Monday, November 29, 2010

Snake, Not on a Plane

People sometimes ask about instant gratification projects. Toys are always very high on my list for that particular topic.


This was an extremely fast project. As with all of Susan B. Anderson’s toy patterns, it’s written for 4 DPNs. This particular snake was knit with a single 50g skein of self-patterning sock yarn.


I did one more set of increases, working the body of the snake over 30 stitches instead of 24. I though 24 looked a little puny, but that was a pretty simple mod. I also ignored the suggested length and just knit until I was nearly out of yarn. I also skipped the “force the snake to curl” step. I figure this way he can be whatever shape he wants, whenever he wants.


The tongue was knit from a teeney little scrap of sock yarn I found at the store. I figured sewn-on yarn eyes wouldn’t stand out on the orange/black background of the snake head. So I used some invisible thread out of my quilting stash and two white sequins from a $0.99 package at JoAnn’s.


This guy is headed to my niece for Christmas. Gotta love handknit toys for the under-4 set!


Nate the Snake

Pattern: Curly Snake by Susan B. Anderson from Itty Bitty Toys
Yarn: Zitron Lifestyle
Color: 1863 Multi
Quantity: 1 skein/169 yards
Needles: US 3/3.25mm wood DPNs
Started: 19 October 2010
Knitting Finished: 30 October 2010
Embellishments Finished: 26 November 2010
Mods: Knit over 30 sts rather than the 24 directed by the pattern. Ignored length guidelines and did not forcibly curl the snake.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Worth the Wait

Last September (as in September 2009), I got my needles busy and zipped through the “base layer” of the Felted Door Mitten from Two Old Bags. Then I felted it in the top-loader at the Lake and handed it over to our needlefelting teacher at the store.

Yes, I could have taken Peggy’s needlefelting class, but I have a rather strong belief that we all have different types of creativity. My various talents do not extend to drawing anything. Peggy’s most certainly do.

So a week or two ago, Peggy sent my finished Felted Door Mitten back to me. It’s perfect. No, it’s beyond perfect. Here, have a look:

As soon as Wreath Season is over, this is how my front door will look for a few months.

Uh-huh. Seriously awesome.


In addition to a seriously awesome hat and scarf, Mr. Snowman has a killer 3D nose. Here’s a side view


How awesome is that? And no, I have no idea how Peggy did that.


He has a great snowscape at the bottom of the mitten, and the tree is pretty cool too.


Snowflake buttons and a redbird in the tree! Oh, and the tree even extends to the back of the mitten!


How freakin’ cool is that? Again. There is absolutely no way I could have done anything half this cool on my own. Know what you are and know what you’re not. I could not have done this.

Peggy did an amazing job needlefelting this mitten. I’m sure I’ll enjoy having this on display for many, many years to come.


Felted Door Mitten

Pattern: Felted Door Mitten by Two Old Bags/Katie Nagorney and Anne Swanson
Yarn: Cascade 220
Color: 9543/Midnight Blue
Quantity: 1.5 skeins/330 yards
Needles: US 10.5/6.5mm
Started: 4 September 2009
Knitting Finished: 7 September 2009
Embellishment Finished: November 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Buckling Down

There’s some holiday stuff I’ve been busily crafting away, but can’t show you. You’ll get over it. Meanwhile, here’s what else I’ve been working on.

I’m totally addicted to my crochet project. I think someone may have to hide it from me until I’m finished with my deadline/Christmas crafting.


Love it. Must step away from the crochet.

In other news, I’ve been knitting away on my owls.


I started sewing features onto the owls last night, only to discover that the instructions for the owl feet had confused me. And I like the look in the picture much better than the look of the goofy-looking feet I’d created. So I may be re-knitting some owl feet. Grr.

But the good news? That’ll go quickly and I am already planning a really fun FO-to shoot in my head.

And finally, I think the towel-in-progress on the loom will polish off this warp. Hooray! Then I can move along to the commission weaving that should be pretty quick.


I have a great finished project to show you. Hopefully I can get that post written tonight to post tomorrow, but just in case I don’t manage to do that, Happy Thanksgiving and thank you for reading my blog!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Oh Crap

Hi. I started with a bit of Holiday Crafting Panic this morning. There’s no way I’m going to be able to get everything done. I think. But I’m gonna give it a shot and try hard to do the gym first thing in the morning, then do a “timed tasks” thing. I can weave for 30 minutes, but then I need to do something around the house for 30 minutes. It worked really well last Wednesday and I had a blow-the-doors-off-my-list kind of day. Here’s hoping it continues to work that well.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, here’s what I’ve been working on!

I’m still chugging away on Nonpareil. This is the first button band. I’m hopeful I can finish it at Hurricane Knitters tonight.


My Musique socks are also chugging along. They got some good air time at dinner on Saturday night. They may have to take a back seat for a bit. Christmas knitting, dontchaknow.


Of course, there’s nothing better than when “Teh Shiny” meshes perfectly with deadline knitting. While working on a shop sample on Saturday, I was flipping through the new magazines at the store. There were a couple things in KnitSimple’s Holiday 2010 issue that looked promising, then I got to the back of the magazine and found some Susan B. Anderson toy patterns.

Bought the yarn right there, then started knitting owls as soon as I got home. Christmas present for the nephew! Even better? These are FAST!


I got in some fabulous time on the loom last Wednesday. Remember that super-productive day I mentioned? Of course, I haven’t touched it since, but Wednesday is for Weaving. Guess what I’ll be doing as soon as I post this blog entry?


And then? There’s one new thing on the agenda. I’ve had two rounds of interviews in the last two weeks. So I figured I needed to take care of something now, since I may not be able to do it later. Crochet!


It’s the “Meditate” CROCHET afghan pattern from the Berroco Comfort afghans book. Our fabulous crochet teacher at the store works on Tuesdays, so this is what I did yesterday! It’s a foundation chain of 210 and I am totally off to the races on this pattern. I’m gonna be a crochet expert by the time this puppy is done. It’s purple and white, so it’s for the Hubster in Northwestern colors. Go Cats!

So that’s what’s happening around here. Hope you’re just as busy as I am!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I don’t get geeky about a whole lot of stuff, but Barenaked Ladies are certainly on that list. Back in August, I road tripped up to Cleveland for my first opportunity to see them play as a four-piece band. When BNL announced they were coming to Pittsburgh in November (last Thursday, Nov. 11, to be specific), it was simply a matter of figuring out who would go with me. Missing the show was never an option.

I splurged a bit. Front-row seats were available and very reasonably priced! I wound up going to the show with three of my Thursday night knitters, and we had a blast! A sat with me up front with D and CelticQueen a few rows back. We had a bit of a dinner disaster (1:45 for dinner? Seriously?) and missed the opening act, but got to our seats well before BNL took the stage.


Roaming Tigger was there, of course. He really wanted a picture with the other animals on Kevin’s piano, but he was too chicken. Sad!


I figure that’s some sort of cartoon elephant on the piano. The name is on the tip of my tongue, but I just can’t figure it out. Help? The bird fell during one of the last few songs of the main set, and came back out on the neck of Kevin’s guitar, since he’s a puppet.

Once again, Sound of Your Voice was amazing. It made me sad they weren’t selling digital recordings of the show. Again. I’d totally pay for the version of this song they do live. It’s awesome.


We heard about the Euro-fabulous street signs in Homestead (I never noticed them, but Celtic Queen and I were totally laughing when we drove by the backlit etched signs on the way home.) It was awesome.


I’m hoping the guys had fun and will be back soon.


I know I’ll be in attendance the next time they’re remotely close to my area!


I didn’t want to bore you all to tears with all the pictures I took at the show. I’m geeky enough that I have a BNL group on my Flickr account, HERE. The first row is from a bookstore show in California, the next row is from Cleveland in August and the rest are from last Thursday.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Herringbone Möbius

There are a few perils of working at a yarn store. One of them is walking in to a new shipment of yarn when it’s immediately obvious that you’re going to call it George. It happens to me about once a year, usually in the fall when the new stuff comes in.

You may remember seeing these beauties showing up on this here blog a few weeks ago:


Manos Maxima, and they're beautiful. After working with them, I would say that my initial instinct was correct. Malabrigo with better variegated colors. Very nice.

So I picked a project that would show off the yarn. A simple Möbius with a stitch pattern that was going to look good on both sides.


I picked the “Herringbone Rib” stitch from the Harmony Guides. I’m sure it’s in the knit/purl book, but I pulled card #32 out of my “101 Stitches to Knit” card box. Why use the cards instead of the book? The cards are charted. The Harmony Guide book is not.

I also did my “standard” möbius bind-off, an applied I-cord. I love the way it looks and for me, that makes the extra time and yarn worth it.


Oh yeah. The bind-off. I kind of ran out of yarn when I was about 60% finished with the bind-off. Fortunately, I knew that CelticQueen had purchased this same yarn out of the same shipment and she was kind enough to let me mooch enough of her yarn to finish my project.

It’s longer than I had planned (oops) but I’m still a fan. I forget how much I enjoy möbius knitting until I have one on the needles. Then I remember. Must remember more often!


Herringbone Möbius

Pattern: Card #32 from 101 Stitches to Knit by Interweave and Cat Bordhi’s Möbius cast-on
Yarn: Manos Maxima
Color: Beehive
Yardage: 2+ skeins, roughly 500 yards
Needles: US 9/5.5mm KnitPicks Options
Started: 14 September 2010
Finished: 2 October 2010
Mods: Not really a mod, but I cast on 304 stitches for a multiple of 16 to work with my chosen stitch pattern, which means each round was 608 stitches or 38 repeats. Probably should have done something more like 256. Oh well.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

WiP Wednesday

Another crazy day around here. I hate feeling like there are 300 things I want to get done in a day/week and I can only accomplish 30.

Well, I can check one (very very small) thing off the list: Blogging!

Nonpareil is sailing along towards Sleeve Island. This is sleeve #2. If I’m a very good little knitter, maybe I’ll get it finished at Hurricanes tonight. I could even start seaming if that happens!


The Musique socks have gotten a few rounds in since the last time you saw them. There are maybe 6-8 more stitches between the markers. Really!


As much as I’m dying to get back to the loom, I haven’t managed to throw a shuttle in about a week. Damn LeafWars!


And now, I’m off to the races trying to cross a few other things off of my list. Like getting both of my sewing machines dropped off for service! Laterbye!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Life Happens

Sorry for the long blog hiatus. I got a little buried in life and let this slide. So what has been happening at chez DPUTiger?

I had a gigantic case of writers block, primarily because I decided to write something I really cared about. Story was finally posted here today. Four days late. I suck. But I’m proud of that story and happy to be able to feature two very special people that I consider friends. One more entry over there, and I’m done for the fall. We’ll see what happens in the spring.

In the middle of all that, I found out that a very dear friend from my days in California lost his battle with prostate cancer. On Thursday morning (in the middle of some massive technological difficulties with the interwebs), I found out that Ted was losing his battle. I cried most of the afternoon. If there was one person who eased my transition with that softball team from “on the outside, looking in” to a full-blown member of the family/staff, it was Ted. Years after his daughter finished her softball career and graduated from UCLA (in 2002), Ted was still coming to games, home and away, from his home in San Diego. Taking pictures. Distributing clip books to the kids at the year-end banquet, recapping every game of the season. Ordering “mom bags” for the new parents. Sending out newsletters via email after EVERY GAME and updates in between.

Today, his youngest daughter (the one who played on those first three teams of “mine”) sent out the last Ted Rahn newsletter to let us know that Ted passed away late Wednesday night, October 27. I feel fortunate that a “sixth sense” told me last spring that something was wrong. Ted told me of his diagnosis then, and we “talked” via email. We talked a bit about our friendship and how much he has meant to me. I’m glad Ted knew I loved him. He was one of a kind in the best possible way. When it warms up next summer, I will mix up Ted's margarita recipe and enjoy a big 'ol glass in his honor.

< / end sad portion of blog post >

Other news, in no particular order:

I had a phone interview for a job last Wednesday. No word yet. I have a feeling that’s bad news. If that’s the case, I’d say I’m disappointed but not crushed. The right thing will come along, eventually.

Two Saturdays ago, I went out to Chicago for the weekend with the Hubster. It was homecoming weekend at Northwestern and since he's a season ticket holder (no, really! He is!) for Wildcat football, he wanted me to come along. It was an exhausting trip, but it was a lot of fun and I'm very glad I went. Even though we had a row of jerks right behind us at the game. (Public Service Announcement: If you want to sit comfortably through an entire sporting event, I suggest purchasing luxury suite tickets or staying at home and watching on TV. Yelling "Down in Front!" at people who get up to cheer on a big 3rd down play or on a touchdown pass is just going to piss them off. Especially if the home team chokes late in the 4th quarter. Either stand up yourself so you can see or STFU.)

I was also able to spend Friday evening with my college roommate, which was fantastic. I hadn't seen Pantooties since my wedding in 2003, so it was great to hang out for a night. Yay, Facebook! (that's how we managed to reconnect after years of distance)

We got the storm-damaged trees taken care of. They brought a big ‘ol truck with a cherry-picker. No other way to deal with limbs hanging over a fence from a tree sitting on a 70-degree slope.


And when they were done, you could see why that ginormous limb came down. A big chunk of the center was missing!


I cut the first three dishtowels off of the loom. They are not giftworthy. I shall try again. Fortunately, there is plenty of warp left on the loom. Hopefully Round 2 will be a success!

All three of these towels are different treadling patterns on the exact same warp. I’m repeating these same patterns (in different colors). But I’ll probably cut apart these towels and may gift them anyway. To friends who have specifically requested reject towels. Who knew?


That’s a broken and (mostly) repaired warp thread in the center there. Holy uneven beat! (that’s why it’s stripey. It’s not supposed to be stripey.


This was the first towel of this set. Ironically, the beat was better. Possibly because it was the most simple treadling pattern. But my selvedges are a train wreck. Hey, I’m a beginner. It’ll get better!


Again with the hideously uneven beat! I will get better. I will get better. I will get better …

In other news, LeafWars 2010 started today. I still have a möbius to show you. And the WiP Wednesday thing. And a nearly-finished snake. I’ll get back into the groove over here. Thanks for understanding my absence.