Saturday, April 30, 2011

Told you so...

HTB was not happy with the sudden appearance of more yarn in our mail box and told me I had a problem (I would like to point out that I have far more fabric than I do yarn) However he quickly apologized when I pointed out that the yarn was for a second Harry Potter scarf for him.

By the time I get done with my coworker's scarf, HTB's scarves, I think I shall need to take a break from Harry Potter stuff for a couple of months - thankfully I'll have two baby blankets to distract me :)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

An example of how I work when I knit or crochet...

Almost always, as soon as I pick up my needles or hooks and yarn, Connor cat decides that he must be held and petted RIGHT NOW!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Work in Progress Wednesday the First...

Tami's Amis does something on her blog called Work in Progress Wednesday and, like the lemming that I sometimes am, I have decided to join in.

Yesterday I was finally able to get more Lion Brand yarn for the Harry Potter Scarf I am making for a coworker, and I was able to make a bit of progress on it. In fact, it's grown quite a lot since I last showed it off:

There hasn't been any progress on my hat because I realized that we're only 4 months away from our trip to Ireland, and HTB really wants to have a Slytherin scarf by then, so the hat has been put aside in favor of yet another scarf. However, I haven't cast on yet because I'm still torn between using the pattern available on The Leaky Cauldron, or if I want to actually buy the Charmed Knits book. A friend loaned me a copy, which I then passed on to another friend with her permission. I could ask for it back, but I know my friend needs it as much as I do, and frankly, I'd just really like to have my own copy to dog ear, y'know? Also, the yarn that I have for that project is sport weight Telemark from Knit Picks (which is really nice BTW) but the pattern calls for worsted weight, and suggests Cascade 220 specifically.. and I noticed yesterday that WEBS is having a sale on Cascade 220... hmmm.... but I think HTB might have a conniption if I buy any more yarn, so I may have to start with the Telemark and just see how it goes. 

How are your projects going?

Monday, April 25, 2011

A Very Special Meatlocker Monday...

A year ago today my boyfriend proposed to me at Faire, and in four months and two days we will be married :) In celebration of that, my HTB is today's Meatlocker Monday man.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

In Which I Start a Knitting Project...

Even though I dislike Red Heart yarn, their little 'how to' books are actually very useful. They have step by step color illustrations for many of the stitches, and if they don't, they usually have enough details that you can figure it out. They also will have a few beginner patterns, like hats, scarves, or baby blankets, included in the booklet - which is pretty nice when you consider that a lot of pattern books are pretty expensive.

Anywho, on Saturday, after we had finished moving for the day, I decided that I had had enough practice work and that it was time to start a real project rather than just keep knitting aimlessly. I chose a hat pattern out of the Red Heart 'how to knit' book, pulled out some purple Vanna's Choice yarn I'd had for ages, found the appropriate knitting needles, and went to town.

However, the hat starts off with a K1P1 rib - but it's not a normal K1P1, it's K1*K1P1*until the end of the row and the very last two stitches are K1K1 again. So basically it's K1K1P1K1P1K1P1K1K1 (if that makes any sense) Unfortunately I didn't realize that at first, so I had to rip everything out, start over again... and then I began to loose track of what stitch was which and what I had just done... was it a knit stitch? Or a purl? I ripped everything out and then started again, only to do three rows and notice that the ribbing wasn't looking like it was supposed to... so the hat was ripped apart for a third time.

In between all of this I was sending texts to Contessa complaining about what was going on, and saying that I didn't understand how knitters remembered what stitch they had done and etc etc etc. (I imagine most knitters don't have a TV running in the background when they are learning to knit) She reassured me that I would eventually figure it out on my own... and y'know what? She was right.

The next day I started the project over again and realized that when I purled the yarn looped one way, and when I knitted it looped a different way. Now that I recognize how the stitches look next to each other, instead of one row of this, one row of that, like what I was doing with all that practice stuff, the knitting is going much better (except for one stitch, which got twisted somehow, but I'm not about to start over again!)

(I have a few more rows than this now)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Manic Monday...

HTB and I moved to a new apartment over the weekend - so I am exhausted right now, and I blame my delay in updating the Meatlocker on that.

Today's guest on Meatlocker Monday is Mr. Sean Bean, currently known as Ned Stark on HBO's A Game of Thrones. He's also played Richard Sharpe, and Boromir in Lord of the Rings, among many other roles.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I wasn't planning on blogging much this week since we're in the process of moving. This is what our living room currently looks like:

But given how stressful moving can be and combine that with my friend being in the hospital and not doing as well as I thought she was and I'm beginning to realize that knitting is a good sanity saver. It keeps my hands busy, keeps me from chowing down on snacks that aren't healthy for me, and keeps me from attacking my acne. So, I ripped out the bit of knitting that I had started (which wasn't that big of a loss because I had no real plan in mind for that bit other than to practice stitches) and restarted the practice bit on smaller/shorter needles (since all my other needles are packed away in that tiny box you see in the second picture with the white lid, and said box would probably explode like one of those cans with the fake snakes in them if I were to open it)

Anywho, here is what I have done so far (again, without any aim or direction other than to practice practice practice)

The bottom part is all knit stitch, then after 15 rows of that I switched to the purl stitch, which really doesn't look all that different from the knit stitch. Then after that I switched to doing K1P1 (knit 1, purl 1) which created that really neat ribbing effect. I'm not as happy with that last bit since the edges are sloppy when compared to the rest of it (Though why I worry about that when this is just a practice piece is beyond me... must be my inner perfectionist raising her ugly head) After I finish with the bit of K1P1 I may move on to stockingnette stitch. and the back to K1P1, then another section of purl stitches, and another one of knit before finishing it off and moving onto my first actual knitting project (a Harry Potter scarf, of course :P )

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A bit shocked...

A friend was sick last week, and then over the weekend I found out that she was in ICU. I didn't think much of it at the time, because from what I read on her twitter, she was vomiting a lot and had some abdominal pain - which I chalked up to either being the flu or appendicitis. Either way, those suck pretty badly, but I didn't think it was too severe. Then today I find out that she actually has a blood clot in her brain and may be moved to UCLA. (The type of blood clot she has is like, a one in a million type thing too)

Wow. Just. Wow.

Needless to say, she and her family are in my thoughts and prayers right now (though I don't doubt she won't pull through this - she's too crazy and has the weirdest luck not to)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Manic Monday...

Well... actually... it's quite dead at work. So dead that I should have brought my knitting with me to keep me occupied.

Anywho, another Monday, another Meatlocker! This time the honor goes to Liev Schreiber!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

That was not as scary as I thought it would be...

Holding the yarn in my right hand will take some getting used to (when I crochet I hold the yarn in my left hand and the hook in my right) and I'm going to need to get shorter needles (currently the only needles I have are about 10" long... maybe 12", so they're a bit awkward to handle) but that really wasn't too hard to figure out. I have no idea why I was so freaked out and kept putting it off for so long!

Anywho, the bit I was doing was only 20 stitches wide, and alternating rows of knit and purl stitch (3 each) It's not perfect; the tension is a bit funky and some stitches are wider than others (notice the one loop on the left in the picture below) but I'll get better with more practice. 

I have to admit, even though their yarn sucks, Red Heart's How to Knit and How to Crochet books are some of the best out there, and the tutorials available on Knit Picks aren't too shabby either!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I think I'm going to do it...

I've been studying a variety of videos on knitting online... I think I may give it a shot tonight.

*crossing fingers*

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Baby Blanket and Beyond...

I finished the granny striped baby blanket for my friend this weekend:

(before adding trim)

(after adding the trim, which was just a simple double crochet border)

And now that I am done with that I need to take a bit of a break from baby blankets, because I'm having writers block for crochet (which would make it crocheter's block?) where I can't think of what design to do next though I can think of plenty of nerd approved baby toys (amigurumi lightsabers anyone?!?)

So, I shall fall back on a favorite pattern to keep me occupied in the mean time: The Tunisian crochet Harry Potter Scarf

Monday, April 4, 2011

Meatlocker Monday... Wrestlemania Style...

Since my favorite Irish wrestler didn't get any air time at Wrestlemania last night (they turned his match into a darkmatch) I figured I'd go ahead and give him some love here - so I present to you Sheamus of the WWE

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Day seven: Your knitting and crochet time.

Write about your typical crafting time. When it is that you are likely to craft – alone or in more social environments, when watching TV or whilst taking bus journeys. What items do you like to surround yourself with whilst you twirl your hook like a majorette’s baton or work those needles like a skilled set of samurai swords. Do you always have snacks to hand, or are you a strictly ‘no crumbs near my yarn!’ kind of knitter.

Usually, when I crochet it's at night time right after I get home from work and the gym. I'll curl up on the loveseat and go to town. Most of the time when I crochet I'm usually lying down because Connor kitty likes to come over and curl up on my chest or shoulder and bicep. He hasn't been doing that much lately though; as soon as I get home him and Murphy cat get the crazies and start running around and my crocheting is interrupted by me flinching and curling up into a ball for fear of my life. 

When I write, I usually write at work. Lately there has been a lot of down time in between calls, and there's only so many emails you can answer, or times you can study the internal websites before you begin to loose it, so I'll take a few moments here and there to write a little bit. 

Drawing has been largely ignored the past few months. There's stuff I want to work on, but I just haven't... Maybe when we move and the wedding is over, and my friends stop getting pregnant I'll be able to put the crochet hook down and start drawing again... who am I kidding, I probably won't, because then their kiddos will be old enough for me to start making them other things like Amigurumi Star Wars dolls and lightsabers and little capes and... etc etc etc...

And that's all for Knitting and Crochet Blog week folks! 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Day six: Something to aspire to

Is there a pattern or skill that you don’t yet feel ready to tackle but which you hope to (or think you can only dream of) tackling in the future, near or distant? Is there a skill or project that makes your mind boggle at the sheer time, dedication and mastery of the craft? Maybe the skill or pattern is one that you don’t even personally want to make but can stand back and admire those that do. Maybe it is something you think you will never be bothered to actually make but can admire the result of those that have.

Oh, that's easy enough to answer - I would love to learn how to knit. My Mom tried to teach me, but we never got past purling because she would show me how to do it, and then I would do it for a little while, put it away and then by the time I picked it up again I had completely forgotten. (I'm not sure how crocheting skipped this fate...) There are times when knitting looks easy... and then there are times when the videos I watch completely confuse me... /sigh

The main reason I want to knit though is purely so I can make a Harry Potter Scarf. I know I can do it with Tunisian crochet... but it's just not the same :P

Friday, April 1, 2011

Day Five: And now for something completely different

Today's topic for Knitting and Crochet Blog week is:

This is an experimental blogging day to try and push your creativity in blogging to the same level that you perhaps push your creativity in the items you create.
There are no rules of a topic to blog about (though some suggestions are given below) but this post should look at a different way to present content on your blog. This can take one of many forms, but here a few suggestions:
  • Wordless, photographic post
  • Video blog post
  • Podcast
  • Cartoon/sketch of an idea
  • Write about a subject from a different perspective (for example, you could write about a day in the life of a knitted sock from the point of view of the sock).
  • Interpretive modern dance (why does someone always suggest this?
  • A poem or piece of rhyming verse
  • Stop motion animation
Tips: The actual subject matter of the post might be quite dependent on the media method(s) you choose to use and as such there is no specific ‘topic’ to blog on. You could blog about a recently completed project, a knitting experience, a trip to the LYS or anything else that takes your fancy. The point behind this post is to get people thinking about using their blogs in different ways and pushing he boundaries of what they use their blogging platform for.
PS: Yes, it is April Fool’s Day, so have fun with the post.

Well, I can tell you right now that the Video Blog Post, Podcast, Interpretive Modern Dance, Poem and Stop Motion Animation are not happening. I also won't be doing an April Fool's day post because I just can't top World of Warcraft's Crabby or Think Geek's Angry Bird Pork Rinds. So that just leaves a sketch of an idea - which kinda defeats the purpose of doing something different since the sketch would be about a crochet project - or writing about a subject from a different perspective - meh - or a picture post - which is pretty much all I do (BTW, any suggestions for Meatlocker Monday?)

I think I'll just post a bit from the story I've been working on instead :)

The vagrant had chosen to fall asleep across the wrong doorstep this time; instead of being rudely awoken by a kick to the side and being told to move by a grumpy shop keep, he was pulled to his feet and shoved in the back of a wagon. It was crowded with other poor souls who stunk just as badly as he did, and one or two moaned in pain as he collided with them. Blinking away the last of his drunken haze, he was able to make out a man dressed in the uniform of the city guard shutting the door and locking it. He had heard rumors that the King had wanted to clean up the streets of Anglon’s capital, but this was a bit extreme.

“Another happy colonist!” The man cried out. “And another groat for us!”

“Only if they’re still breathing when we get them to the docks. They won’t pay for dead ‘uns.” Another guard poked the vagrant  with the butt of his staff to make sure the man was still alive - as if his groan of pain hadn’t been a good enough sign.

A colonist? Docks? The vagrant hadn’t signed up for any sort of expedition... at least he didn’t think he had. It was, he admitted to himself, quite possible that he agreed to something without realizing it since the barkeep at his favorite tavern had been a bit heavy handed with the whiskey the night before. But, despite whatever he had done last night, he did not want to be a colonist now! It wasn’t his destiny! Not that he had much of one anymore, but despite that he was quite happy drinking his life away in the very city that should have been his! The vagrant surged into action; he lunged forward, grabbed the guard’s staff and twisted, jerking him him around and flinging him to the ground. The other guard was just as quick as the vagrant though. Instead of using his staff to poke the vagrant away from the rails, he opted to hit him over the head with it, knocking him senseless. The vagrant dropped to the floor, the morning sky and the surprised faces of his fellow captives spinning above him.

He rolled onto his belly and tried to scramble to his feet again so he could continue to fight back. However the guard’s staff collided with his head yet again. He collapsed again, and reached up with gentle fingers to see if his head had split in half. It certainly felt like it had.  His hand came away dark with blood. One of these days he would have to have a chat with God and ask Him what His fascination was with granting head injuries. Was it because he had had an insufferable ego as a youth?

The guard raised his staff again - but his friend had recovered himself by now and stopped him before he could strike the vagrant for yet a third time. “Don’t! Remember - we don’t get no money if they’re dead!”

“A rebel like him will cause nothing but trouble for our friends...”

“Who cares? They’ll be far away by the time he wakes up after the beating you gave ‘im.” The vagrant had to concentrate to stay concious. The guards in front of him kept splitting from two to four and then back again. “We’ll just say we found ‘im that way.”

Apparently satisfied with his friend’s answer, and with the fact that the troublemaker was subdued, the guard let his friend lead him away. As soon as they were out of sight, the vagrant’s fellow captives knelt around him. He was dimly aware of one of them pressing a rag against his wound. He tried to jerk away from them, from the pain and the throbbing the contact set off, but his limbs refused to listen to him anymore.

“Who does he think he is, attacking one of them like that?” One whispered.

“He’ll be lucky if he doesn’t get the noose!”

“They wouldn’t hang me,” The vagrant mumbled, his words slurring together. “I’m the king’s brother.”

“Sure you are, and I’m Trista the warrior!” An old woman guffawed, but the vagrant had already passed out and was completely oblivious to the other’s heckling.