30 January 2006

Goths, Olympians, and Terrorists

Those whose taste tends towards goth might enjoy a new online knitting mag, The AntiCraft. The first issue's title is, "You're Going to Die Anyway, so You Might as Well Knit." There are patterns for a voodoo doll, skull armwarmers, and several other items. Actually, while there's certainly nothing cutesy-cutesy here, the designs aren't actually all that goth, really. Even those whose wardrobe includes colors other than black might find something they like. My only complaint is that some of the photos are so artsy that it's hard to get a good idea of what the item really looks like.

Yarn Harlot is hosting a Knitting Olympics event. The idea is each contestant chooses a project that will challenge her, casts on during the Olympics opening ceremony, and finishes before the Olympics do. I won't be participating because I'll be in London for a chunk of that time, and because what should be 22 hours of perfect knitting time is ruined by the fact that Virgin does not allow knitting needles in carry-on luggage. I suppose this makes sense. We all know about the links between knitting and terrorism.

28 January 2006

A favorite picture

I actually took this photo a year ago, but I like it a lot, so I decided to post it. I use it as wallpaper on one of my computers. The picture was taken at sunrise, on the deck of our timeshare at Kingsbury Grade, above Lake Tahoe. The shot is looking down on the Carson Valley, from an elevation of over 7000 feet. When the clouds clear, the valley's not so exciting-looking, but this picture always seems to me like you're looking down from heaven. Except in heaven, your children don't wake you before dawn.

26 January 2006

Wavy Gravy

Ruthie Toothie models the Wavy Gravy scarf from Stitch 'n Bitch Nation. I think she looks good in purple.


I am a grown woman, and I am currently hiding candy bars from my own children.

When I was a kid, my favorite candy bar was the Marathon Bar, a long, braided piece of chewy caramel covered in chocolate. No nougat nonsense. No nuts. Just caramelly, chocolatey goodness. I'd walk to the Plaid Pantry and buy one for a quarter, and then savor it slowly the whole way home. And then, at some point during my youth, Marathon Bars disappeared. Alas.

About two years ago, though, I discovered with much joy that Cadbury's makes a Marathon clone called the Curly Wurly. The problem is that they don't sell them in the United States, so you have to order them from companies that import candies or British foods. And during the warm months (which is a good part of the year here in the San Joaquin Valley) you can't order them at all, or else all you'd get would be a melted gooey mess. Plus, they're pricey--about $1.30 each plus shipping. And, of course, no immediate chocolate caramel gratification.

I was planning on importing some bars for myself when I go to London in a couple of weeks, but there's probably a limit on that. I can only imagine explaining to TSA offocials why I have a large hoard of candy bars in my suitcase. I'd probably end up on a list somewhere.

Last weekend we visited our nearest BevMo so that Dennis could stock up on beer for football-watching (on which I will comment, parenthetically, that if you have to get kinda buzzed to enjoy something, it's probably not that interesting to begin with). And there, to my great delight, was a whole box of Curly Wurlys (at $.99 each). I instantly snatched up 10 or so and tucked them into the cart behind the beer, where the prying eyes of small children wouldn't spy them. When I got them home, I spirited them away into the back of a cupboard, where I have been slowly doling them out to myself. In my defense, I have been sharing with Dennis, but maybe only because it's a lot harder to hide candy from him than the kids. The kids are perfectly satisfied with more common forms of junk, and we can save the Curly Wurlys for the more discerning adults. I'm just glad to have found a local source.

One problem: you can't knit and eat a Curly Wurly simultaneously.

23 January 2006

Tell me about your mother...

As promised, fresh off the needles...it's Knitted Sigmund!

I used the "Knit Your Own Rock Star Pattern" (Henry Rollins version) from Stitch 'n Bitch Nation as the body template. But the facial features and clothes design were my own creation. Siggy was a bit fiddly to make, mainly because of all the layers of clothes, but I did enjoy adding a pocket watch chain and, of course, the cigar.

When I began this project, I didn't know that Anna knitted. I may have to knit an Anna as well.

For now, I can imagine a friendship that may, perhaps, exist in the Hereafter:

18 January 2006

Anna Knits!

I'll be heading to London in a few weeks, and while I'm there I hope to visit the Freud Museum. That's what comes of having a PhD in Psychology. So I was just visiting the museum's web page, and happened across this little bit of information about Anna, Freud's daughter (and a well-known psychologist in her own right): "Anna Freud was a keen weaver and a knitting enthusiast, this latter activity being one which she practiced during analyses of patients." The museum has her loom on display. I wonder what she knitted as she listened to her patients?

16 January 2006

Felting Fun

The other day I completed a couple of felted vases. I really like the one on the left, which was made using two strands of Plymouth Galway (one red, one off-white) together. Nice and valentiney. The one on the right, however, felted oddly. It was made with Berroco Foliage. As my hubby commented when he caught sight of it drying in the bathroom, "What is that thing growing in there??"


But what to do with it? Seems a waste just to dump it. Then I turned it over to dry more thoroughly:

and inspiration struck. Hideous, malformed vase, but not a bad pincushion! So I'll just stuff some fiberfill inside, and pincushion it shall be. I may even pretend I meant it to be a pincushion. So there.

And no, this isn't the mystery project to which I alluded yesterday. That one's still in progress.

15 January 2006

More Unusual Knitted Things

Courtesy of Knatolee, here are links to a fiber artist who has created, among other things, a knitted ab roller, and to an elaborate knitted garden blanket. I have an unusual project of my own on the needles right now. Hint1: "Anxiety is the price we pay for civilization." Hint2: It is not any bodily organs.


Thing 1 models her new hoody. The yarn is the natural-colored wool from KnitPicks that she and I Kool-Aid dyed several months ago. She chose the colors herself. The pattern is from Sally Melville's The Purl Stitch. I think it turned out cute. I wish I'd made it a little longer. It's fine for now, but she grows so fast! Oh well, Thing 2 can inherit it later. I do like the way the yarn color worked out, and the whole thing still smells faintly of Kool-Aid, which isn't a bad thing. Now if she'll only wear it. Thing 1's thermostat is apparently set really high, and I have to argue with her to wear anything but a t-shirt on even the coldest days. Or maybe it's the perpetual motion that keeps her running warm.

14 January 2006

This Is Not a Hat

This is actually intended to become a felted vase thingy. But Thing 2 discovered it before I felted it, and for a while it got to be a hat.

Thing 2 pulled it over her own face, as you can see in the first picture. I had to persuade her to just wear it on top of her head. I'm not sure quite what she resembles in the first pic. A miniature bank robber in footy jammies? A rasta hostage? A very strange alien?

09 January 2006

More Interesting Knitted Things

The Victoria & Albert Museum's website has a section on knitted things that aren't garments. You can submit your own picture. I love the jellyfish1 and 2; must make one for Thing 2, whose room has an undersea theme. And Knatolee, there is a knitted cow sling! But the best is the Flying Spaghetti Monster, complete with link to the pattern. I posted about the FSM some time ago; you can read about it here.

The V&A site has other interesting knitting stuff, too, including patterns. Check out the Conrad gloves.

08 January 2006

07 January 2006

Demon Spawn?

I found these barrettes in Berkeley today. Are they not just about the best barrettes in the whole world?? It's coincidence that Thing 2 was wearing red today, and that she had spent the whole day hanging with Dad, thus her generally disheveled appearance.

The new Magknits is up, with a children's theme. I find one of the patterns especially appealing, for reasons that will become obvious.

04 January 2006

New Reviews

I updated my Yarn Store Review page today; I added several new reviews and re-organized a bit.

03 January 2006

Knitted Zombies

at Craftster. And, by the same artist, knitted Shaun of the Dead.

Old New Sweater

Long before my kids were conceived, I knitted a bunch of stuff for my potential children-to-be. Most of it was baby stuff, and the real kids have now long since outgrown them. But a few were in larger sizes. This sweater was one of them, and it now fits Thing One nicely. The bright colors suit her, too. I have a new hoody for her on the needles now, made from the yarn we Kool-Aid dyed, but I still have a way to go on that one. So she'll have to be content with this sweater for a while.

Oh, and that's Ruthie eating breakfast in the background. And a changing table, which I am soooo looking forward to getting rid of, but Thing Two isn't quite ready to give up diapers yet.