Trouble with Trebles

This blog is to keep track of my knitting, other craft projects, and the weird bits of life that don't fit anywhere else.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Summer Knitting

Even though some disagree, summer can be a fun time to knit, as long as you put away that heavy wool sweater and pull out some warm weather yarns. As for patterns, anything lacy and full of holes is a good choice. To that end, I have started the spiderweb capelet from SnB Nation. The capelet is actually for me, to keep the chill off my shoulders on cool summer evenings.

Working on the capelet should be good practice, since I recently joined Mystery Stole 3. Not wanting to break my trend of joining a lace knitalong every summer (last summer it was The Amazing Lace), I convinced myself it would be a good idea. This was assisted by the extremely generous offer from Theresa of Knitting Underway, who graciously offered to send me the lace weight yarn leftover from one the most impressive lace projects ever, the 8-ft by 8-ft chuppah she made for a friend's wedding. Thanks Theresa!

Next is the ball-band dishcloth which is a gift for a friend. As many before me have said, these dishcloths are fun!
In addition to the capelet and the mystery shawl, I have several other cotton and/or short sleeve sweaters in the queue. It would seem that my summer will be full of knitting!

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Monday, June 18, 2007

When Crafting Wasn't Cool

As I've mentioned previous posts, I am addicted to crafting. To say I was a crafter before crafting was cool, would be pretty accurate. Not that I'm trying to brag about my "street cred" as a crafter or anything, I just think this gives you an idea of the magnitude of the problem. As a college freshman, other girls went to the clubs a few nights a week. I completed a needlepoint of a Native American riding a horse in the desert (I picked it up partially finished at Good Will). I even did a term paper on quilting as a social event in the American west. How nerdy is that?

I organized my crafting supplies at the end of last week and realized that once again I needed to purchase more containers to hold it all. I have now hit the limit on what our apartment will credibly hold, without getting rid of some other items, such as clothes and food. Thus, I must craft from the stash or be consumed by the yarn, fabric, paints, embroidery floss, aida cloth, beads, rubber stamps, card stock, etc. (not altogether a terrible way to go though, right?). I could get rid of some of my less-used supplies (really, when was the last time I needed aida cloth?), but I just can't seem to part with them. Ever since I gave away the giant wooden bow, I've been haunted by the idea that I will create the perfect project, or at least it would have been perfect if only I had a wooden bow. I just don't feel I should take any more foolish chances with my craft supplies.

Even with this knowledge, a couple days ago I went to Michael's and bought more yarn to crochet two more baby blankets. A sign of a real addiction? Perhaps, but nevertheless this seemed like a necessary exception. I just found out another friend of mine is having twins! (Perhaps being my friend is akin to some sort of extreme fertility charm? Be warned!). I am using up some yarn I already have, but needed coordinating yarn to have enough and to make the afghans more interesting. It is the age old problem: Using yarn requires buying more yarn. Here is the yarn for blanket 1 (both the dark blue colors are new):

And here is what I got for blanket 2 (the cream and red are new):

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

California Dreamin'

I'd be safe and warm
If I was in L.A.
California dreamin'
On such a winter's day - The Mamas and The Papas

I have to admit that some things make a lot more sense since I've moved to southern California. Certainly, I can relate to the above lyrics now that I'm growing accustomed to the lovely weather here. Other things however, still amuse me. For example, the weather forecasts here need some interpretation. For those of you who may be visiting here is a helpful guide:

1. marine layer - it will be overcast in the morning, but clear up and be sunny by afternoon. For those of you who like to whine, just remember that it's the only thing keeping the temps from reaching 90's or 100's

2. partly cloudy - Someone, somewhere in the entire southern California area saw one wispy little cloud. Be warned, that little cloud may cross over the sun for 3 seconds!

3. rain - A large news event. Seriously, stop what you're doing and stare at the water falling from the sky. This almost never happens here.

4. heavy rain - The drops of water actually make it to the ground before evaporating. See above regarding newsworthiness.

5. beautiful - Most people would consider nearly every day here beautiful. However, for us the high temps should be between 70 and 85 degress, only a little wind, and it shouldn't be too dry or too humid. Yes, we really are that picky.

6. Santa Ana winds - Batton down the hatches and go indoors! This is the hottest, dustiest wind you'll ever experience.

Hopefully this guide will help you plan better for your next trip to our part of the country.

Just to answer a quick questions from JenfromRI, yes the Seija blankets have a hole in the center for a seat belt. This makes it handy for car seats and strollers, I am told. Apparently, babies derive great joy from kicking such things off, so being able to belt it in is a fun way to foil them.

I finished yet another Seija. This is for a little boy and is a companion to the minty one, which is intended for his twin sister. This blanket was particularly awesome because it used a ton of some old yarn I've had for at least 10 years (the dark green). I have almost used up all my old acrylic yarn!
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft in bone and Caron Colour Perfect in woodsy green
Pattern: Seija blanket in The Happy Hooker
Changes: I used 86 stitches rather than 74 and added a few more rows. Instead of the double crochet and braid I just did three rows of single crochet around the edge (one green, two tan).
Yardage: most of the skein of bone and woodsy green
Hook: size H
Notes: Once again, great pattern

I've started another Seija in pink/white/multi for my friend's one month old little girl. I promise to quit boring you with the same pattern over and over again very soon (only two more after the pink one; boy are my friends fertile!). With all the leftovers from these Seijas, I plan to make a couple of multi-colored baby afghans. I am considering using big chunks of color, like the Color Bar blanket in the Happy Hooker. It won't look like the actual color bar per se, but would be a bit more modern and interesting I think. On the other hand, I could do knitted log cabin squares or a more standard crocheted granny square afghan. Any suggestions?

I know you are probably doubting it, but I actually have been knitting too. Here is a finished baby hat that will be yet another gift.
I also started a ball-band dishcloth from Mason-Dixon Knitting (a gift for an actual adult) and the spider web capelet from SnB Nation. I will post photos once I get a big further on those projects.

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Friday, June 08, 2007

The Addiction

“Just cause you got the monkey off your back doesn't mean the circus has left town.” - George Carlin (a very monkeysexual quote, don't you think?)

Anne from Crafty Diversions often says that yarn must have some inherent addictive properties. I largely agree, but must add that there seem to be numerous crafty items that contain addictive substances. For example, embroidery thread. That must surely be the reason I own two boxes of the stuff, plus an entire gallon bag of aida cloth (hey, cross stitch was very popular in the 80s and 90s, what can say?).

Also, fabric clearly is addictive. How else can you explain my three underbed boxes filled with it? What do all these things have in common: FIBER. I feel that fibers, regardless of whether they are plant, animal, or manmade, have inherently addictive properties, which unfortunately some of us are particularly sensitive to. For some people it's crack, for me it's alpaca. This would surely account for my recent weakness on a visit to Suzoo's. I planned to merely exchange one ball of yarn for another color and somehow came home with four balls of yarn, a set of addi turbos, and some dpns. It's not my fault, I was overcome by the fiber.
I bought two skeins of Bamboo Soft to go with some light tan Patons Decor leftover from my first sweater. I thought the gold and olive green along with the light tan would make a neat men's hat.

I then bought two skeins of Frog Tree alpaca to go with this hand dyed mohair from Anne (aka Sugar Apple Creations). I love the blues and purples in the mohair, and the purplish blue of the Frog Tree should set it off nicely. I plan to knit them together to make a lacy, but not too delicate scarf.

So, does anyone know of a 12 step program for crafting?


Monday, June 04, 2007

Too Good to Be True

"It's all make believe, isn't it?" - Marilyn Monroe

There are some views that just seem too perfect to be real. For example, this is where we spent Memorial Day:
It was so relaxing to spend the day at the beach, even though I got a tiny bit sunburned (OK, more like a lot sunburned and it's still a little burnt even a week later). I even brought some crafting with me, which leads me to another FO for 2007. I have finished yet another of the lovely Seija blanket, which I can practically crochet in my sleep at the this point. Here is minty version, which I made for a colleague's little girl:
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft in white and soft green, Caron Colour Perfect in pine (this last one's been in the stash for at least 10 years)
Pattern: Seija blanket in The Happy Hooker
Changes: I added a shell edge and left out the braided trim. I added some more stitches to make 86 rather than 74, and then added a few more rows as well. My seatbelt hole is a little off-center because I am clearly incapable of doing math when distracted by the slightest thing.
Yardage: most of the skein of soft green, and about 2/3 of the skein of white and pine.
Hook: size H
Notes: This pattern works up quickly and seems to be a well-liked gift.

I have three more Seija blankets in the pipeline in a wide variety of colors, so expect to see many more of these. Here is the start of another, intended for the twin brother of the minty blanket recipient. This one is green too, but in the more masculine colors of forest green and tan.

I also finished a small hat, probably sized for a toddler. This is basically my take along knitting project. I used some fuzzy, loopy blue yarn I got at a yarn swap and Caron simply soft in white. It still needs a blue pompom, as the final touch. I promise I have been doing adult knitting too, but I am really behind on getting all these baby gifts done so I've been working on these more. Besides, miniature items are so much fun to make!