Saturday, December 13, 2008

elf chum

i'd heard about the workshop from mochimochiland. why not? i says. and i was lucky, LUCKY! enough to have the day off. i sent invites to Agnes and Jess but they declined. i went ala carte. an unusual thing for me to do folks. it was gloomy december and i needed to do something a bit frivolous you see.

Jenny Harada led the worshop and kindly shared her fabric stash and a pattern for her cute Elf Chum design. we cut the small pieces out and hand-sewed them and stuff the lively creatures. we were scheduled to be done by four and ran-over the time till 'bout six. well, most of the group anyhow.

here is my chum in stages.

i must get an FO pic and add it to the post....

if i can learn to work my machine i can make some a bunch of elf chum (ornaments, toy gifts, decoration...) next holiday.

i had an absolute blast. i hope to attnd more workshops at gallery hanahou branch out my crafty demons further.

you can view pics of the event, participants and their chums

Thursday, November 20, 2008

the first official sewing project

it all started with the harlot! i sat behind this lady person at the reading. she was knittin' on a sock or some similar small project and her project bag was super cute. i asked her where she got it and stuff. the ones i saw in the shop she mentioned were cute but note quite what i was hankering for. having seen all the luscious fabrics at purl patchwork i decided i would make one my-very-own-self. never mind that i have no idea really how to sew or don't have a machine. well, i have one but it doesn't work. or so i thought!

the original plan was to go to yoga with jess. i of course altered that plan because i wanted to get crafty. we were to head to the point and stitch it up. the point is a hop and skip away from purl soho so we would just pop in, grab a yard or two and head to her place to sew or not sew.
then i got the sick. sometimes you eat things that have aliens in them and the aliens take over your body and don't let you leave the house. even if for the first time ever you were not only on time but early to meet your buddy ol'pal that you haven't seen in like a long time and had a crafty day planned.
i got dressed. i packed a bag. i went outside. i walked a block. i walked that block again on my way back into my apt. and there i stayed folks! i was totally disappointed. cause who knows when i would have had another day off and jess would have a day off too and we both weren't busy and sad face. i pouted in my apt. every time i thought i could try to sneak past the aliens and go out- i was proven wrong.
at a point i finally accepted i couldn't leave but would not accept the fact that i couldn't sew.
but i have no fabric!-
well, there was the half yard left from the lining i hand stitched into kristy's pouchy i crocheted her for our bday...(we have the same bday)
yea but i have no machine!
well, you do have the machine your grandma gave you that you never could figure out how to work in the deep deep bottom of the closet...
yea but! i have no manual! how will i get that thing to work?
well, you do have that endless resource of information on the ravelry forums...
(way more efficient that the www btw)
fine! i'll try it. i will make an absolute mess and hurt myself getting the thing outta the closet and it won't work. ravelers will tell me my machine is broke and i dunno how to sew and give up and just buy the bag it's waaaay less trouble.
i got the machine out with minimal damage to myself and the apartment.
a raveler answered my plea quite promptly and it turns out i just had the machine threaded wrong.
and so , the sewing machine was in proper functioning order. and from my attempt at starting a scrapbook i already had a rotary cutter and self-healing mat...

i found a super simple project on kathryn ivy's blog and decided to practice. and only 2 hours and much cursing and a few pin pricks later...

after that exercise i became an expert on that particular method of construction and altered the measurements to stitch up my very own iphone cozy


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Stitches East - the first

this weekend past was stitches east in baltimore, md. my first attendance to this great gathering i had heard so much-ehem, read so much about.
We (being me and the not-yet-husband) drove out thursday night to hit up the market floor first thing friday morning. i was hoping to snag an addi click if they were magically available there. or at least get a peak at a sample. the Skacel guy said the release date was being pushed for quality control. it's okay, i'll wait. i rather they get the design right than release them with a bunch of defects. i have experienced a full plethora of issues with my Knitpicks Harmony Options. time to upgrade.
i was warned to be careful. make a budget, bring a list and walk the entire floor quickly before making any major purchases. i armed myself with a print out of my rav queue and stash so i don't get stuff i already have similar and i could focus on projects in mind and not just buy random amounts of yarn aimlessly.
surprisingly enough i didn't go crazy with he yarn shopping. i have a modest stash and a modest budget and i guess i was too realistic about how much i could knit ever. i was like, overwhelmed. there was so much yarn! of some many kinds. i knew of some of the hot items that i should probably snag. but i didn't really have a use for them like Malabrigo sock, or lisa souza yarns ... there were bags of noro half off and i have been pondering the noro striped scarf (one of the original viral knits i think. i know i found out about it from brooklyntweed and yarnharlot) but i just left that bag there. another issue is space. where would i keep this all in my tiny NYC apt?
i regret not grabbing a Knitter's Block though. if for nothing else than to save on shipping it to myself later. i just didn't have an immediate use for it so i figured i would wait. it's just something i need eventually to complete my knitter's arsenal of supplies.
i made up in quality what i didn't grab in quantity. i took my sweet ass time picking out some Quivik from windy valley musk ox. i had first seen them at rhinebeck and didn't take pen! (long story) so i was determined this time around.
i hardly took any pictures. just snapped a couple baby sweaters because they were too adorable not to.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

new york sheep and wool festival 2008

the festival was sat and sunday and Robert assured me it was not that far and would be a fun day trip. with his convincing we went on our merry way in the not too early morning hours and had a fabulous time. there were sheep, of course and goats of the cashmere variety and llamas and alpacas of which i do not think i can tell the difference...isn't it pretty!
i am so glad we went. i didn't end up spending too much money. i was glad there was not bags and skeins and wheels and things that i was dying to go broke for. with stitches coming up it is best that this was more a less just a day out. especially since i have been feeling like crap lately and work life was leaking all over my personal life it was nice to be reminded that my stupid job is not everything. i expected the food to be icky carnival food but it was surprisingly like the best thing i had eaten all month. we ate chicken sandwiches at the cajun hole in the wall and it was not greasy, nicely seasoned and fresh. that was a pleasant surprise. i would drive up there now to get one of those. but i can't drive.
and how cool is this guy!? he totally posed for this one!

i took alots of pics you can see them in my picasa

i bought:
a set of felting needles

a needle gauge pendant
heal my hands salve
a gnome kit from off the beaded path
and i couldn’t resist getting a drop spindle and some roving to try my hand at spinning.

my SO even started his very own stash…

Friday, October 17, 2008


New york sheep and wool festival 2008

the harlot kept mentioning this 'rhinebeck' at the reading and in the q&a and i had heard the term thrown around the ravelry. i knew i had already researched a time a go and it was logical that i just was not going to be able to attend so i had put it out of my mind. now this yarnyharlot goes and puts it back into my head. i have to go! how will i maneuver this with the mischievous powers- of-the-evil-job?....

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Yarnharlot Writes Again!


i have attended only two "book readings" prior. (at least to my memo
ry this is so as they were attended both purposely and enthusiastically. my prior employment with borders group may have exposed me to other events which i was not and currently am not aware of. i digress...)

and knitting related of course. the first, in brooklyn for the launch of stitch 'n bitch nation by debbie stoller some years ago, and the second, my first encounter with the yarnharlot in
columbus circle last year. both enlightening and entertaining experiences. I had not been a reader of for very long. it wasn't until i joined ravelry that i was aware of very much anything in the world. some raveler in some post in some thread in some group must have made me click on some link that had me lmao at the muggles. So i became aware. i read this post after the fact and was afrown that i was not able to attend. i am always the last to know!

i miss lots of stuff. i found out about stitches east shortly after the 2007 event was over. I was like, a year late to ravelry. and i only just read Twilight. okay, i read the entire saga. in absolutely no time. and i am reading it again. because i can't deal with the empty hole in my life since i finished. so i am not letting it end. i will just keep reading in this continuous loop of the space/time continuum so that Bella and Edward are always...

yea i know.

i miss alot of things.

i didn't see an episode of My so-called-life until after it was cancelled. i wasn't hip to nirvana until after Kurt shot himself. and i am sure there is something phenomenal going on right now that i am totally unaware of.

so, when the harlot said she was gonna be in bklyn at the B&N on tuesday oct 14th i marked my calender. me, second to last on the left in the third pic down.
the harlot wonders why i didn't bring any knitting.

me and the harlot telepathically making plans to take over the world, one sock at a time.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

It Ends or the frogging of the sweater

yea, i dunno what i am doing so i am ripping this thing out and i will start fresh after a break.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

it begins...

i have casted on! with some hand-holding from Ravelers and a lot of reading i have begun my sweater adventure. i am (mostly ) using the incredible custom-fit raglan sweater . there will be alot of fudging though. i guess i was supposed to use my row gauge to calculate the angle of the v in the neckline and decide how deep i wanted it and all that. most standard seems to be to increase only ever fourth row or so. for a crew/round neck you increase on every right side row and that is how i have started. if you just keep going past the point where you are supposed to join the round for a round neck and join later, then you have a v-neck. i think i will go with that. it's probably best to have a more shallow neck line for modesty anyhow. and it leaves one less thing to do at the same time as the short rows. i think short rowing across the front (in the round) will be easier than short rowing at the ends of every row and then connecting later. plus i have to try this sucker on constantly. jeez, i can't wait to finish this one and start a new one already! 

Thursday, September 4, 2008

the challenge

 i want to knit a sweater darn it! i want my very own cozy  soft and comforting sweater to warm my bones. handmade by me. but that's not all. i want it to fit. and there in lies the trouble- nay, the challenge!

there are some knitting guilds that don't let you in until you knit a sweater. it's like a requirement. well, what if you don't wanna make a boomin' sweater?
does it mean you have naught the skill of an excellent knitter? no, but i guess the sweater is the most basic of garments that tests all necessary skills at once. with all the techniques used to knit a sweater you can make then, anything. 

casting on and of course, increases and decreases (shaping), seaming and weaving in ends. all these things plus the demonstration of patientience, commitment to a project and consistancy in gauge. to fancy it up one could cable, a bit of lace colorwork- extra credit if you will.

i am slowly but steadily working my way through. i have read and researched and forum posted and i now am armed with a better knowledge for my journey. the shaping and the darting and the modificationing of the pattern- that is where my tangle lies. i can't just take a pattern and some ayrn and twirl away. because when finishd it wouldn't fit me . instead it would make a fine fit for some mannequin in some factory. 

which pattern to use?
which fiber to use?
what color to make it?


Thursday, August 7, 2008

who says you can't eat yarn?

i just received my Paume order.
O. M. G. these yarns are de-licious.
fluffy balls of cotton yumminess.
they will become my pets....
(runs to take some pics)

Friday, August 1, 2008

my etsy

my first order came in the mails to-day! yay!
i am a busy-ness entrepreneur. scary. my goshness the threads from japan are uber kyuuto! i just can't take it. they are like little baby yarns next to american jumbo skeins. pics coming soon. for now, a color chart.

Monday, July 28, 2008

the staycation

knitting has been on  hold. i am finding i am not as in love with my knitpicks options as i thought i was. so i don't feel like knitting with them. maybe all i need is a break from them. the summer heat and my ufo add has me crocheting quick and dainty projects. plus, i just LOVE my hamanaka rakuraku crochet hooks. to pieces! i have both the regular set and the lace hooks. somehow this summer i became a threadie. who knew!

so, Nozomisan was nice enough to translate that freaking book for me. the whole book ! in like a week. she's crazy. but i am thank-ful. i learned the tatting. it's hard stuff. i made this little motif practice thing with size 10 thread. 

sure, i made a mistake or two but i got the gist.
 i immediately took up the size 80 and tried a different motif with that. ha! size 80 is no joke. i have had to cut the thread like three times. i will make that stupid thing though! -i think. somehow. it's hard work. now that i know the mechanics of tatting i just dunno what i wanna make. collar edgings and table runners aren't really my style. plus those are kinda huge projects. i have to conquer this other motif first then i will worry about that.

Nihonjin kurafuto?
my adoration for all things cute-ly crafted inevitable-y and eventually lead me into the world of  crafts japanese style. it doesn't help that-well, actually it does help, it does, that i have a Kinokuniya a hope, skip, and jump from me. amigurumi, tawashi and little crocheted coasters and fabulous little fluffy handmade yumminess-i am into it all. and still i haven't woken up with the magical ability to read and speak japanese fluently like that girl did in Heroes. poo. until then i will have to make due. ( i do have that Rosetta Stone. i give it a thumbs up. i just don't do the lessons as often as i should.)
 i have learned, from these japanese books,  to read a chart. a wonder in itself, the charted crochet pattern allows for no loss in translation. actually, i can't go chartless now. there is just too much ambiguity in written out patterns. even in english. 


the business end
all this dabbling in japanese craft and acquisition of many japanese pattern books inevitably and naturally led to a search for japanese yarns. the yarns they make for tawashi are silver ion treated acrylic with antibacterial properties ideal for cleaning ( ehem, 'ta-washi' carries an audible resemblance to the english words 'to wash'. coincidentally that is the purpose of tawashi, to wash. dishes...etc.). the cottons they use for these home projects, even just through photos, seem of a different origin. much more representative of the cozy comfy cotton we use for clothes. more reminiscent of the plant the fiber came from. in texture and weight that kitchen cotton cannot compete with. 
the antibacterial acrylics like Cafe Kitchen iw as able to find in ichigonopantsu's etsy shop. gotta love the ravelry connections. but delicious cotton! that was different task.  this project from this book as seen on this blog  started it all. 
substituting this yarn was waaay more difficult than i thought it was gonna be. the yarns that i found were too thick too thin and too rough looking. so i started lookin for this Hamanaka Paume which is the yarn suggested and  couldn't find it anywhere! now i got my own etsy shop,, so the next person looking for it won't have to look that hard.
this bag was made with a sport weight or dk cotton called CottonnottoC . also a hamanaka concoction. i haven't found that one... yet.

Monday, July 7, 2008

tatting is japanese to me!

like the language i can' t decipher this new craft demon, which is only one of so many, taunts me by making me buy this book:
i wasn't even looking for it! i was in Kinokuniya checking out the crochet books and BAM! this here tatting book was on the shelf. it was the only one and the demon inside snapped it up with no concern of cost. or more pertinant, how will i use this book if i can't read it.

whatever. it's part of my library now. there are some cute motif-y charts in there. which are the most elementary tatting practice i have found so far. i think the tatting demon is satisfied enough to rest. for the moment.

Monday, June 30, 2008

adventures in tatting

i bought me a tatting shuttle yesterday. the tatting demon was first encountered  june 17th 2007 during a long awaited trip to MAD for the Radical Lace & Subversive Knitting exhibition. Doodling, (Hildur Bjarnadottir, 2005) had me, well, stupefied really. i stared trancelike at the swirling lines of thread until Robert shook me back from the transcendental world. "i must learn this art!" a voice in my head- impersonating my very own self resounded. the demon lay dormant until just recently. it's emergence coinciding with the newly available online resources related to said demon.