Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Four Kitties on a Windowsill in B'klyn...

So I haven't been blogging because I've been insane with the teaching. That doesn't mean I haven't had time to take pictures of my cats.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Two weeks down...HOW many more to go?

I'm off from school today--and I've got to praise the Jewish faith for having Rosh Hashanna exactly when I was beginning to think that I was going to have a nervous breakdown. Holy crap. Teaching teenagers is freaking rough--I thought teaching college was hard--that's nothing compared to this. I don't know how I'm going to make it to Thanksgiving. I just spent the last two days doing all of my lesson plans for next week. During the week, I need to get started on the following week. I've come to the conclusion that if I don't stay at least this far ahead, I will never get to sleep, ever. I get up at 5 so I can get to school by 7 so I can get my crap together for when classes start at 8. And also so that I don't get stuck in two hours of traffic. I nearly had a nervous breakdown when it took me over an hour to get to work on the first day of school and I staggered in at 7:40. Talk about cutting it close! So I really need to start going to bed between 9 and 10 instead of between 11 and 11:30 like I have been or I'll collapse from exhaustion any day now.

No, I haven't knit or crocheted anything lately. I've laid off the socks. I'm pathetic. I need to get back to crafting or I really might just loose my mind. It really sucks that I can't take the subway to work--that was always where I made the most progress. Maybe I'll look into doing that on the days that I don't have grad school at night...we'll see.

Monday, September 03, 2007

First Day of School

Tomorrow is the first day of school. I'm sort of crapping myself right now. I know it's going to be fine and I'm over-prepared, but I'm freaking out all the same. I want to try to enjoy labor day, but somehome, the looming thought of school is clouding my ability to do anything more than continue to freak out and squelch a desperate desire to go make more copies so as to be even more prepared. UGH!

By the way, in the craft department...let's just say that I've ripped out the heel of the same pair of socks three times. I think I need to set them aside. I want to work on another project that I can actually contemplate finishing sometime soon. I'm also stuck in limbo on the baby blanket I'm making for Sandra's daughter. I've got too much to do.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Remembering Katrina...

This time of year has been difficult for me for the past two years. Anyone who knows me, knows that my husband and I were stuck in Hurricane Katrina two years ago--that we were actually holed up in the airport when the hurricane hit and during the aftermath. It was a life-changing experience. Not only did it confirm my complete lack of faith in the president (I didn't vote for him) and the government, but it also made me realize who and what was really important in my life. I did a bit of friend and family pruning not long after that. That was also the catalyst for pondering if I should go back to teaching. I wasn't going to move down to NOLA, but I felt like I needed to do more than just work in publishing. I wanted to interact with people--to maybe make a difference. Teaching is also a way for me to do more than add to the consumerism of this country (and yes, though I firmly believe in my former-company's products, they're also a profit-driven company--something I was never able to fully reconcile with myself). And now, two years later, I'm literally days from really beginning my new(ish) career and going back to a profession I had abandoned not long after 9/11. I'm always contemplative around this time--a good thing, I think--and I can't help but re-live the experience and thank god that my husband and I made it--when I know so many people didn't. Click on the title to link to the original (sort of--I originally had it up on Myspace, but I don't blog there anymore) Escape from New Orleans blog.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Holy crapola

This is going to be a very, very brief blog.

I'm now an NYC Teaching Fellow and have been for the past month--which means I have NO LIFE. I plan lessons. I read. I plan more lessons. I write papers. I plan lessons. This is my life. Tomorrow is my birthday and you know what I'll be doing. You got it--planning lessons.

Cool thing happened in summer school this morning--a girl brought in her crochet rug she's working on (I was impressed let me tell you). I showed her my sock-in-progress. We're going to do more tomorrow! Hooray! I want to start a yarn club at my high school.

Anywho, I have finished one project (yes I am lame--only one!):

That would be Helena (or Fatty Longwhiskers as I like to call her) sniffing out the catnip in the nifty new knitted mouse toy. Meow!

Friday, May 04, 2007

It's been a while...

Almost a month. I find it hard to believe it's been that long since I've blogged, but there are the dates staring me right in the face. It's hard to argue with reality. I've got excuses (not that you're interested) and they are prefectly legitimate...I got a promotion at work so on top of all the usual spring craziness, I've been super busy trying to figure out the ins and outs of my new position. I've got more news that some of you already know about, but I am keeping that to myself until the time is right. No. I am not pregnant. Stop asking. I'll get knocked up when I'm good and ready.
Other news...I shipped out ye olde felted project to one of my best buds Ingrid and she loved it. I made her a felted yoga mat bag and it was pretty freaking awesome if I do say so myself. I kind of didn't want to give it away, but I knew that would be selfish and mean.
Sock news...after i finished the incorrectly knitted sock (knitted the toe correctly anyway) I started on the second one, didn't get gauge, said screw it, and just started on a new pair. One down, second in progress. The incorrectly knitted first sock will be the kitties stocking at Christmas time.
I've gotten an obscene amount of sock yarn lately--I really should post pictures of it all so you can tell that I'm not making this up. It's a little nutty. But then again, I'm a little nutty so it's all good.
I'm more than a little obsessed with this knitted giant glove.
More TK.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Busy and Sick

I've been sort of out of it the past few days with this weird spring-time cold (love the heavy-head feeling and general exhaustion--just makes waking up such a pleasure). Between my cold and work--which is flat-out insane (so insane that I've been taking crap home with me every single night because I can't bear to be in the office late and can just work from home when necessary)--I haven't been blogging or knitting. The second sock is in progress, and though the gauge is slightly different from the first sock, I think it'll be fine and Hubby will still be happy with his first pair of hand-knit socks. I'm not at all happy about the difference in the patterning of the sock though--the first one has this big ole spiral thing going on while the second is looking very stripey. I wish they were both stripey, but there really isn't anything I can do about changing that, so it is what it is.

I finished my very first felted project and it looks bloody awesome if I do say so myself. I'll post pics of it after I get confirmation that the recipent has received said present.

That's the news for now. Not very exciting, but I never claimed to be an exciting person.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Sock pic & Grendel

A pic of the finished sock:

Now I just have to get gauge and do the other one (hopefully just one more).

And a pic of Grendel who really likes to play with my yarn. Meow!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

One down...

I finished one sock (I'll post pics tonight or tomorrow), and I am going to attempt to get the same gauge as the first without knitting into the back of all my stitches by going down a needle size or two. I knit the first sock on 3.25's (#3), so hopefully if I go down to 2.5 or 2.0 it'll work, otherwise I'll have to knit a whole new pair and the one I already have will become a Christmas stocking for the kitties.
On the bright side, my new koigu should get here today.

Monday, April 02, 2007

I met the Knitting Yoda...

And boy-o-boy did I get spanked. Holy crap. I felt like Luke Skywalker after Yoda tells him "Do or do not, there is no try." Man. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Okay, so what the hell happened? Well since I've been on a sock craze for the past couple of weeks, all I can think about is buying more sock yarn. Saturday Brad and I had a gazillion things to do--including going to the dentist (yet again--I don't think I'll ever be finished. I'm tempted to tell him to just rip everything out and give me implants, but I know I'd regret that) and running out to the island to go to Trader Joe's to get good cat food (since this whole pet food recall, I'm even more grateful that Brad and I only feed our kitties the Trader Joe's Holistic Cat Food). So since I know we have a ton of errands to run (including ending up at Mommy-in-Law's house), I figured that since we'd be out there anyway, it was a good day to stop by Knitwits in Bayside. I'd heard good things about it on a couple of people's blogs I've been lurking on, and specifically remember it being mentioned as as stop on one of the yarn crawls coming from Long Island and Queens for the Harlot's Represent event a couple weeks ago (I can't believe it's been that long) so I figured it was worth a stop.

So I get to Knitwits' with Hubby, we ooohh and aaaahh over the yarn, I gleefully discover that they have steel DPN's (I think I like those better--I feel like the points of my bamboo ones aren't consistently pointy if that makes any sense), and hand over my purchases to Joan, the Knitting Yoda. I ask her if the yarn I'm purchasing two skeins of will be enough to make a pair of socks. She says, "It depends on your pattern." So of course I whip out my sock of which I am so proud which was near completion and tell her that I'm either going to do this pattern again or change it slightly because this is my first pair of socks.

And then she tells me I'm twisting all my stitches. Holy f*$!ing F*$!-nuts. All this time, I've been knitting incorrectly--or as she told me, not wrong, just making my life much more complicated. She asked how I learned and I told her out of a book (which she then pooh-poohed because she said she "didn't think much of it" and the author) and she then showed me how to not knit into the back of the stitches. I sat there on my knees knitting at her feet like a good little padawan-learner while she ruled over three other knitters telling one, "This is wrong; rip it out"; another "Undo the stupid stitches--why did you do that?"; another "I don't know what you did, but you're going to have to do it again." It was tough love. The knitters submitted to her critiques determined to please her--I was equally determined. While all this was going on, Brad stood in the corner trying not to laugh at me too much--he knows how I hate not being perfect at things, and the other knitters heckled him: "It's a good thing she already has a ring or we'd tell her to keep the socks for herself!" "Don't you laugh, or you'll never get anything hand-knit again!"

After I had successfully knitted and purled several rows correctly, she allowed me to purchase my needles, but wouldn't sell me more yarn because--get this--she wants me to come back and show her my progress to make sure that I'm not totally screwing up my socks. She let me leave with these final words--"You're a good knitter, but you've got to perfect your technique. There's no point in knitting if you're going to knit incorrectly." How do you argue with that? You don't. I'm a perfectionist, so I totally agree.

So what the hell am I going to do about the socks? Well, after Hubby patiently let me have a minor nervous breakdown in the car, (because of course I had to find this out just as I'm getting to the damned toe of the sock) I've decided to finish the sock in question--using the correct stitches of course--and go back to School Products, get another skein, and then really make the damned socks. That settled, he lead me to DSW for some shoe therapy.

In spite of being extremely humbled from this whole experience, I'm actually glad that it happened. It totally sucks that I'm going to have to make two more socks instead of just one more sock, but overall, it's much better that I know how to do things the correct way because it'll make me a better knitter. And I have to be honest--the fact that she told me I was a good knitter has carried me through all of this--not to mention Brad giving me knitting pep talks all along the way (he's such a good hubby--I don't know who else would put up with my knitting nervous breakdowns).

The knitting Yoda cut me down to size, and in the long run, I needed it.

May the force be with you (and your needles).

Friday, March 30, 2007

Sock Progress and Yarn Porn

So here's the progress of the sock--I think I'll actually be able to finish it by the end of this weekend (I hope, I hope, I hope). Now if I can only be assured that the second sock will go as quickly (probably more so since I have more of a clue this time around)...

The sock is actually a little longer already. This was before I did another 15 or so rounds last night.

Hubby was a victim of yarn porn yesterday. I sent him a link to the koigu at Purl and after much e-mailing back and forth, he decided to get me some yarn so I could make a pair of socks for myself (something for me! Oh my!). I think that it is really cute and sweet that he gets excited on my behalf about yarn--when we went on our mini yarn crawl last weekend, he was amazed at all the textures and colors. Now I send him pictures and he buys me yarn. How awesome is that? Riding the subway into Manhattan this morning, he asked me not to send him any more yarn porn because he'd have to buy more. Yeah, like that's going to happen ;-)

My new Koigu:

Thursday, March 29, 2007

For your viewing pleasure...

May I present Sawyer:

Sawyer is lying in his snuggly bed--an empty wooden wine box with a pillow and covered in an old blanket--but if you look kind of closely, you can see a peek of a blue, grey, orange, and seafoam blankie; six 7 x 9 swatches I made as practice before I dove into the world of "serious" knitting. It's ugly as sin, but his favorite thing to cuddle with (besides sitting between me and my husband and showing us his belly). I want to bite him, he's so cute. Supercute!

In sock news, I'm done with the gusset and working on the foot...I'll post pics of that tomorrow. Meow!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

My first heel turn

Thanks to the comments I got on my blog and all the responses on the NYC Sn'B group, I got home last night--after two unsuccessful attempts on the subway which proceeded in lots of ripping, followed by storming into the house and complaining to my husband that I must be the stupidest person on the planet (with lots of four-letter words thrown in)--I went into my office, looked at all the comments and e-mails again, pulled up KnittingHelp.com, and I freaking did it! I did it!!! I swear, I felt like the smartest person in the world. My husband definitely looked at me crooked after my "how ya like me now" happy dance followed by much air punching and general giddyness. I owe it all to the awesomeness of the knitters who helped me out during my knitting crisis. Thanks everyone!!
Check out my wonderful, beautiful, not-perfect-but-darn-close-enough sock:

This is what I started with...

Check out my heel!!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Sock Dilemma

I'm sort of freaking out about my socks for several reasons--first and formost is I really, really don't want to screw these up and I'm terrified that I'm going to. I know, I know--no one has ever been killed over knitting (that we know of at least), but still. In the grand scheme of my stuff, this is pretty big. I need to figure these socks out!!! Not to mention that I only brought the socks along with me today and if I don't figure out what to do about them, I'm going to have to bust a mission to Knitty City before I head home to buy some new yarn (and needles, since I don't have any except the dpn's I'm working on) so I have something to knit on my way home--and since it's an hour commute, I need a knit fix. Help!!

Here's the deal--I'm using a pattern I got from Spunmag.com and honestly, all was going well until I started scratching my head about turning the heel. I've already done this part:

This portion is worked flat in plain stocking stitch.

Knit first 27 stitches. Put remaining 33 stitches onto a holder.

>> Starting with a purl row, work 21 rows of stocking stitch,
slipping the first stitch of every row. The right side is facing for
next row

This is where I get confused:
>>RS: Knit 18 stitches, SKP, turn

If I have 27 stitches on the needle, and the pattern calles for me
to knit 18, SKP, and turn, what happens to the rest of the stitches
on the needle? Do you think I'm supposed to keep going w/ knitting
after the SKP?

This is the next step:
>>WS: Slip 1, purl 9 stitches, p2tog, turn
Same thing here--do I continue on purling after the p2tog? and then
turn? If I'm supposed to end up with 11 stitches on the needle from
decreasing, I think this is what is supposed to happen, but I'm not

Here's the rest of this part of the pattern:
>>RS: Slip 1, knit 9 stitches, SKP, turn
>>Repeat last two rows until all stitches have been worked. Ensure
right side is facing for next row. 11 stitches remain on the needle

If anyone wants to see the full pattern, it's available here:

In lighter, non-obsessing knitting related stuff, how cute does Sawyer and Helena look all smushed into one basket??

Monday, March 26, 2007

I'm on the hunt...

Why does it seem like I'm always on the hunt for discontinued makeup or the perfect pair of shoes? After getting out of the ASPCA on Saturday (where I saw the cutest little kittens ever, ever--they fit into the palm of my hand!!!), Brad and I went to Roosevelt Field mall out on Long Island. Brad needed to get a present for his aunt and uncle, and I needed to find my favorite lipstick. It's not just any shade of lipstick mind you--it is the perfect, perfect shade of red--it's deep and has a really beautiful blue/cool undertone (I know the ladies understand the importance of getting a red lipstick that is not too orange and not too brown). This was perfect. It makes your lips look like ripe cherries. It was by this company called Alchemy and the name is (approprietly enough) Devil's Claw. Well I dragged poor Bradley in and out of Sephora, Bloomingdales, Macy's, and Nordstom's and no one--no one--had anything even close--not even Channel! I am distraught. I did search on eBay and Googled it and my search turned up nadda--apparently the company is out of business. Ugh. To make up for my disheartening lipstick search, Hubby got me some drop dead gorgeous peep-toe black patent-leather shoes that I will post a picture of as soon as I get a pedicure.

In happy news, I bought more sock yarn yesterday. I went to this sweet little yarn shop in Park Slope called Stitch Therapy--lovely people in there. They don't have a ton of yarn, but what they do have is beautiful. (I checked out Knit-A-Way too and though I was impressed with their selection, I didn't like the vibe--and they're more expensive than necessary. They were selling Karabella merino at $10 a skein--the same yarn I can get at Knitty City for $8.) Not that I've finished the socks I'm currently working on, but that doesn't matter--this yarn was too yummy to pass up. Not to mention having the Hubby with me to pick out the colors of his next pair of socks makes things easy and fun. Here it is:

It's from a Welsh company called Jitterbug. 100% merino wool and it's so freaking soft. I can't wait to knit with it. Has anyone ever used this company before? I'm hoping that they'll be self-patterning like my beautiful Koigu, but I won't be devastated if they aren't.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Grendel reads blogs...

He hasn't figured out how to type yet though...

Off to the ASPCA in a bit. I'm bringing a couple of old blankets that we have in the house. They need them for the kittie and dog beds. I also started making really simple kittie blankets--14 X 12 inch blankies. The first one is in plain ole' garter stitch, but I think I'm going to keep making them and trying out stitches and patterns I want to try (and it's a great way use up left over bits of skeins and whatnot). In these cases, they really need to be acrylic so they can stand up to the crazy amount of washings the ASPCA does. It would be nice if they gave the blankies to the kitties when they get adopted, but I suppose I don't knit fast enough to replace them. Soon though ;-) That just gave me an idea--if anyone is interested in knitting or crocheting blankets for the cats and dogs waiting for adoption at the ASPCA, let me know. If one knitter/crocheter/yarn enthusiast can help, imagine what a bunch of us could do!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Darn it, Harlot!

I spend the better part of my commute--from the ass-end of Brooklyn into the city all the way to the Upper West Side--knitting. But when I have to transfer trains (from the D to the 1), I stop and read a book for the next four stops until I reach my destination. This morning? Same story. Except--I missed my stop because I was so engrossed in the Yarn Harlot's new book. So I had to get off the train, walk to the other side of the tracks, and get on going in the opposite direction (luckily I didn't have to actually exit the subway station to do this). That's how good Casts Off is.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

NY Knitters did the Harlot proud!

I went to the Yarn Harlot's (Stephanie Pearl-McPhee) Represent/Cast Off book party tonight and it was--in a word--awesome. I was completely blown away by the sheer number of people who showed up to show some love to the knitting world's favorite blogger (not to mention how much we all love knitting). It was pretty darn cool. My favorite thing about the night? Aside from Stephanie's amazing wit and hilarious banter with knitters afterwards, her publishing company gave out swag bags with a skein of Patton's Soy Silk and #8's from Boye along with some info and directions to knit a square for Warm Up America. If that isn't one of the coolest things ever, I don't know what is.

KNYtters Unite!

The Casts Off poster:

Look at all 750 of us! That's a lot of knitters (in case you didn't know):

That's Stephanie all the way down there...fuzzy, but what can I tell you?
It's her :-)

I must say, knitters--or all yarn enthusists, are some of the nicest people. While waiting to buy a copy of Stephanie's book, I was chatting with a girl on line behind me and she was in love with my sock yarn (as am I--I made a few coworkers stroke it yesterday because I'm so enamoured of it. They didn't resist--I think they were afraid). I was fawning over her beautiful hand knit shawl (mohair and silk). I aspire to someday knit something like that, and I told her so--but when I told her how long I've been knitting (just over 6 months!), she was pretty impressed that I had forced myself out of a dpn fright. Knitters rock. I don't care what anyone says, we are cool.

I must take this moment to say how incredible my husband is for meeting me at the Represent party--being a non-knitter is reason enough for him to have not gone, but he also spend the better part of the afternoon under the needle getting his tattoo sleeve worked on, so needless to say he was in pain. But he took the train in back from Brooklyn where the tattoo shop is, all the way over to F.I.T., and sat through two hours of knitting wit. He's a good egg. I'm a lucky gal--and so is he since he's the one getting my first pair of socks!

And in related news, here I am knitting my sock on the way to work this morning:

Represent with the Yarn Harlot!

It is positively criminal to have to work on such a beautiful 60-plus degree day when I know that there are droves if yarn enthusiasts swarming the city going on various yarn crawls and getting their picture taken with la bella Yarn Harlot while I am stuck inside slaving away like a good worker bee. Fortunately, I'm heading over to F.I.T. at 5 p.m. to see/hear the Stephanie and hopefully buy the new book, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off. I actually tried to get it from my local Barnes & Noble but they said the publisher hasn't shipped them yet--drat. Luckily, they are supposed to be selling copies there, so all is not lost (maybe I'll even get that picture anyway!). I'll also be passing out flyers for my little blog, and hopefully I'll get a few new readers (because though I love my husband and girlfriends very much, most of them couldn't give two poops whether I've just figured out dpn's--though they do appreciate the presents, so that is something at least). The countdown begins!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Sock it to me!

In preparation of the Yarn Harlot's decent upon the City (as us native NYers call it), I decided it was time to get my butt in gear and make my own pair of traveling socks since everyone else at the Represent event this Thursday is going to have traveling socks. It means absolutely nothing that I taught myself to knit only this past October--and that it took until just before Christmas for me to produce a scarf (in fun fur, thank you very much--I gave it to my mom). The Harlot was coming, so I busted out that beautiful Koigu I made the smallest swatch in the world with and got busy.

I searched high and low and finally found a pattern that doesn't look like it'll make me pull out what little is left of my eyebrows, and I attempted my very first dpn cast on. So far so good. Counted the right number, moved 40 of the 60 stitches to the two other dpn's, started the ribbing (it calls for K3, P1* for 6 inches which is a godsend since I dislike K1, P1 ribbing, though if I did that I could at least do it "until I was sick of it" a la Zimmerman--I'm not sure which is the lesser evil to tell you the truth) and since I totally forgot that my math skills are so horrid that even counting is a challenge, I had to frog it three times before I got it right. Except I didn't really get it right so I wound up frogging it again this morning and then casting on whilst riding the subway on my way to work. I got some funny looks let me tell you. It probably didn't help that I was talking to myself. And counting outloud. And muttering curses every so often, because damnit, I had no idea that knitting on dpn's was going to be this complicated. It's seriously tricky--not that I don't assume that other knitters who might be reading this are chuckling to themselves thinking, "Awww, how cute! A newbie's first time out on dpn's! I can remember back before I had my entire hand-knit sock wardrobe and was all awkward..." Well let me just say it loud and proud--ya gotta start somewhere. I'm pretty impressed that I was even capable of figuring out the pattern enough to get it started. So what, if all I have is 8 rows? I'm not counting! Well, okay, I am, but that's not the point. I'm just glad that I got it started without putting my eyes out.

Here's my beautiful Koigu and my first 8 rows on dpn's:

Monday, March 19, 2007

Ugly Sweater Vests...

I would love to know who actually wears some of the booty-ass sweater vests I've come across while searching for a good sweater vest pattern. I wanted to knit myself a really cute black sweater vest because, though I've seen lots of them around recently, for some reason designers have taken to attaching a faux button-up shirt underneath the vest like so:

Note--this is an actual vest I saw on eBay. It's not one in a real store, though if it was, I would probably buy it. I'd also get one in plain black. I don't buy clothes on eBay because I have this thing about buying clothes I haven't tried on, but I digress. Everywhere I go I see sweater vests with a "layer-look" faux shirt attached. Who came up with this brillian idea I would love to know (so I can go and bitch-slap them in the mouth).

But when I look for cute vest patterns, all I come up with are fugly things that I wouldn't even put your granny in:

Do not attempt to adjust your screen. Those are actual strawberries knitted into the vest. I'm not kidding. Fugly. Really, really fugly. I don't know anyone who would actually wear this. Do you?

So attention all knitters--anyone who has a cute vest pattern, please hook a sista up!

The Latest Baby Blanket (yes, again)

I mentioned a few posts ago that I was crocheting yet another baby blanket--this one for a coworker and his wife. Well I finally finished said blanket last week and crocheted up a cute little sweater vest for super-cute stuffed doggie that hubby and I found in Michael's. Here's the pics of the completed projects:

I used Paton's Shetland Chunky Tweed and a 6.0 mm crochet hook.

And because I am just that crafty, I also made a handmade card:

Up next? My very first felted project (I'm having serious anxiety about this, let me tell you), and the possiblity of me actually going back and attempting to knit socks. I don't know how successful I'm going to be, but damn-it, I'm going to try!

Cat and Dog Food Recall

In case you haven't heard about this yet, Menu Foods, Inc., makers of the popular cat and dog food brands Iams and Eukanuba (as well as Purina, Science Diet, and over 40 other brands), have recalled thousands of cans of wet dog and cat food. These products have caused kidney failure and death to several household pets already. Please check out Menu Foods, Inc. Recall for information about other products affected and be sure to take care of your pets!

The ASPCA website has additional information:

ASPCA Press Release on Cat and Dog food recall
Meow! Woof!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

You know you knit too much when...

You start searching CafePress for knitting t-shirts. It is really problematic when the idea of getting these panties seems like a good idea:

Maybe I should just stick with this t-shirt:

The weird thing about that t-shirt is that it kind of looks like me....

Monday, March 05, 2007

An Update from the Krafty Gal...

Lots of stuff going on lately--as I mentioned before, it's one of the many reasons I haven't been updating as often as I would like to. So here's a nice, easy bulleted list of stuff that I've been doing, working on, getting, making, yadda, yadda, yadda:

• Just bought Knitting Without Tears by Elizabeth Zimmerman. I know, I know…as a knitter, I should have gotten this a long time ago, but what can I tell you?

• I’m now officially a volunteer at the ASPCA. After doing orientation and whatnot, I just got my ID on Saturday. (No, I will not post what it looks like because it is a mug shot as every ID I’ve ever taken is.) I’m very excited because I’m going to the “Cat Volunteer” session on Wednesday.

• Enrolled in another belly dance class (starts March 26th!) because it’s been way too long since I’ve shimmied and that is just sad.

• Almost finished with the baby blanket I’m making for my coworker Jay and his wife Lisa. I’ll post pictures as soon as it’s done. I’m also planning on making a sweater for the very adorable stuffed dog I’m also planning on giving them.

• Making plans for my next baby blanket project (so much for swearing off of them) for one of my bestest girlfriends, Sandra. She’s having a girl, so I’m thrilled to be able to crochet it pink. I think I’m going to try and design a ladybug blanket because she is completely obsessed with them and she’s having a “garden” theme for the baby’s room.

• Using my Denise circulars on the mystery-project-intended-for-my-friend’s-birthday, and I’ve discovered that it can be a little sticky to cast on when using 100 percent wool (I’m going to felt it). I figured out that going up a half size (knitting on 10.5’s, went up to 11’s to cast on) alleviates that problem.

• Hubby and I got a new dining room table in Ikea this weekend and it is beautiful. We got the chairs last weekend. We got the Markor table in dark wood and 6 Stefan chairs in red. It looks freaking awesome, especially with my turquoise and red candles, red table runner, and turquoise placemats. Yes, red and turquiose. It looks good. Really. Now I need to throw a dinner party to justify having such a big table and all those chairs.

• Work is still crazy-as-all-hell.

• My family has been driving me bat-shit.

• I’ve got a serious case of writers’ block.

• I need new music.

Ummm…that’s it right now. Unless I can think of something else.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

My hiatus...

I haven't been blogging much lately for a couple of reasons, mainly because I would normally blog during lunch at work--but I've been working through lunch and eating at my desk (yes, I know how unhealthy that is). And I've been dealing w/ some family stuff. So yeah--blogging hasn't been at the forefront of my mind. Things'll get better. It's just rough right now.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Here Kitty, Kitty blog...

I decided to stop trying to write two blogs. Really now, who do I think I am? Originally I figured I'd write one blog for crafts (this one) and another for the rest of my life (Here Kitty, Kitty), but honestly, who has the time to keep up with two blogs? Not I! So from now on, it's all here--stuff about my crafts and stuff about my life (AKA--Hubby, the cats, family, friends, work), all in one blog for easier (and faster) enjoyment! Feel free to peruse the old blog, but look here for all new posts :-) Hooray!

This is why I get nothing done...

Because my kitties love to hang out on my work/craft space at home. I can't do a thing about it. They jump up, I put them down. They jump up, I put them down. See where this is going? Eventually I just move my stuff/crap to a tinier space or give up entirely and go work in the living room on the couch where--you guessed it--the kitties come and make their presence known. I could close the door when I'm working (as Hubby often tells me I should), but then I won't have kitty company when I'm working, and really, kitty company outranks need-space-to-work any day.

Elphie and Helena:


Helena sitting on my new squishy laptop case from Brooklyn Industries (she's just gotta get her stink on everything):

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Denise Circulars!

I got circulars for V-day!!! How cool is that? Not only did Hubby get me an uber-gorgeous pearl bracelet (pearls and sapphires are my absolute favorite) for V-day, he also got me the Denise circular needles I've been lusting after! Who is better than him? Nobody!

My very first project is of one that I cannot speak because it's a birthday present for a friend who I think occasionally checks this blog and I want it to be a total surprise. So as soon as I finish yet ANOTHER baby blanket (it's my own fault--talk about how many blankets you've made and then when your good coworker friend tells you his wife is preggers, you've already built up the hype), I'll get to work with my circulars.

The best thing about them? The wires are pink and a portion of the proceeds goes to fighting breast cancer. Okay that's two things, but they're both really cool!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Have A Zombilicious Birthday!

Our friend Sean (Sean of the Dead on Myspace for those of you who indulge) had a birthday yesterday, so a bunch of us gathered in Queens at an awesome little Irish pub to help him celebrate Sunday night (god, I love President's Day). In addition to the awesome Samhain sweatshirt that we got him, Brad and I collaborated on a birthday card...Sean is completely obsessed with Zombies (in case you didn't get that from the SOTD reference), so we took pains to make sure the card was zombie-appropriate.

Yeah, it's awesome. I'm pretty damned happy with that bad-boy. Happy Birthday Sean!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Hubby's Been Pimping Me...

Well, at least my scarves. There was a lady he worked with that was constantly complimenting him on the black and multi alpaca scarf I made him at the beginning of the winter (actually, I made it over the summer and it sat there until it was finally cold enough to wear). Her latest compliment resulted in him asking if she was interested in getting one made for herself. Well, it turns out she was, and Brad quoted a kind of low price (considering the amount of trips we had to make to various LYS to try and find the correct yarn/yarn colors), but when I finally finished it, I was really pleased. Apparently she was too :-) Happiness on all ends.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

This is why you don't do an increase/decrease scarf...

So. My sock project. I need to learn increases and decreases before I felt comfortable diving in, so I figured I'd put that yarn that I was totally compelled to buy last week to good use and make Hubby a new scarf--with increases and decreases--and kill two birds with one stome (though you know I don't believe in killing birds). The alpaca one I made last year is sheading like a MF-er.

So I cast on, decrease, increase, write out pattern as I go along. At about 40 rows into it I realize that this is just not going to work. The triangles are curling in. What is the point of doing all that work if it's just going to roll up? So I frogged it and started over--this time a simpler stockinette/garter combo which I'll post pics of once I'm further along. But the increase/decrease wavey scarf did look cute. Until it rolled up.

***I took the photos at work and then frogged it on the train going home. That resulted in some odd looks, let me tell you.

Smallest Swatch Ever

After frogging my first swatch half-way through because it was so obviously too big, I had a tiny strand of yarn that I couldn't use because I (like a big brute) pulled too hard and broke it. So I'm looking at my beautiful yarn, saying to myself, "What can I possibly use this for?" Hence, I grabbed my tiny #1 needles and I give you (drumroll, please, the smallest swatch ever (only 8 stitches across!!!)

And before you ask, yes. I am so anal retentive that each yarn band gets an index card with a snippet of the yarn. This time I decided to go even more nuts and actually make a swatch, because, well, I'm nuts.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Granny's Scarf...

I made Granny (Brad's grandmother who I heart a lot, a lot) a variation of Jenn's super cute scarf...I used really snuggly yarn...Bernat Softee Chunky yarn in Natural and Heather Grey. I used the same pattern as Jenn's scarf, except added an extra row on either end and used two colors instead of one. Switch to a 6.0 mm crochet hook. I gotta tell you, it literally took me two days total to work this project up. I'm not sure if it was because I only had two days before I had to give it to her or because the yarn itself was really nice to work with, but I highly recommend this yarn for doing quick projects. It's fabulous.

Brad modeling Granny's scarf:

She loved it! :-)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Knitting shish-ke-bab

So I've been knitting for around two months now--I've done swatches and scarves and I'm sort of over them. I wanted something new; I wanted a challenge. My mom-in-law gave me the book Knitting Help by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee...and I gotta tell you, she makes you believe you can do anything. So after hours of browsing patterns--both in my ever-growing knitting library and on the internet--I decided that I wanted to knit socks. Socks! The perfect knitted garment--offering almost every technique I wanted to learn: increases, decreases, ribbing, graphing, even cables if I wanted to.

I found the perfect (though tiny) yarn at School Products--the oldest yarn store in NYC and the tiniest needles I've ever worked on--a nifty new set of bamboo DPNs (3.00 mm)--and got to work on my swatch (only after finally unraveling the damned yarn; could someone please explain how to roll twisted skeins of yarn into balls without getting the whole thing all tangled? Please? It's killing me). I cast on. Thirty stitches and three rows later and I began to wonder--am I going to really be able to knit with these DPNs? It felt like I was knitting shish-ke-bab; the needles are so damned light. They really feel like those bamboo skewer thingys you use to make shish-ke-babs! I'm just not used to it. I'll plow through the swatch, but I think I have to look for heavier and more sturdy needles. Otherwise I think I might accidentally sit on one and and a) break them or b) puncture something.

My pretty, pretty yarn (I know you're jealous):

Jenn's Birthday Scarf!

I sent this scarf to my gorgeous friend Jennifer (the darling girl who designed my new awesome logo) for her birthday at the beginning of December. (I know, I know...I'm so bad at posting pictures in a timely fashion--if you were as busy as I am, you wouldn't bitch. Geez!) I was so happy with the way it came out, I almost made her something else and kept it for myself :-) I couldn't be that selfish though. I had a bit of yarn left when I finished the scarf--a beautiful, brilliant red 100% merino wool yarn in worsted weight--so I busted out a cute flower pin to go along with the scarf. I crocheted this using my very favorite Clover 4.5 mm hook, and it worked up so nice--the pictures really don't do it (or her for that matter heehee) justice. Check it out!

Some scarf details...

Here's the pattern:
Gauge: 4 stitches per inch
Work chainless foundation double crochet until it reaches around 4 feet (approx. 192 stitches).
Turn. Work another row of double crochet.
Turn. Work 1 dc skip one *repeat to end of row.
Turn. Work a row of double crochet (in every stitch).
Turn. Work 1 dc skip one *repeat to end of row.
Turn. Work row of double crochet.
Turn. Work another row of double crochet. Fasten off.
Work 2 rows of single crochet at either end.

If you're into the pretty tassle thing, use three strands per sc space. I wrap the yarn around a CD case to get them all the same length and then trim as necessary.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

New She's Krafty Logo!!!

Unless I can figure it out, I'm thinking that this blog may be moving soon. I'm finally, finally going to get my She's Krafty website up and running--and it would make more sense to host my blog in the same place I'm going to try and sell my stuff...so we'll see. I'm not exactly tech-savvy, so we'll see what happens.

In any case, my very favorite transplant NYer Jenn Barone (now living in SF), created my new She's Krafty logo...and I'm sort of in love with it. Check it out: