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Fare is Fair October 20, 2010

Although it was a beautiful weekend past in Chicago, there was a little tugging on my compass. Something was happening on the East Coast that was setting off all sorts of fiber flares of omg.

So I went diving locally instead, to quench the fire, the envy, the I’manottagonnabethere, sigh…

The reward was great. Greater than I could imagine – and quite poignant in a way only a pack rat can be poignant!

Now, the other thing that was achieved this weekend was that I set up a wireless router for my house. This was accomplished with lots of hits and misses, stops and starts, travels to the deck to breath deeply and settle down. The Geekitude lives here, but sometimes isn’t on call, in quite the way it’s needed.

At the end of the day, I could watch Netflix anywhere at all in this olde house. OOf. Girl with the Dragon Tatoo? Seen it. Knit along to The Wire? Done. Break all the drama up with Russell Brand in NYC? Ok.

But there was one little TV show I’d never paid attention to – and it almost did me in: Hoarders! I’ll spare you the details, but it inspired me more than ever to keep going with my local network clean-up so to speak. I’ve been doing the old “throw/give something away everyday” for awhile now and it’s starting to show results.

Everywhere but my Studio, where for some reason (snort) I can’t seem to winnow anything out at all.

A Stash Is a Stash is a Stash.

Regal. Awesome. Ridiculous.

But it was what gave me terrific peace of mind when I went to quench the envy fires this weekend. *Someone* needed to be reminded of the bounty on hand and cool their jets.

I had to get out the step stool but on the top level of the wall unit, there appeared an innocent little box:

box-1-9951box-2-9951

QUE?

box-3-9951

Who the heck is this and what was I doing when I bought it?

box-4-9951box-5-9951

Ooh la la! This is a sweater kit – something I got long ago at another fiber fest nearer home and it’s been patiently waiting its turn for the runway long enough…

box-6-9951

Care to guess what this is? Leave a comment and we’ll random draw the correct answers on Monday, October 25th, to win a skein of Schaefer Yarns ANNE in the Chai Spice color. Win, win, winnow winnow :)


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Monday Morning Mirth October 18, 2010

  Monday Morning Mirth  

penny-wise-9938
clockwise from top left: Urban Decay Matte Eyeshadow (Cult – muted purple); NARS lip gloss (Belize – pink mauve);
Urban Decay Matte Eyeshadow (Heist – mauve taupe); Benefit Powder Blush (Coralista)

What you see above could be the seminal definition of a time-worn but well-loved phrase.

When I get home at the end of my weary day, I have a place where I put all the essentials: keys, phone, wallet, etc. which land on top of a little cabinet. If I do not do this, if I deviate even with one item, the Universe falls off its axis. Always.

To appease the Universe, I’ve got three ceramic vintage flower pots on the floor around the cabinet. Into them go pennies, dimes & nickels, then in the last, quarters.

The other day I took the contents of the full jars to the bank and got Cash Money. Now the good thing about this Universe is that it doesn’t mind sharing the bounty!

I wonder how it feels about the fact that it wasn’t even an hour after that cash landed in my pocket that it had blasted a hole and grabbed everything it could see at the local Sephora next to where I work.

AiEee! An all time record for being penny-wise and pound foolish, (even for me)!

But check out that haul!!!


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bBlock October 12, 2010

Being a fan of 1×1 ribbing is a mixed affair.

On one hand, you end up with a rather sophisticated edging (compared to 2×2, which, IMHO, is less formal, charming but chunky).

But on the other, you end up with this:

button-band-9839

I’ve completed both front bands of my little Stockinette St sweater but am really not finished. What’s left?

The taming of the *Bunch*.

You can see that the bottom of the bands, at hem edge, are seriously pulling in, making a curve, looking weird. Now, the band stitches were picked up right to the edge of the hem, and the expectation is that there would be “full-coverage”. But the 1×1 ribbing is very elastic and it naturally draws in if left au naturel.

What’s needed?

B.L.O.C.K.I.N.G.

Now, is it just me or is this an eight letter term (and not a 4-Letter Word!)

But if you spend any amount of time carousing in the millions of projects online, you’ll see that many have something in common: there’s an aversion to blocking out there.

In fact, here’s the Top 10 Knitting Evasions I’ved noticed, over and over, where the smaller the rank, the larger the rankling:
10. Measuring before starting
9. Stockinette St
8. Seed St
7. Making Buttonholes
6. Picking Up Sts
5. Seaming
4. Counting Sts in progress
3. Measuring in progress
2. Blocking
1. Swatching

All of us, at one time or another, just are bitten by the bug and cast on and want to sail away into the sunset with a cool sweater. I’ve done it. There’s passion at work here: to get it going, to wear it, and those little detours make the end journey longer. So one just beelines to the finish line, without a care. (Hmm. Why’s it called the Finish Line?)

What’s kind of weird here, is that all of the above (with the exception of Seed St) are in my sweater!

And even more ironic, most of the above are the stepping stones to a good looking garment.

Witness:
button-band-9846

In less than 3 minutes, I’ve tamed the bottom of my button band using 4 straight pins, pinning the bottom edges out straight. The pins are in the padding at about a 10 degree angle, which uses the body of the pin itself as a sort of finger to hold the fabric in place, rather than depending on the point of the pin to do the work (and maybe distort the edge in a peaky little wave).

After I pinned the edges, I steamed them a little, then I hit it with a spray of plain water and used my fingers on it, like pie dough, making it ship-shape. (Pin, steam, spray).

I like to mold the knitting like pie dough! I developed a fine taste for it when I was felting a lot of hats awhile ago.

The last step in this sweater (two sleeves & a neckband to go) will be a bath in some slightly sudsy water, rinse, and then block out on a towel to dry.


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