Thursday, March 30, 2006

And, I'm off.

Shout out to Purls Before Swine . She mentioned me in Scavenger Hunt Meme . The one I was going to do but really haven't had time for.

I'll be heading out to Chicago in a few hours. I anticipate a bunch of shopping (big malls and outlets - YEAH!) but not much in the way of craftiness other than in the airport/plane. I am going to head to a Asian goods store that I've heard about in search of some Japanese knitting patterns. I can't find any around these parts.

Before I go I wanted to ask two questions,

1.) Is anyone planning on doing Secret Pal 8?

-I am considering it but they are making it a bit of a job with all the rules. They are good rules to make sure people don't slack but it's a lot for my ADD to keep up with. If you did SP7, how was it as far as all the new stipulations?

2.) Who's going to The Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival ?

-I read that last year they organized a knitblogger's meetup. Any word if they are having that this year? It would be nice to meet some of you in person.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Okay this is going to be one of those posts of randomness. I was up until 2:30am and my brain isn't functioning on full power. Hopefully listening to my new T.I. cd will wake me.

This weekend I saw Inside Man which was an exceptional movie. Not just because of Denzel, or Clive, or Jodie but because it was a well written, well acted movie. And never one to disappoint, Spike Lee can't make a movie without his imfamous "flying through the air" dolly shot but it definitely wasn't a typical Spike Lee movie. If you haven't seen it, then you should.

I worked on the black version of the new tanks. Here's a pic. Black is really hard to photograph!

The pink has been frogged and is being reworked. I wasn't satisfied with it. I'll probably sell the patterns but it won't be until next week. I'm going to Chicago this weekend to see my sister's new place.

Thanks for all the nice comments on my previous post. You all can be really funny. I take it you didn't like the knitted uterus.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Theory: The Societal Similarities of Golf and Knitting

Since many of you are curious I'm going to tell you about my theory. Before I go into the whole Knitty submission thing, I think I need to give you my general theory on this whole knitting game, which I equate much to the game of golf. Golf is a sport. The sport itself is only prejudical in the fact that if you don't learn how to play you don't get to play. If you take the time to learn the game you can eventually play well. Your swing, equipment, and the elements determine your success. No other people are involved.

For some golf is more than the actually equipment and the elements. It is about all the surrounding activities like the clubs, courses, social interaction, prestige,and the exclusivity. Golf for a long time had it's traditions. For a time it was seen as a white man's sport. Only certain men went to certain clubs based on their societal status. One should only where a certain style of clothing if you wanted to be proper and accepted. One did not break the traditions. If one wanted to be accepted to a particular club they had to conform to the club they were trying to join. Only until recent years did the acceptance of woman, minorities, and younger players because more of the norm.

In the same way knitting has it's traditions, perceptions, and demographics. Traditionally knitting was seen as a thing for older white women and as of late has changed to target all races, ages, and genders. Traditionally, knitting was all about technique and making really ornate pieces that didn't always focus on fashion or style. Now there has been more of a focus on fashionable knits. And even with all these changes, there are other things that stay the same. Knitting can be snobby and pretentious. It can be cliquish and has it's groups. Some people are all about the process and technique. Some people don't like people that only make scarves. Older women talk down to young knitters because they think they are "fad/bandwagon" knitters. There are leaders and joiners.

Like golf, if you are going to venture into new knitting territories, you have to know your surroundings. It's no longer about the game but the personalities surrounding the game. If it were only about knitting, you could do that at home by yourself. If you want to join something socially knitting related then you have to find the things that fit your personality. If you chose to get involved in it then you chose to deal with all the stigmas, traditions, etc. that come with it.


Now for some personal elaboration.

When you pick certain publications, you pick them based on their personalities and traditions. Vogue Knitting's main goal is fashion. You can tell this by the use of top notch designers and the fact that they are based in New York, the fashion capital. Interweave, based in Colorado, is all about the technique and uniqueness of a design. They say as much in their designer submission guidelines. I don't think fashionable, by NYC standards, is the first thing on their minds.

This brings me to design submissions. If you are going to submit then you must understand who you are submitting to and the persons picking designs. The folks at Knitty cater to what they personally like and what they think their friends personally will like. Priority goes to the latest cool kid on the blog block, published designers, and people that they know, like, and have been lucky enough to have made it into their mag before. My mother equates it to a sorority for which I may or may not be granted admission. Secondly, the designs they pick must be something that their choosers would actually wear. An easier way to say this is, my style may not equal their style. I'm a little more Bebe/Guess/Anthropologie and Knitty is a little more Cold Water Creek/Chicos. While both style types are fashionable, they differ due to the differences in conservativeness ,being age-appropriatene, and body types/sizes. The next factor, is that they pick things that are either extremely traditional or extremely weird. (There was a pattern for a "stocking hat" that was basically a big sock on your head.* Please tell me why? WHYYYYY?) The last factor is that they like to focus on techniques.

All of this is to say that I've figured out how they pick designs. I don't want you to think that I am in some way bashing them because I'm not. I don't begrudge them in their way of chosing. It is their site and they can do as they please. I have only to deal with it and take my chances. Will I continue to submit? Possibly. Here is the thing. I design something because it is what I want to wear. I am all about the fashion. Is it cute? Is it stylish? Will people think it is store bought or handmade? That is what I think about. If something I do fits their mold, then I might send it. If not, you'll see it right here.

That's all folks. Feel free to discuss it amongst yourselves.

*You know I love you all, but if I see you with anything like that on your head, I'm snatching it off your head without apology. A good friend doesn't let you walk out the house looking nuts like that.

Friday, March 24, 2006

When rejection is a good thing

Okay, so here's the deal. I submitted this design to Knitty....

...and it was rejected. Now, before you start feeling sad for me, I actually wanted it to get rejected. I worked on this over the Christmas holiday and was rushing to get it in before the deadline. After I submitted it I actually wanted to withdraw it because I realized I wasn't fully satisfied with it. I like the design but didn't really like my color choice and want to make some design changes. To avoid confusion I just waited to hear from them secretly wishing they would reject it. And they did. I've figured out how they choose patterns. It's a little theory I like to call "The Societal Similarities of Golf and Knitting", but I'll share that with you another day.

Since getting word last week, I've been busy working on the new ideas. Actually, ADHD set in and I really couldn't think about much else. First thing I had to do was decide on the yarn I wanted to use and design the charts to go with that gauge.

The first tank was made with Pakucho Cotton from . The problem is that they are out of this yarn. I want my tanks to be made out of cotton since they'll all be for the summer . I decided to get some Blue Sky Cotton from kpixie.

After working one side on Wednesday, I was struck with inspiration for another one last night.

This one is made with some LB Cotton-Ease. If you've noticed these get increasingly more revealing.

The honeymoon period is over with me and the Glimmer cardigan. Short rows = a pain in my butt. Since I don't have any progress pictures of the cardigan I flash you a little yarn porn.

Regia Cotton Surf and Tip & Top Cotton yarn I ordered from elann on Monday. Some of it is soon to be footies for G-ma's birthday next month.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Kitty will cut ya.

Yesterday was one craptastically long day. It started with a headache, which turned into a migraine, which turned into me trying not to pass out while driving home early from work so I could take the high strength migraine meds, which really didn't stop the migraine fully, which I found out when I stood up too fast, got real light headed and fell to the floor landing on my wrist. It's making this nifty little clicking sound now.

Needless to say my concentration yesterday was nil so I don't have much to show in the way of progress.

Instead I will dazzle you with my Hello Kitty scissor collection.

When I was five, the 'rents loaded us kids in the back of the Cadillac and drove up to Niagara Falls. The only thing I remember about the trip is the story of a crazy man trying to go over the Falls in a barrel, someone's stupid kid climbing over the fence and walking near the edge, and a trip to a gift shop. We each got something and I remember picking the "Little Twin Stars" scissors.

These are the sharpest scissors I own next to my new Fiskars and they have never been sharpened. For the longest I couldn't find any like them anywhere. Then this past year, on a trip to AC Moore with the parents, I found the second pair. Big kid doesn't even described how I acted. Mamacita thought I was crazy when I jumped up and down with glee. Those are the pair the TSA tried to take from me before I nicely told them where to go and then mailed them back to myself. Take my scissors, are they nuts? You would have seen me on the tv, "Crazy ladies loses it after TSA tries to take her kiddie scissors. News at 11."
I found the other two pair just the other day while looking for little prizes for the girls in the knitting club. Aren't they adorable? I couldn't pass them up.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Treat & Toes

This weekend was all about the treats & toes. I'm sure that sounds like a funky combination, but trust me it's not.

First let me talk about this Rachel Ray chick for a sec. A lot of times I find it hard to watch her because she's always so damn happy and she admittedly talks a lot. For anyone to be that happy there have got be some good pills involved. And while she may be a little too chipper for me at times, I must admit the girl can cook. I'm not the one for buying magazines, but when I saw her magazine at Bed,Bath, & Beyond, I felt compelled to buy it.

Inside I saw this lovely and simple recipe for a Raspberry Torte.

It's was just tempting me looking all good and red and what not. How could I resist? It doesn't help that I justified making it by saying that technically I would be crafting something red for Project Spectrum.

So here is my torte. I added some blueberry/blackberries to mix it up a bit. It sure is tasty.

As for the toes, while the torte was baking I finished my sock.

Isn't it purty?

And take a look at this.... of my readers, Karen, sent me a picture of her first sock. I helped her find some sock patterns for her first sock endeavor. Isn't it cute? She used the sock pattern from Spun Magazine. She didn't tell me what yarn she used but I really like the colors.

Friday, March 17, 2006

I'm a cheater

First I'll start off with Friendly Tip Friday's

Friendly Tip #13

If you go to the doctor for allergy testing and they give you the option of having it done on your arms or back, chose your back. Trust me. If you don't you'll have to hide your forearms for a few weeks for fear that the 54 well-aligned dot scars make you look like a smack addict.

I had testing done last week and when my sister saw me she said, "You might want to cover that I up. I think that is what they call track marks." I watch enough Law & Order to know that isn't a good thing. Good news is I'm not allergic to all the things I thought I was. Bad news is I'm just allergic to the chemicals and sulfites in them.

Moving on....

I've been a little bit of a cheat lately. I've forgone my Addi's to have an affair with my Bryspuns and I've also been cheating on Project Spectrum and my plan not to buy anymore yarn.

I stopped at a small LYS in Chapel Hill, Knit-a-Bit, which I rarely visit. They just got in some new Berocco yarns and I bought some Touche in Peeps (a bright yellow). I've been playing around with it and I've started working on a split neck tank. I started this over the weekend but I've frogged and started over twice.
I have done a little work on my sock and turned the heel yesterday.

That's all for my updates and now I have a question for everyone that attends SnB/knitting circles.

When the weather gets warm does the attendance start to go down?

Lately attendance at SnB has been low. Low like, only me and one other person. This is my first year going to SnB nights and I'm just trying to figure out if attendance twindles when the weather warms up or if there are other factors. I know no one can come all the time but lately things have been real sparse.

Happy St. Patrick's Day. Everyone go out and have a drink tonight and celebrate. This is the only holiday where the point is to get drunk. You might as well enjoy it. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

I was weighing the name options* for this hat when I started this orange version. I was making it to match my new orange winter coat and half way through I started to see it. The hat is not quite a beret but much larger than a regular hat. More like a pumpkin. Then it came to me... "Pum'kinhead".

The minute I thought of the name I instantly remembered the Great Pumpkin . This was by far my favorite of the Peanuts movies. As a child I had the book which I read a million times, and watched the tv special any time it came on. Funny what a little orange and ribbing will make you think of.

Nonetheless, from me to you....the Pum'kinhead Hats.

(See the sidebar) ----------->

*Thanks to everyone that sent in a name. I think I'll save them for another project.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

I'm baaaack!

Hey everybody! I'm back from the A.T.L. Atlanta was great and I didn't want to come back. It has changed a lot since I was last there. There has been a lot of new construction. The one thing that never changes is the traffic. And the men...ooooh, the men. How I love them. They actually speak, and show interest, and are good looking. Did I forget to mention that I didn't want to come back.

I met up with my parents on Friday and did a little shopping at IKEA. I didn't get much. I did find a great bag to carry my knitting in for $5. Saturday, we celebrated my Great-Aunt's 88th birtday. The woman is amazing. She may be a little older but her mind is at 200%. She remembers absolutely everybody even if she hasn't seen them in ages. She hadn't seen my sister in person since she was 1, and she knew instantly who my sister was. And we won't even talk about the jokes. She's hilarious. I also got a chance to see a lot of my family and meet a lot of cousin's I never meet before. Sunday was a lot more family time with a little stop at Lenox mall. I didn't intend on spending any money but I couldn't resist getting another Lacoste shirt.

I also hadn't planned on going to any LYSs but I needed to get some more needles so I stopped into Why Knot Knit in Buckhead. It's a small shop with a good selection. Luckily they had the Bryspuns I wanted but the rest of the selection was limited. They all the brands (Addi,Inox,Lantern Moon) but not many straight needles except in Clover needles which I don't really like.

I didn't make much progress on anything. My weekend was jam packed. I should be back tomorrow with the pattern for the Pum'kinhead hat. It was probably be my last winter related item since it was in the 70's when I got back to Raleigh. I might as well get ready for the summer.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

All quiet on the blogland front

Sorry for the bit of silence her at Chez Saun. I've been "rippin and runnin", as my father would say, and I haven't had much worth writing about. I figured I'd save you from the details of work and taxes. I haven't been home before the sun goes down so I don't have any good pics either.

I'm almost done with one front side of the Glimmer cardigan. Pics to come soon.

I've finished the hat and should have a pattern w/pics for you by Tuesday. Why Tuesday, you ask? Because I'm off to one of my favorite cities for a 4-day weekend... Atlanta. The family is meeting up to celebrate my Great-Aunt's birthday. Yeah family time! Let the comedy begin.

I haven't been to Atlanta in over a year and I'm excited to get back to the city I once called home. I'm really excited that I can go to Publix for some of the greatest chicken wings ever. I know I shouldn't be excited about grocery store chicken wings, but I am. They are goooood! I won't have time to hit the crack yarn shops but that's okay. I plan to indulge in a little Ikea instead. Maybe I should write out a schedule. I still need to schedule time with the family and a few old friends.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Why I love Summer Tweed

Thanks for everyone that weighed in on the naming of the hat. There are a few front runners but I will decide after I work the other version of the hat. I should have something by the end of the week.

Juls asked why I love Summer Tweed and I'm more than happy to try and answer that quesiton. It took me awhile to put the feeling it into words. It's the feeling you get when you find that thing that is like perfection and makes you all giddy and excited and all you want to do is touch it and look at it.

My favorite yarn blend is silk/cotton. It's a perfect blend of luxury and comfort. Cotton is easy to take care of, doesn't get to hot, and can be worn year round. Add some silk and it's just instant luxury. Summer Tweed is 70% Silk, 30% Cotton. It has this strange nubby yet soft texture that just has this raw natural essence. And the is what all yarn should smell like. I will admit most people don't like it and it takes some getting use to because of it's texture. Another caveat is that it "grows/blooms" when it gets wet and gauge can be tricky. None the less, I LOVE the stuff.

I have finished the back and started the side of the Glimmer cardigan but I don't have any progress pics. I had to take a break and work on my next MagKnits submission so I'll get back to it tomorrow.

Before I go I wanted to show you my Kool-aid self-striping yarn. I finally got the chance to see how the stripes worked out and I'm pleasantly surprised. The stripes are not thick but they are situated well enough that the colors won't pool. I have to salute all those people that dye self-striping yarn. It can be a tedious process and one that I probably won't do too often.

Friday, March 03, 2006

The hat., take two!

Here is take two of "The Hat".

The first version wasn't tall enough and didn't have the cables. This version I like but I think the cables drew it in some and doesn't allow it to be as voluminous as I would like. Nevertheless, this one is getting shipped off to G-ma and I will make another one without all the cables.

Let me know if you like this version and I will write up the pattern for this one. (It's gonna be free-ninety.) Otherwise the pattern will have the non-cable version.

And here is a question for you.... What should I name the hat?

I've started the Glimmer cardigan. I won't even tell you how much I love Summer Tweed. You wouldn't believe me, or you would think I was a little crazy.

I'm going to tackle my taxes this weekend. Hopefully it won't be too bad and won't take too long. Turbo Tax, here I come.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

March is going to be a good month.

Why you ask?

March is officially the month of favorites. It's the return of Prison Break(awwww... Wentworth),the return of America's Next Top Model, and the beginning of Project Spectrum, (my very own version of Project Runway*) featuring my favorite colors red and pink.

For the first month of P.S., I'm going to stick to knitted projects. I have two trips planned this month (Atlanta & Chicago) and knitting will be the most portable. This is also going to give me a chance to start on my Glimmer cardigan from Kim Hargreaves using my ever favorite Summer Tweed yarn. I also have the kool-aid dyed sock yarns I want to work with. The multi-colored one was my first attempt at self-striping yarn.

Overall, there are a few things I want to explore and accomplish during Project Spectrum. The first thing is that I don't want to spend a lot of money on this venture. I want to explore the concepts of recycle and reuse through thrift store shopping and reusing materials I already own. I also want to focus on handcrafting accessories through beading, etc. And most importantly I want to find a project that will reconnect me with my love of my sewing machines.

If your interested in Project Spectrum, stop by and see lollygirl. You can join anytime during the project.

* Would you believe that for all I pay for cable tv, we don't get the Bravo network and I've never seen Project Runway. The injustice! An aspiring designer that's never seen Project Runway. Oh... the horror!