Stanley, a young man in Peru must knit himself his own hat before he begins to date. Here's the catch, though... they make said hat using wire. Wire. Quad zero's. In the words of the irrespressible Ron Stoppable (I have a nine-year-old girl, remember?) "I didn't know there were that many zeros!" Yup. Here's a picture:

I don't know if you can tell it or not, but they hold the yarn around their necks. Now I've tried knitting Turkish, Scottish (of course), Continental, English, and a couple of other ways, but this is a new one on me. I haven't tried it, and I will be sure to post an embarassing entry if I do.

Anyway. Here is my review on Montose Stanley.

Reader's Digest Knitter's Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to the Principles and Techniques of Handknitting by Montse Stanley
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $28.00
Availability: This item is currently unavailable.

2 used & new from $52.99

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful:
The Book You Need. Period., May 21, 2004

There are very, very few knitting books that I acutally buy, as I am a person that knits without patterns, and usually make my own designs. Hence, there are very few knitting books that I can honestly recommend and actually own myself.

So I'll cut to the chase and put it this way: if the house was on fire and I was told I could grab one knitting book, it'd be my Montose Stanley. That's a very strong recommendation that I'd like to back up.

There isn't one single question that you have about knitting that would not be covered in this book. It is unparalled for its historical coverage of knitting through the centuries and fascinating bits about knitting in different cultures, it's easy to follow diagrams, and it's seemingly endless bits of useful information.

With all knitting books, I suggest you take it home from your library first. But if you are past beginner and feel that you need to build a knitting library, this book is the one for you. Unfortunately, it is not as well known as some of the other books that are carried in book clubs, such as the almost useless Big Book of Knitting, which has techniques but then no diagrams or instructions, or the Ultimate Guide To Knitting which is a very lovely book to look at, but doesn't deserve the title "Ultimate" by any silly-putty stretch of the imagination because it includes very few techniques, tricks, or tips. This modestly wonderful book has languished unknown because so many people would see the much more flashier, newer books and grab them instead. This was written long before our current knitting revival, but still remains the most comprehensive book on the market. I thank the good Lord above the Memphis library was across from the knitting shop, or I'd never have seen it. I promptly went out and bought it. I use it more than any other book I own, aside from the Knitter's Handy Guide.

The best way to describe its format is that it is written very close to a textbook--it includes the diagram immediately after the descriptive text. If I ever took a full-fledged course on knitting, I wouldn't be surprised if this was the one book everyone would be required to buy, hands down.

If you are a newbie, then I suggest you pass on this for the time being and buy the Idiot's Guide to Knitting and Chrochet, another must have, esp for the beginner, and for the person the beginner will someday teach in the future. But put it on your wish list, and when you start wondering how to make a cheveron go to the left or the right, or why men in the Andes knit more than the women, or another perhaps easier way to make a loop while knitting, then this is the book for you.

Alright, so I'm plundering the depths of my laptop and coming up with old pictues. This was my desk in our last residence. There is no knitting to be seen becuase this was before I started writing knitting patterns. So to speak, that is--none on paper.

Anyway, it's an interesting conclomeration of STUFF. My desk nowadays is much, much simpler. I'll have to do the after photo tomorrow.

Found this picture on the desktop... Tucie took it at a small cafe in Scotland. Posted by Picasa
Okay, now here's an odd problem for a parent to have: My child likes to spend a lot of time in his bed. Not odd, you say? Odd if he's a two-year-old boy. That's right. Destruct-o boy. Suddenly this past week he started this odd phase of existence--he gets to the point of de-construction where he starts to fall apart over the simplest things--say, a crayon. Bawling. You know, the point where you--as a parent say, "You need a nap." and out come the blowdarts. (Ah, so impressive, my blowdart prowess!) And just like his lovely older sister Tucie, he goes to bed without any problem and conk-o, he's out.
But not anymore. An hour or so into this "nap", I'll hear him... sitting or laying in his bed, jabbering away to himself. And if you go in, it's not bouncy bouncy up to get mommy to get us out, he backs up! Backs up to the other side of the crib and sits down. Mind you, I do not beat him or yell at him and whaddya know! He wants to stay in the crib. Needless to say, this is great for knitting time. Has anybody else experienced this???

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Well, here they are! The Big, Big, Bunny Bootees. I'm thinking about giving them some privacy and letting them make baby bootees, which would probably prove to be the right size! But too large or not, it's one less UFO hanging around. I was tempted to give them Great Big Teeth, but nah...

Speaking of Gauge, (capital G) I had to make three of the ears, as I had already completed one when I started this project early last year. As I have a seeming inability to do The Sensible Thing and take notes, I knit up three before I realized that I had used a larger needle to make the original one so they came out about 2/3rds the size of the first. So I made one extra large and put on one small for a flopsy look. (The stitching was done with Knit Picks Palette. I highly suggest that if you are a budget knitter like myself that you check it out.)

The yarn was Wendy's Velvet Touch. It's not cheap, but it goes the distance and I think is quite possibly the best baby yarn out there, nonwithstanding Berocco Plush.

Forgive the quality of the photo. Whilst my mother has the fancy camera, I am reduced to using a little white one with the words "Strawberry Shortcake" etched on the front, and only with my nine-year-old at school. (This is an offical Martyr Moment. Stay tuned for more).

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

I have to say--this is a gift posted on the Nashville SNB listing and I think it is the absolute coolest knitting bag I have ever seen. I want one. I WANT ONE. I mean, who could really call themselves a true black-belt knija knitter and not carry one of these???

This was done by the poster's cousin for Christmas, and I really think she could go into business.

Dudette: Go forth and sell. This rocks.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Warning: not for the faint of heart

(Please excuse Tacky Goodwill Sideboard warped by husband's genetic inability to use a COASTER. Great for knitting, though, with a spot for books and a handy shelf for that vintage Tupperware kit with knitting accessories. Sits next to the recliner with the wicked cool felted armchair covers--see tomorrows post when I actually feature a picture of said covers without any nekkid toddlers or a passel of screaming eight-year-old girls.)

Okay, boys and girls, here's another good lesson in gauge from Knitterhead, the Knitting Savant. Last year, there was a phenomenon at our church: everyone who got pregnant had a girl, and they had them all at about the same time--it was like an Orthodox litter, for goodness sakes. What is a knitter to do? A plethora of adorable babies and not near enough time to knit everyone a layette, ya know? (Not that I have a high productivity rate with the Lion King around, hell bent on impaling himself on my needles). So I purchased Zoe Mellor's Fifty Baby Bootees to Knit to curb my tendency to knit first and think later, which results in a series of disappointed individuals and a heckuva lot of UFO's. (I know, I know... ADD and gift knitting is a bad combination...)

So here's the lesson on gauge: Don't just go by the (@)#(*)(%&#)@#* label when looking for stitch per inch. Knit up that blasted annoying little 4 x 4 square. That way you won't end up with the following:

See the little blue line on the back of the book? That's the 6-9 months line! That's right! HUGE bootees, that the poor child won't wear until she's bloody 4! Arrrrrggggghhhh!!! Here's to that little voice in my head that said, "Why don't you just go by the picture?" Ohhh, no, for once I just HAD to follow the pattern.

The worst bit is that these little buggers are in Peter Pan Wendy (?) Velvet Touch, which is arguably my all-time favorite baby yarn (aside from Berocco's Plush) and covers a multitude of sins. In fact, you can't even see the stitches coming off a three, so how do you count the rows??? You have to hold it up to the light and stretch it out.

Anyway, I now have access to a digital camera on a regular basis, so watch and see the bootees get finished. Since I started them last January, I figured it's time to get them done... now that they are more than likely to FIT her... Thinking, of course, that a one-year-old has HUGE feet.