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 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:

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Grendel, the scarf model

I made scarves for my mom and my mother-in-law for Christmas. They were my first attempts at knitting, and overall, I think I did pretty well--especially since I was dealing with that weird fun fur stuff that is so hard to work with. I knit them both on 10 inch 9 mm/size 13 needles. And I know it'll piss some knitting purists off, but I bought funky looking purple aluminum needles simply because they look pretty. It made knitting more fun so I don't care if my aluminum needles offend people!

Here's Grendel sporting the scarf I made for my mom; I used almost three skeins of Lion Brand Fancy Fun Fur in Stained Glass:

A close up of the scarf:

Here's Grendel sporting the scarf I made for my mom-in-law; I used two skeins of the Moda Dea Fur Ever in Black Gem:

A close up of the yarn:

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Merry X-mas Bitch

I made most of the Christmas cards that I sent out this year. I had looked around at all of the standard ones and to be honest, I really wasn't all that impressed by them. Did I really want to send kittens? Or snowmen? Sure I found a pretty cute "Happy Everything" card, but was that really all there was? So one day, as I sat doing a lot of nothing in our apartment, I happened upon a really cool ad. It was in Time Out, so luckily it was in color, depicting all it's witty glory: Bavarian Black Lagar. There stood a cartoon dominatrix with her male slave in the background with a beer balancing on his butt.
"I want that!" I said in my silly voice that Brad says makes me sound slightly mentally challenged. He just laughed at me. I was inspired though. I had to figure out something to do with that cartoon. I rummaged around in the basket we keep in the bathroom (you know for what--don't make me say it) and found another ad. Two copies. So I got to work.

The first one I worked on looked pretty good (I though)--I got rid of the beer on the butt with a trusted Sharpie (since it wouldn't translate once I got rid of the marketing crap). I had recently bought some nice card stock from the craft store along with some scrapbooking supplies and voila! My dominatrix Christmas card prototype.

It was cute, but it wasn't perfect. I cut the whip out of the original because I didn't trust myself to get rid of the background ad info without ruining the picture. Unfortunately for me, I wasn't satisfied, so the next step was a doozy. Because I used one of my only two examples of the ad on the prototype, I was very, very nervous about using my only one left to do the rest. What if I screwed it up? What if I accidentally cut off her head instead of just piece of the whip?

Thankfully Brad came to the rescue and he was able to isolate the flash picture on line to make a still PDF. He saved that and printed it so I wasn't as nervous cutting into it--I knew I could print out more. Luckily I painstakenly cut out the picture, using a tiny pair of scissors I usually reserve for cutting loose threads on silk and satin when sewing, and I finally had a ready picture. We headed over to Staples, I made color copies and I got to work...

The silver foil is actually oragami paper I found at Kate's. The purple is also from Kate's, but that is regular stationary. I also found the cool snowflake cut out thingy there.

Here's the messy workroom/office:

A bunch of bitches:

The final card:

I only sent this one out to around 12 people (and I gave one to a coworker who thought his sister-in-law would get a kick out of it). Anyone who had small children or nosey relatives got a tame one. I think it would be fun to sell them, but since the image is probably copyrighted, that's not going to happen. I think I'd like to work on doing other kinds of cards though--goodness knows I've got plenty of wise-ass sayings to go in them.


One of my favorite X-mas projects was the stuffed kitties I made for my boss' two children, Miles and Lena. They came to visit him one day recently and being absolutely adorable, I couldn't resist bonding with Lena who was wearing the cutest freaking pair of Vans I've ever seen--hot pink with black kitties on them; now there's a kid after my own heart. Anyway, since I'm the cat lady and they both like cats, I decided to make them a couple of their very own...and this is what I came up with:

I used the Lion Brand Tiny Teddy Bear pattern with a few changes to make it look like a kitty--mainly the ears and the tail are different.

How do I know they like them? Lena's been sleeping with hers since she got it. :-) If that's not enough to make you feel warm and fuzzy, I don't know what is.