Tuesday, June 28, 2005

can i knit myself a raincoat?

Dear Weather.

Really? More rain? Huh.

I'm thinking that maybe, all of the requests for rain in the past years of drought got backlogged and you are just now getting to them. Is that it? Was Canada Post responsible for delivering these requests? If that's the case, maybe you should just use common sense and just answer 1/3 of the requests, not ALL of them. I mean, the requests came over the span of 3 years, right? Couldn't we just get the rain for ONE year (or even for one MONTH) instead of all THREE, just in this one month?

I just wanted to mention it.


PS If you want to bring out the sun, that would be GREAT. But if there was a chance that you could do something about the West-Nile-bearing mosquitos that are lying in wait in all of the standing water from the, you know, RAIN, THAT would be even more great.


In knitting news, the latest zippered cardigan, knit with the recycled yarn, is just about done. I am on the collar and then will face the daunting task of INSTALLING THE ZIPPER. (anything so ominous needs capitals, yes?)

I'll let you know how that goes.

Now, where to find a pattern for a waterproof knit hoodie?

PS Thanks to all of you who comment! It's nice to hear from you. I will try to get round to your blogs to see who you all are soon.

Saturday, June 25, 2005


You know how when something begins there is that excitement, that rush when things are going well? You begin to have hope. There is the promise of something great. But then the LIES come in and hope gets crushed and you wish you had never hoped in the first place. Yeah. As much as this sounds like a bitter-single-woman story, it's actually a knitting story. (Although it may be analogous to a bitter-single-woman story)

I had all that Katia Twist that I bought at the LYS (seriously on sale) when I wasn't going to buy anything. It was calling out to me: "I really want to be a cardigan or a jacket. I'll be so comfortable, perfect for the office when the AC gets overzealous." I found a pattern that I thought would be perfect. I had enough yarn, I had the needles, the pattern was simple but interesting enough to keep me going. No problem. The excitement of a new project.

I hope that it means that I haven't slipped so far into bitter-single-womanness that I didn't immediately think yarn and pattern were lying to me. Conspiring against me.

Zippered Cardigan from Vogue Knitting Winter 2004/05. (BTW with all of the resources at their disposal, don't you think that Vogue Knitting could come up with more interesting names for their projects? I mean, "Zippered Cardigan" is descriptive and accurate, but not so interesting...)

The back went so quickly, then the fronts. There was this great cable decrease detail on the raglan sleeve holes.

I blocked, knowing in my heart that if I put in the effort, if I tried and worked at it, then the relationship, er, I mean, the cardigan (sorry, got a little carried away with the analogy there) would be worth it.

I carefully and joyfully seamed the body and sleeves together, careful to make my seams even and flat and not too tight. It was at this point that I realized that my heart was about to be broken.

See, it looks okay, right? WRONG. It lies. It says to me "I will be so comfortable" all the while it is cutting off the circulation in my arms and seeing other people behind my back.

(again, got a little off track there... )

See how my arms are in a kind of funny position there? That's the only way I could hold them. See how the sleeves are a little short? I made the sleeves 3 inches longer than the pattern called for. I blocked the living crap out of them. I blocked the raglan cap to about 2 inches wider than the pattern called for. I don't know what went wrong. It was impossible to move my arms.

The body fit properly, the sleeves LOOKed right. It just wasn't gonna work. So I put it aside. I slept on it. I tried to figure out how to make it work. I didn't have enough yarn left over to make the sleeves bigger. I didn't know what to do. It was like KNOWING that you were about to get dumped and trying frantically to figure out how to NOT get dumped. (sorry, couldn't resist)(I'm really okay, i'm not as bitter as this makes me sound)(just seen too many movies where the quirky girl ALWAYS gets the guy)(which doesn't really happen, BTW)

So, back to the knitting. I frogged it. Rip. Like a bandaid. Didn't think too much, just did it. Wound it back into balls and it's sitting on the floor waiting in time out until I can bring myself to look at it again. It has some explaining to do.

So, like the carefree strong woman I am (ha) I picked up the needles, picked up a different yarn (recycled from a Value Village sweater) and cast on for a different zippered jacket. Am I a glutton for punishment? Am I doomed to continue to make the same mistakes (again, this is seeming really analogous)? We'll see.

And, on a totally different topic, a non-bitter-single-woman topic, here is something that is probably telling about me, but I don't know what it means:

People who know me will tell you that I tend to dress in neutrals (black, beige, dark blues, the occasional muted green). I don't like to have to think about my clothing too much. I end up buying a bunch of the same t-shirt or jeans because then I don't have to try them on. Recently, I realized that I had acquired some shirts and t-shirts with more color in them. Wow! I was starting to change and branch out in my color choices. Then, one day I noticed my t-shirts hanging on the drying rack.

See that? My big foray into "Color" resulted in a bunch of coordinating t-shirts. How did that happen? How did I end up with all these shirts in practically the same color? I like the color, that must be it, but... it was kind of shocking to realize that I hadn't branched out that far after all!

This is what I was wearing when I realized this.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Okay, let's try this again, shall we?

So, now that it's FRIDAY and all, I thought I would try to tell you about saturGEEKday. Not tomorrow, but LAST saturGEEKday. If you are just joining us, allow me to recap: I had a long, masterful post written about part one of my saturGEEKday which vanished into vapor after i posted it. just gone. the title was there, which was weird (or is it wierd? anyone? i know a million things I don't need to know but i can't spell that word consistently.)(seriously, it would be about a million unnecessary things. )(eventually "Jeopardy" will come looking for me.)

Where was I? Oh yeah, the recap: Last Saturday (known round these parts-my apartment where i live, alone-as saturGEEKday) I had a fun, busy, crafty day filled with deconstructing clothing, knitting, a bit of sunshine, fun with my friend, picture taking in public and really really bad sweaters.

So, that brings us to "saturGEEKday Part 1: GEEKing around the house"

I woke up early last Saturday. I hate that. It's Saturday, I don't have to work. It's like my body says "WAIT A MINUTE!!! You have just now hit your necessary amount of sleep, GET UP!!" Whatever happened to the days when the body would say "Nah, you don't need to be up! Sleep is good for you. Sleep some more" and would let you/me sleep until noon? Huh? Where did those carefree easy breezy days go?

(I realize that right now, those of you who are mothers/fathers are probably hating me. who am i, single, childless person that i am to talk like this? sorry. i realize that my idea of an early morning on a saturday doesn't even begin to compare to what you have to go through. leave me alone. it's my story.) (ha)

So anyway, for some reason, when I woke up "early" on saturday, i was really alert. i started cruising around crafster while waiting for my coffee to transform from dry unappealing grounds to the life-giving brew we all love. While cruising craftster, i started thinking that i should get to my list. my list of chores.

Now, at this point you are most likely thinking "you live alone, have no obligations to anyone in your free time and you have a list of chores? what are you, like 10?" (I assume you are thinking that because i assume that like me, and most of the inhabited world, you have watched one too many reruns of "Friends" and have a tendency to talk like that.)

Back to the chores list. (has anyone else noticed that i have a tendency to get MYSELF off topic? it's not just in writing. oh, no, you are getting the whole "Listen to Lori try to tell a story" experience here.)


I don't know if it is due to my upbringing (German farmer Dad and Mennonite Mom) (wouldn't "Mennonite Mom" be a cool name for a band?) (am I too old to say "cool" and "band" in the same sentence?) and the idea that "free" time only came after all of the work was done, or if it's just the fact that i know that i have a tendency to completely not see the massive bits of yarn and various other fibres (i'm canadian, these spelling things will happen from time to time. it's not consistent) and will completely not think to vacuum if it's not written down somewhere.

Anyway, I was cruising craftster, enjoying that first cup of coffee, and looking at my list, which included "do something with the piles of stuff" meaning the piles of stuff in my bedroom. These piles included a pile of jeans to be given away to Salvation Army or else deconstructed and used to make something, a pile of already felted sweaters that needed to be organized, a pile of t-shirts to be cut up for a rug and a pile of yarn. Yes, a PILE of yarn. So organized.

**ironic sidenote: I am known, at my job, for my compulsive organization. When I started, I reorganized some spreadsheets that I needed to work with and they were all amazed. Somehow, I am compulsively organized at work, but not so much at home. I don't get it either**

So I decided to take on the jeans pile, right about the time that I read a post about a suggestion for a Craftster Challenge about re-using jeans. Then I remembered that I had already cut up one leg of a pair of jeans. So then I dug out my 15mm crochet hook (I have no idea what the letter equivalent is. let's just say "LARGE") and started to make a granny square with the denim.

Now, I don't know if you have tried this before, but "yarn" made from denim jeans that are cut into a continuous strip with the seams still in doesn't really, um, slide, like yarn that we know and love. It is an arm work out. But, the great thing is that 6 rounds produced a 1 foot square granny square!

So, at this point, I sorted through the pile of jeans, picked out a pair of really faded, work out green cotton pants (chinos? who knows what we call these things... comfortable, baggy, sloppy possibly) and, due to the magic of the camera (and the recent thaw in tension between my computer and my camera) I have pictures of the process of turning a pair of pants into "yarn".
Take one pair of faded, baggy green pants

measure and mark your cuts. i made my strips 3/4" wide. then, using a straightedge and a rolling cutter, I make my cuts, leaving about 3/4" uncut at the top edge

Now, it was at this point that the geekyness really sprung up to assert itself. (oh, by the way, in the meantime, while I was working at cutting up these pants, i somehow managed to clean up ALL the piles in my room, clean my bathroom and do my dishes. I don't know how it happened. Some saturdays the whole day goes by and nothing has been accomplished)

I was cutting through the seams with scissors, since my rolling cutter was not hefty enough for the task, and the scissors were hitting a nerve in my hand. I wrapped some fabric through the handles but it kept slipping and was driving me crazy. So, without really thinking about it, these things just happen sometimes, this appeared in my house:

I know. geek.

Anyway, back to the pants:
after the cuts have been made

which made me think of

er... let's move on shall we?

so then i cut across the uncut edge at a slant, which produces a spiral

which gave me this:

and then this

This granny square will be a rug for my bathroom. It feels SO good on the feet, sort of a foot massage. I had to keep a close eye on my friend Cobi when she came over for part 2 of saturGEEKday (coming soon to a blog near you, yes, right here, "saturGEEKday 2: The Cool Kids Hit Value Village". I think I'll do a few more rounds and then it will be finis (yes, CANADIAN, THAT IS RIGHT.) (No, I DO NOT speak French. There seem to be some latent high school French areas in my brain)

In the meantime, in between the cutting and cleaning, and crocheting (alliteration. FUN huh?) i started ANOTHER version of my mom's poncho. You've seen it already. I discovered a huge hole in it while I was at work, I repaired it and installed a lifeline. You know. that one. (I will not be commenting on the number of DIFFERENT types of ponchos/stitch patterns i attempted before settling on this one.) (8)(yes eight)

Here it is, basking in the 2.3 minutes of sun last saturGEEKday:

**to give you an indication of the joy of working with my ancient arthritic computer, I started this post at 10:23pm. It is now 12:05 am. I did not take any breaks. It takes almost a full minute to switch screens. WHEE**

See you tomorrow, when I will attempt to post "saturGEEKday 2". My friend Cobi stars in most of the pictures. She's very excited about her world debut.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

SaturGEEKday Part 1

... um... There was a really long post here with pics and everything. where did it go? ...

I will try to re-create my post, but really, it's like asking da Vinci to do another one like that Mona thing. (hee hee)

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

I wanna be a knit blogger.

I read a lot of knit blogs. It gives me something to do when I'm eating my lunch at my desk at work. Plus, they inspire projects, make me laugh and make me feel like I'm not so alone in my obsession. I'm not so good at commenting, but I think I should make more of an effort...

One thing I have noticed in my knitblogstalking is that there seem to be a few things that are prerequisites for knitbloggers.
1. a minimum of 1 (one) cat. More than one is preferable, but 1 is necessary.
2. a spouse/partner/significant other and/or children (minimum of 1)
3. at least 1 (one) completed clapotis.

Well. I have been worried that someone would discover my poser status and oust me from the knitblog world. I have no cat. No pet of any kind actually. i don't really like cats that much... shhh... I have no spouse/partner/significant other and/or children. I have no ...


I knit a clapotis this winter!!! Maybe there is hope. Maybe I can sneak past the censors.
I made it narrower than the pattern called for. I don't know what the yarn is. It was a mystery bag from walmart (eek) and didn't have any fibre content listed.

wanna close up? sure you do.

The yarn blocks somewhat, so I think there is probably some natural fibre in it. it has random flecks of yellow, pink and blue in it.

I have lots of kids in my life, just none of my own. I'll post pics of them when I have some that apply.

And, because I really really wanna be a knit blogger, I borrowed my mom's cat. She/He/It posed for me under duress. Actually, She/He/It didn't realize that She/He/It was being photographed at first. (I don't know Her/His/Its name. My niece has named Her/Him/It, but I don't remember the name.)

Then She/He/It looked me in the eye with a look that said "Who do you think you are? Oh, all right. Take the picture. Now leave me be."

So. Will that do? Can I be a knitblogger? I can invent a make-believe husband if you'd like. That actually might help me in other areas as well. "What's that? Will I go for a drink with you? No, I'm sorry my husband is waiting for me" ehem.

Okay. Enough of that. Now, for an update on the poncho. (because I know you are all just on the edges of your seats.)

The hole was here:

see it there? on the left? I started the knitting over there on the right. that was a lot of completed knitting. argh.

I almost didn't make it. I almost gave up on trying to get the stitches back on the needle. almost.
But, I didn't:

And this time, I used the brains that I had found along the way and installed this:

Can you see how the lifeline is in a wave? When I was trying to fix the knitting before I took it off the needles, I was trying to pick out a row below the hole. But, due to the wave effect of the fern lace, it was not possible. resulting in even more non-pg language and near distruction.

So. Thank you for joining me for this trip through the reasons why I should be a knit blogger and my relief over my knitting "triumph". See you next time.

Monday, June 06, 2005

(insert non-pg language and throwing things here)

Today I was all set to blog about the fun weekend I had. Not super-cool exciting like the in-crowd have, but fun in the "i am such a craft-geek" sort of way. Very fun. You'd love it. It involved deconstructing clothing, making new stuff, picture taking in public places...

But, I'm far too distraught at the moment to tell you about my fun/geeky weekend. (okay, it was just the saturday mostly, but it felt like the whole weekend).

Why am I distraught? you ask. I will tell you.


This is why I am distraught. I have knit about 28" on my mom's poncho/wrap thing (yes, I started it again in another pattern and another yarn. Let's not speak of it.). I was JUST thinking how much I'm enjoying this pattern, due to the fact that it is simple (read: easy) and looks pretty and is moving along quickly. I got 12" done the first afternoon! Yippee.

Now, you knitter/crocheter/crafter types out there are probably saying to yourself "WHY would you have those thoughts Lori? WHY? You KNOW that only angers the fiber fates and they will wreak their vengance."

I know I'm asking myself that very question. WHY???

I discovered this monster hole while knitting away at work. It took every iota of self-control that I could find to not bang my head on my desk, swear, cry, and rip the knitting off the needles. You understand that feeling, right?

As I was staring (for upwards of 5 minutes) dumbstruck at my knitting, one of the guys came by. "Um. Is that big hole supposed to be there?" I almost burst into tears. I said that it was NOT supposed to be there and I was trying to figure out how to fix it. Actually, I was trying to figure out how HOW HOW HOW it happened! (it doesn't look like a dropped stitch, it's not unravelling. I don't get it.)

Then, sensing my despair, he tried to be helpful. "Could you just cut it below the hole and start from there?"

I literally stopped breathing for a second. I couldn't fathom what he meant. Cut the knitting? To fix a hole? What?

He sensed my confusion so he went on: "What do you do if you run out of yarn?" I asked what he meant and he said "Well, say you're knitting a sweater and you run out here" he held his hands up at about mid-abdomen. I told him that would indicate REALLY poor planning. I said you could just get more yarn and attach it. He said "Can you do that? Wouldn't people see it?" I explained that you can attach a new ball of yarn and hide it and that I could just take the knitting off the needles and unravel it to where the mistake is. He seemed relieved for me. aw.

By this time, my amusement at his attempts to understand the way of the needle and string had taken the edge off the pain and I could look at it rationally. I realized that the point where the hole begins seemed to be the beginning of a whole bunch of trouble, since the rest of the pattern is messed up at that point. I realized that I could try to thread in a lifeline at a row that wasn't messed up and start from there. I realized that I don't need to cry anymore.

For now anyway.

**Late breaking news**
(sadly not accompanied by pictures. my computer and my camera stopped talking to one another shortly after the above picture was uploaded. I'll post the pics when/if detente is acheived. think good thoughts)

I attempted to insert a lifeline but it is HARD to do in loosely knit lace. I ended up almost losing all of it. I finally was able to get ALL of my stitches back on the needles, in the right order, with no gaping holes.

Thank you for your (brief, considering this update accompanies the original story) concern.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

(oh yeah, if IF i can get the computer and camera in the same room for long enough to work things out tomorrow, I'll post pics of my super cool/moderately geeky saturday.)

Friday, June 03, 2005

maybe it's time to get a life. or something.

Evidence of my needing a life/compulsive crafting abounds. The following are a mere smidgen of the examples that could be brought to light.

-I don't know about you, but often when I get the idea for something I want to make, I am in the WORST possible place. For instance, yesterday morning, I saw the Bellflower Rug on CrochetMe and realized that all of those t-shirts that I have that are too crappy to send to the Salvation Army (really, if it's too worn out for me to wear it, I don't want to presume that anyone else would want to wear them... right?) could be over-dyed in a common color to make them go together for my rug that I'm starting. I wasn't planning to crochet it, I was going to do mitred garter stitch squares, but now that I've seen this rug, I might change my mind. ANYWAY, So all day yesterday, I was thinking about this rug. All day.

-The shipping guy here at work was throwing away chunks of segmented foam (ie a block of foam with pre-cut segments so that you can make it fit the instrument exactly. We ship a lot of expensive instruments and need snug fitting cases). I told him that we could use the foam and he said "for what?" I said that he could use it in shipping, or the segments (about 1/2" square by 3" tall) could be used for painting, or for a bunch of other uses. For example, if you leave the segments together, a block of them could be a pen holder, or it could be used for flower arrangements (the guys were ALL on board with that one... ha). About 10 minutes later, I suddenly had an idea. I took a 4 segment square chunk of the foam and made this:

****LORI**** insert pic here

-In one of my first posts, I showed you all the mini sweaters I made for my friend's daughter's toy bunny. What I didn't mention was that I came up with the idea to do the duplicate stitch duck on the one after I was already in bed half-asleep. Now, that's not too unusual. But, I got up and did it then and there. Yes, yes I did. Could it have waited? Yes. Did it? No.

Right now, I'm fully distracted by Craftster's Challenge. If you Craftsters out there haven't checked out this section of the boards, you should. The first challenge produced such interesting stuff!

Right now my bank account will ONLY be able to sustain a Value Village/Sally Ann/MCC type crafting binge. So guess what I'm doin' this weekend???

hee hee