Friday, June 20, 2008

 

Post Seventy-Nine: Free is Good

Thanks to the mother of my amazing Nerdling, I am now the proud owner of a Singer sewing machine (model #2502), complete with original parts AND manual. And it was free. Guess it means I'm picking up more than I expected this summer in my crafting. Though it will be nice to be just that much less dependent on others for my clothing/stuff. Heck, if I got sheep or something, and keep working, I could make all my own stuff, all the time in the clothing department, anyway. Except I think I'd still buy underwear...that would be itchy and unpleasant. 'Course, I could get silk yarn and still knit my own, anyway.

Yeah...gonna go play with it now ^^

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

 

Post Seventy-Eight: I Did it!

That's right. After a couple hours of playing with it, I managed to make my spindle make something recognizable as a yarn-type blob. Let's take a look, shall we?
That is what I started with: brown wool from a mystery sheep, found in my kit discussed in the post yesterday. I pre-drafted it a bit and went to it.

And ended up with this ^_^



This is the yarn on the spindle after plying it once.


And this is my cute little mess off the spindle. It looks better in person, trust me.

No, seriously. It does. I really should've waited until tomorrow, when my camera would be able to work, but I was so excited I just had to take pictures right away ^^.

Must do more. Tomorrow, though- my hands are tired. It's not a set of motions they're used to. Yet. But we are gonna practice, most definitely. And it will get better.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

 

Post Seventy-Seven: Further Updates and Photos

WARNING: Intensely Image-heavy at the end bits. But there's an I Spy game if you wanna...

Ok, so I gave in to the excitement and the realization that I finished Jess's Yule gift (yeah...) and took some pictures. And decided to share some others so y'all (not that anyone reads this poor thing...maybe I should give 'er a facelift...) can see what I've been up to.

But first, the socks:
Yes, those are shingles behind them. My room has terrible lighting after 6 for my poor camera, but the roof outside my window works just fine.
No, the socks aren't blurry- the yarn just looks like that. It was Patons Cha Cha, in Vegas, if I remember correctly. Not a fan of fuzzy yarns, personally, but it was one of those things someone who tried crocheting and didn't like it felt the need to donate to me. Good news is that Jess likes fuzzy socks (and it's ok for me to post this, btw- she doesn't read here. Ever.), and that the yarn wasn't too terrible to knit up. Simple enough pattern, too. Tia Judy's "You're Putting Me On" socks, here. Same pattern I used for my first socks. It only took me this long (since December 10th...) because I put them down for a while at the heel of the second sock, where I just didn't feel like knitting for a bit. And then school got in the way. And her birthday passed...so, it's gonna be a combination Yule/Birthday/Grad present.

Also featured on my lovely roof/personal balcony is my new Drop Spindle kit:
And of course, the innards, right.

The instructions are hiding in the bottom, along with the wool wash sample in the left corner there.

It looks like I'm going to have an awful lot of fun with this ^_^ though I won't be surprised at all if I go through the full half pound there without producing anything I'd call yarn. I'll just work my way through the uglier bits first! The lighter brown has some teeny tiny sticky bits in it, so I guess that'll be first to die.

But of course, the star of the show, Cindy the Spindle:She's simple and homely, but she will do to learn on. I figure that once I get the hang of the whole making yarn bit, I'll reward myself with a pretty spindle. Or try a low-whorl, for variety. Or get a pretty low-whorl and kill two bids with one eBay. Hah! *ahem*...

Also, this is what I've been up to since you heard from me last. This was my room at the end of my second semester at MSU:


In other words, disaster. Some of the photos are faded-looking because my camera sucks at the whole lighting concept. The disaster has since been cleaned up, over the course of three entire days and four garbage bags of papers, clothes (which were donated, those that could be), and miscellaneous crap. The only thing I threw nothing away from was the stash.

But let's have some fun with this. How about a round of I Spy? Ok!
Find me:
And yes, all that crap really IS in there. Happy seeking!

Also, simply because my brother made them and I find them hilarious, and they star my kitty, here are some homemade Lolcats for your viewing pleasure:
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Post Seventy-Six: Spindle!

The Mango is about to join the ranks of spinners worldwide. Friday I acquired a little Louet drop spindle kit with a little wooden top-whorl spindle and a half pound of wool roving in natural, medium-brown, and dark brown/black. Also instructions and a tiny little sample bottle of wool wash, which kinda spilled in the bottom of the box some time ago, but still has some left in it.

Anywho, I'll be getting started learning tomorrow, or tonight if I get ambitious. It was decided a while ago that my goal for the summer would be to learn to spin. So here I am. Here's hoping for passable yarn by August!

Also, since I've noticed a backlog of craft projects sitting around my room, I'm not starting any new ones until the whole queue I've got now is finished. With the exception of spinning practice, of course. So on this list I've got:
...yeah, so it's gonna be a while before Mango can take on anything new. Ah well. I've got enough to keep me busy.

I'm going to try my best to keep this better updated, honestly. There'll be pictures of the spindle as soon as I get some yarn(ish-looking things) on it.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

 

Post Seventy-Five: Killin' Time

I've got a makeup exam for my calc class in about three hours and obviously need to take up some time.
Been in a very writing-oriented mood lately. It's a good time to work on Aven again, I think. Poor guy hasn't been properly tended to in over a year.
Hmm...maybe I'll deviate on over to Ravelry, where I just got invited ^_^...start working on getting it all set to go. Or upload some poetry to DeviantArt, where I also just got an account...meh...we'll see how motivated I get.

Ergh...I belong to too much shit online. Kind of obnoxious. And I SWEAR that I know that girl on that couch...but I can't for the life of me bring myself to stare long enough to figure it out. Hate stare-ers. Only the ones that stare at people, though. Ergh...

Monday, March 03, 2008

 

Post Seventy-Four: Erm...

I seem to have lied in my last post. About posting more often...

But I can justify it! I haven't been knitting much lately, and this is primarily a knitting blog, so: no posts. Hah! I win!

*stalks merrily away*

Monday, October 29, 2007

 

Post Seventy-Three: Procrastination

OK, so I'm hanging out up at the Union building (one of this particular commuter* student's favorite stalkings), erm..."doing my homework" KNITTY Sorry- bit of a cold going on, it seems...

Anyway, I've decided that right now, all things considered, life is pretty good. I just need to get started on those projects like I said I was going to be. Want to do those fingerless mitts I had planned when I bought that beautiful powder-blue angora in Montreal last Spring, though by rights I really should do my Marquette scarf first, but I don't feel like knitting any more scarfy-things, really. Stephan's Ugly is really close to done now, seriously...I just have to add in the final fug, and take pictures, of course.

On the subject of things which suck, though, my beloved cellphone has finally died. Not even all of it- just the ear bit. I can't hear anyone talking unless I put it on speaker, which with the conversations I tend to have, I don't really feel like doing. Not like the government's not listening, anyway. (Appropriately liberal and paranoid for a college kid, there?) So Awesome Republican Chris has offered up his old one while I'm between phones, since we're on the same network anyway. It's the same phone my dad used to have, so I know perfectly well how it works, it's just that I have none of my ringtones, so I've missed 6 calls in the last like two days because I'm not used to listening for these particular rings; I'm very well used to knowing what noises my phone does and does not make, unfortunately, they're very different from what ARC's phone makes. Blah. I've got a $140 credit coming to me to get a new phone since I recently switched plans and numbers, but I don't really want a new phone; I want my phone, and I want it to work. Please.

I was just pondering the differences between me when I started this and me now, and I've come to realize that I give less of a shit about whether people know I'm a young one or not. Speaking of which, I turned 18 on Saturday. Go Scorpios! Anyway...I recall using a tone a bit more "adult" and vague about things than this, and watching it gradually decline.

I do still attempt to refrain from using "lol" and the like in prose writing, though. Drives me nuts. It's not like Americans really even use ENGLISH anymore, so why degrade it further?

Anyway, I probably SHOULD actually do something now. Gonna go play with my template- I'll report in more often now, surely. Things're calming down. A bit.

*I'm on campus so much I should be granted honorary residency. Douchebags.

Comments:
When did you move to Mason? That's where I grew up and went to school and where my dad still lives. Mason. Really?! That's so weird.
 
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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

 

Post Seventy-Two: College

The Mango which has not posted in for-freaking-ever has not done so due to many reasons, including graduation, moving, and college.
In the process, to the best of her knowledge, she has completed...absolutely nothing.
But she's close to Stephan's requested Ugly Scarf's completion, and at a tricky spot in the self-designed tank top, which is past a year on the needles.

But she's going to get back to her homework, so college doesn't totally kill her.

(and hint to several Yule projects being started, but not revealed...)

Comments:
Yay! Mason! I take it you're at MSU now?
 
Yeppers. It's pretty sweet.

Already have two people wanting me to teach them to knit, too ^_^
 
People should read this.
 
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Sunday, May 13, 2007

 

Post Seventy-One: Memories

*hums Cats tune* Anyway, I was just posting this on the craft forum I belong to on Gaia, and it occurred to me to put it on here, since it is, after all, my knitting blog.

Ever had a project that's been particularly memorable to work on? Like something that just meant the world to someone to get, or to you to make?

Mine was finishing my grandmother's washcloth. When my great-grandmother died, we were cleaning out her house and trying to organize some of the craft things she'd left, and we came upon several garbage bags' worth of yarn and half-finished and a few finished projects. One of them was a half-done washcloth in a purple/blue/lavender Peaches n' Cream cotton with one row done in an off-white. My mother looked at it and said "Too bad it wasn't finished." and sighed, so I took it from her and looked at the pattern, and realized it was the same one I'd used to make a baby blanket a couple years ago, so I told her "I could finish it for you." and did.

It was definitely a moving experience, finishing Grandma's work. It turns out we had the exact same gauge, and I was able to use her needles for the whole rest of it. It's an interesting thing to look at for me, the way it's two colors like it is. It's almost like she left it waiting for me...her half, and mine. I love the idea that I was able to help that little piece of her live on like that.

[end of original post]I also was lucky enough to get to keep the needles from that one, and a set of 10.5, 8" DPNs made of...something I'm not sure of. I'm thinking they might actually be an old set of Baleens or something close. It means a lot to me to have been able to do that; to have a part of her so meaningful to both of us that will be used and not just looked at. Every once in a while, I go over to the jar I keep my straights in and just...hold them for a while. I miss her, I do; and while we weren't really especially close, her absence is something I can't help but notice.

My Gramma, her oldest daughter, also gave me many of her old patterns and Workbasket issues, and I treasure those like little else I've owned. I've gotten gifts made from some of those patterns, and now I can give them, maybe make some for the great-grandchild that will do the same when I have passed.

Thank you, Grandma, for giving me this opportunity.

Monday, April 30, 2007

 

Post Seventy: Finally, Again!

I finised Joe's armwarmers. First longer self-designed pattern pattern I've done. And they both work and look alright. I won't know if they fit him until this weekend, though. Stupid kid lives across the state. Photos pending.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

 

Post Sixty-Nine: Ack, Christmas!

I finished my first socks, quite successfully and with no mess-ups ^_^. The heel isn't so scary after all. See them? They're adorable. Worsted weight, size 5 DPNs...a pattern off of Tia Judy's site, I don't remember the link or the name, actually. But yeah.


I also finished my boyfriend's mom's Christmas present about two days ago. She'd requested something knit, so I made her a hat because she left all her hats in Idaho and wristwarmers because her wrists get cold, and keeping pulse points warm is important. Made my own way about the wristers, and used the "Basic Hat Pattern" from the 2006 Knitting Pattern-a-Day calendar.

Peek:

The other photo is sort of the detail of the decrease lines. I'm rather proud of the way those turned out. The photos kind of make everything look rather purple, but it's really a dark, dark blue. I hope she likes them...

And yes, everything has in my own little way, notoriously unwoven ends. I'll get them done in before Christmas, I swear!

And I've gotta knit Dad a hat just like the one I made Mrs. H, because I got Nelma a present and I'll feel bad if I don't knit him something, and I really want to. So yeah. I can do it...it's a quick pattern.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

 

Post Sixty-Eight: The KC

So I have this really, really exciting bit of news to share.

My school now has a knitting club, titled The KC (so as to be less "feminine"), thanks to the support of my two favorite Jessicas and Mrs. Pawloski and my own love for planning things that are feasible. ^_^ It's going to meet Mondays after school, I believe; possibly Wednesdays, heck, maybe both, and is open to everyone between 7th and 12th grade and faculty. I'm just so...excited about it.

I'm gonna be the experienced-knitter-on-hand, too. So I get to play Mommy, yet again, and help everyone out with their knitting Oppsies and "wtf?"s. Woo!

I even went out and made us a Google Group. The KC. Woo! And posted a thing about it in my school's myspace forum-thing.

And guess what else? I wrote a speech on guys knitting for my latest speech class assignment. Read it, I command you!

-----------------------

I’m sure you’ve all seen me knitting at some point or another. It’s not as if it’s something unusual. But how many of you have seen, say…Charlie knit? I’m guessing none of you. OK, so maybe my example is a little off, but still. Charlie doesn’t knit. Yet. But why shouldn’t he? After all, as knitting has been growing in popularity, so has its male population, and articles such as Men Like it Too, from the Vancouver daily are heralding this fact left and right. That’s right: guys are knitting. Guys are knitting, for lots of reasons…heck, guys are joining groups for knitting…and not just the gay ones, either.
I know, I know…it seems like such a feminine hobby, craft…art, whatever you want to call it. Lots of your grandmothers probably knit. And this is the stereotype which pervades the knitting scene. And what do we know about stereotypes? That’s right; they’re inaccurate. Many people knitting today are between the ages of 15 and 35. And an ever-growing number of those are male. I personally know four guys who knit. Well, four that know how, two that actually do it regularly enough to be called “knitters.” The number of guys knitting is still relatively small, sure, but it’s getting there. Heck, once upon a time, it was the other way around. Back in the days of the 16h century, the fishermen knit their own nets and heavy-duty sweaters to use in their trade. It was guys who knit, not the women. It only became a woman’s hobby when the knitting machine, responsible for mass-produced Wal-Mart sweaters, arrived and took away the need for the men to knit.
Nowadays, there’s no true need for anyone to knit. But we still do it. Guys still do it. Why? Well, many guys start knitting because their girlfriend taught them. But other than that, it’s a cheap, easy way to make gifts. Scarves, beanies, wristies…things that are fast and always useable. And a bonus? A great way to impress chicks. No, seriously; think about it. You need to give her a present for something. Let’s see…soft is good, warm is good…and sweet is always good. So, knit her a scarf out of some nice, soft yarn. Or if she’s a hat girl, a hat. In her favorite color, of course, or something to match her coat. What could be sweeter than making her something? Something she’ll actually use? Don’t laugh, guys; it works.
Plus, knitting is great for social things. It starts conversations. It provides reasons to hang out with people. With guys AND girls. Along with guys knitting must of course come male knitting groups. As a minority, knitting guys find it helpful to have the support and understanding of other male knitters. There’s all-male knitting groups cropping up everywhere. Plus, well, a lot of guys who knit are “closet knitters.” They don’t want people to know they knit. Not people who don’t knit, anyway. They think people will think they’re gay or something. Make fun of them for it. And the fear of being mocked is one many people share. So they gather in flocks of clacking needles and conversation. Or watching the game, whatever. Every knitting group is different. It is a step along the way to knitting in public for many men. And boys. As knitting grows as a pastime, after school knitting clubs are showing up as well. And many of them have male members. Some schools, it’s even cool to knit. Kids line up in front of their lockers before school much like we did in the other building, but to knit and chat. Knitting really is a great social activity; it is something which keeps your hands busy, but your ears and mouth free for discussion. Perfect for groups to actually have reasons to get together. Enjoying time with fellow knitters is an important thing. It gives everyone an opportunity to show off their projects, pick up new skills, and find help if it’s needed.
So yeah. Guys knit. Straight ones, gay ones, bored ones…kids whose moms need them to DO something after school…all kinds for all sorts of reasons. Who knows? Maybe one of these days, you will spot Charlie knitting.

------------------------

So there. Love me; I'll be back more often now, promise. I've begun my first sock. It's coming along quite nicely; I like the figure-8 cast on thing for the false graft at the toe. I used it on a little bag I made :p. It's cheating, but I love it. Seamless is good.
However, it's not to the heel yet. I'm scared of the heel. But I'm sure I'll get through it; looks easy enough.

Comments:
I love knitting socks, and the figure-eight cast-on became my favorite sometime last year. Turning the heel is kind of scary the first couple times, but it's really quite fun. Once you turn it, just stare at it for a while, marvelling at your amazing knitter leet-ness. ^_^
 
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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

 

Post Sixty-Seven: I Suck

Yeah, I know. I've been really busy this summer and haven't been knitting much at all recently, actually. Sorry about that. Not that there's much reading going on anyway.

Just letting everyone know I'm still alive. Think I'll be picking my tank back up today, anyway. I've been writing the pattern down as I go, too, so I should be able to share when it's finished. Somehow. Ish. Maybe. Ok, maybe if someone helps me translate notes into a useable pattern.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

 

Post Sixty-Six: I'm Back!!

Salut! I got back two days ago, but have been totally zonked, so hi! France was just too awesome for words for me. I'm addicted and will forever be unable to stay away now! 800 pictures and 29 pages of journals even doesn't do it justice for me.

Sad news is that I never even saw a single LYS, or even any yarn I hadn't brought with me. I did get to knit on the metro and on the bus and even in Notre Dame, the famous one :p. Turns out there's a zillion Notre Dames, but they're all Notre Dame de whatever.

I figured out at dinner the first night I had already messed up my socks, tore out the part I had done, and then forgot all about them. Oops. I'm still gonna knit them, though, just later than planned. ^_^ And I got past the first two decreases I'd figured on my tank, too. Four inches of knitting, woo! Did some on the plane, too. Never had any problems at all getting my knitting through the checks and stuff, nor the yarn cutter. Sweet! All my needles were plastic, though. My Denise set and some plastic DPNs went with me.

This is the tank so far.

I ended up just deciding to finish off the blue varigated I've had for a couple years and used in all sorts of projects. It's the yarn that never ends! I like how it's patterning out, too. It's pretty and unorganized :p.
And I've got like three more balls of it. So the whole tank should be able to be done in the same stuff. If not, I'll just get creative and figure something cute out.

It was weird, coming home. My room still doesn't look like my room to me. And it's lonely, after sharing a room with two or three other girls, it's weird to be all by myself. Even though we really never talked before we slept. I guess it's just the presence thing. Whatever. Maybe I should find a room mate :p. Betcha Dad'd love that XD.

OK, I've been spending way too much time chatting online. Too many stupid smiley things! At least I'm not down to l337 yet...*shudder*

I also came home to lots of peas. And some dead ones, and a serious need for some weeding. But voici my first crop of peas:
Well, minus like ten pods. They're quite tasty. Steve n' Jess n' I finished them all off yesterday when they came over so we could hang out with Jess after a period of withdrawal. But you'd think my family could have picked a few while I was gone instead of letting my poor plants sag and bend! Oh well.

Peas!!!

Oh yes, and I almost forgot to mention that I also acquired the perfect bag for me. It's big enough to hold most of what I knit, and has just the right number of pockets and my cell actually fits in the celly pocket, and it's simple and cute without being ugly and useless. And it holds all sorts of stuff. ^_^ Got it at the Monoprix in Rouen, I believe. I've had it for like four days and I love it already.
Also got an O-Zone CD that I've been listening to obsessively. They're awesome.

OK, I'm done for now. Got stuff I gotta go do (like unpack :p). I shall have France pictures soon. I just don't wanna get up and get the CD I put them on right now.

Friday, June 09, 2006

 

Post Sixty-Five: Designing II

Yeah, so I'm going to France in a week (insert excited *squee!* jump here), and it occurred to me that I'm gonna need something to knit that I won't finish on the plane over. Well, a small project, and something I can knit the whole way through France. I don't want to be wrestling with that hat that week. Save that for July when I'm not doing anything.

Thus, I picked these socks as my small project and first sock experience. I'm always trying to learn something with every project, and that one, well, I guess I'm learning socks in general. I'm not afraid of the heel at all. It just looks like something fun, and one of those classical knitterly things to do. I really quite like being part of traditions sometimes. Something that ties me into the past; makes me a continuation of stories written and closed. So socks it is! Helps that I love DPNs, too, I suppose ^_^

For the biggy, I'm gonna knit a tank top, because I find myself with a dreadful lack thereof. I'm gonna pretty much make it up as I go. Figure it'll be done bottom-up, like a tube and then I'll work on the sleeviness later. I measured the hell out of my favorite tank top as a model, and the only thing that really worries me about it is the V-neck, but I figure, heck, I can do this! I'm gonna go through my stash after I do some swatching and see what all I have that looks good together, because I don't think I have enough in one color of anything to make an entire tank from. (And I really, really shouldn't buy any more yarn. Because I'm gonna be bringing some home with me anyway. Hopefully at least one skein from each place I have time to shop. Because really, what could be a better reminder of the trip than something knit with yarn I found in the City of Light?)

We have a meeting tonight where we'll be getting all our details and stuff, so after I get the airlines we'll be flying, I can adjust my plans for my knitting accordingly. I've gotta get one of those little Clover yarn cutters, too. Or a thing of dental floss. Or both. Both is probably a good idea, just in case. Maybe bamboo DPNs wouldn't hurt, either, since the ones I have are, well, aluminum and quite dangerous looking, I suppose. Besides, that pattern asks for 5, and I have 4. I'm a little nervous, actually. It's only a week away now. I was already mostly packed for the Band Trip by this point, last year. Still have some shopping to do, too. Eep...maybe I should go swatch now and calm down a tad...Au revoir! And doubt not; there shall be pictures when I return! Je vous promets!

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