Knit it, Violet!
Finished objects, works in progress, and lots of rambling about two sticks and some string...
Sunday, July 23, 2006
  sorry, i'm not sorry.....
i got to thinking about fun fur since the slippers (see my last post) are sitting in my living room...and maybe it's just the BadAss Knitter coming out in me, but a giant rant started to brew. . .

warning: this is really, really long. my intention is definitely NOT to insult anyone, just to encourage less-judgemental knit blogging, and to get some stuff off my chest. so if you're brave, read on. if you're looking for happy pictures of knitting, either come back tomorrow or find another blog, k?


really, i do. i've decided to break this post down into my main points to avoid my usual tangents.

1. Yarn Snobbery. now, i admit to poking fun at myself and claiming the title of yarn snob, because, i admit it, i hold natural fibers above everything else. wool, alpaca, silk, i love it all. However, i'm also a college student, and i live with this condition called a Small Budget. which means i shop wisely for the best yarn i can afford, and i'm also open to cheaper options.

moreover, not all synthetics/cheap yarn is crap. i think even the Yarn Snobs know this, but the "I HATE ACRYLIC" club still stands strong. i've even seen freaking buttons for secret pal swaps that basically say, "DON'T SEND ME ACRYLIC YOU CHEAP, SORRY EXCUSE FOR A KNITTER!!" and that makes me really angry/dissappointed in my fellow knitters. even if it's meant to be a joke, i feel like it alienates people who a) LIKE some acrylic, and/or b) may be on a more fixed income for whatever reason, but still would like to swap and share nice things with another knitter.

besides, acrylic and blends can be really, really nice. even by yarn snob standards. yet, when i do a yarn swap, i find myself constantly putting yarn back on the shelf because it's 2% polyester and nobody wants that. they make buttons about it, for god's sake.

i'll admit i had a chuckle at the Knitters Against Fun-Fur buttons, and i stay far, far away from fun-fur garmets for adults (um, like the baby chicken style coat on the cover of Knit1? excuse me while i run in the other direction. ditto for the fun-fur scarves. eep. but if that floats another knitter's boat, more power to them! knit what you want! don't apologize.

and can't we all agree that even some of the crappier/tackier have their purpose? i mean, for things other than garmets for...Adults With A Certain Fashion Sense? what else makes better monster slippers than everyone's least favorite yarn? also, acrylic (not necessarily fun-fur) is GREAT for kid's stuff. it's easy to care for (who really wants to give a hand-wash garmet to a non-knitter? it's begging for disaster) and kids are fickle. in my opinion, i'd much rather see a lovingly made $12 sweater on the floor of my 10-year-old brother's room than a lovingly made $80 one. but maybe that's just me??

2. "Knitting And Knitting Only, Please!" Vigilantes.
now i understand most of us read knitting blogs to, uh, read about knitting. but it seems the past week or so, i have read a lot of complaints from people who get irritated with "off topic" posts. now, i understand if it was an email ring, like KnitList, where you'd be getting off topic emails, but these are BLOGS for god's sake. no one is forcing you to read them. no one is delivering them to your inbox and cluttering up your space. see that little X in the corner. Click it at will!

i love reading about people's knitting. i love seeing what yarns they use, what techniques they like, what projects they choose, etc. But i also like reading about the lives of other Knitters. i love when people share about their kids, their cats, hampsters, husbands, whatever. knitting blogs provide knitting community...which yes, is about knitting, but it's also about Community. so please don't gripe that you Don't Feel Like You're Learning Anything when people post a picture of their cat. Knitting blogs are a great place to share knitting information and learn, but come on, if it's Strict Knitting Education you're after, there are books, shops, websites, and classes for that.

(for the curious, i have an "off-topic" online journal elsewhere...otherwise you'd be getting far more fiber-free posts.)

3. Apologies For Popular Projects. i Hate when i read someone's blog or post (especially at Craftster) where they apologize for making a panta, an anthropologie inspired caplet, a tubey, a branching out, a log cabin blanket, or whatever. projects like those get made frequently because they're super-cute (or at least a lot of people think so!) and/or well designed, with clear patterns. plus, it's awesome to see other people's versions of projects i have made or want to make. that's why we do knit alongs, right?

and i know i'm guilty of it too. you start with the little disclaimer, "now, i know this is nothing new..." or some equivalent. isn't that ridiculous? can you imagine the knitters from the past, getting together for a little stitch n bitch to work on the umpteenth pair of socks for their husbands, saying, "now, i'm sorry there's nothing more interesting for me to show you...."

/END RANT. i really am a nice knitter, i swear. i just had to get that all out. bottom line is, knit and let knit. play nice with the other knitters, even if they use red heart to make a project you've seen 1,000 times before. get over it if they post pictures of their cat and you're allergic. big deal. find other blogs if it kills you so much. or take up scrapbooking instead.

and if you commit any of those "knitting faux pas" like using acrylic, knitting a common project, or not posting thoughtprovoking, knitting-only posts every 24-48 hours, don't apologize! knit proudly. blog proudly. this is supposed to be fun, remember? join the badass knitters webring if you need support.

now, because i know some of you are only here for the yarn (ha!) i was going to post pictures of what's currently on my needles (sock #2, and a soon-to-be felted fibertrends stuffed alpaca), my latest knitpicks order, and an adorable crocheted gift from my boyfriend, but blogger won't let me post pictures, so you'll just have to wait.
Monday, July 17, 2006
  kellen's sock, a baby hat, and two blobs.
my needles have been hot lately!
as promised, here's a picture of kellen's finished sock

fogive the shoddy picture, but he's crocheting on a deadline and i didn't want to make him get up to find better lighting. to the right is the few rounds of ribbing i have done on sock 2.

so, while i was bored with the sock, i whipped up a baby hat. i don't have a recipient in mind, although my mom has another expecting coworker, so if it's a girl, she'll get it.
pattern:baby hat from One Skein by leigh radford
yarn: sugar-n-cream in...uh, pink?

finally, yarn snobs sheild your eyes....

these amorphous blobs are the pre-felted incarnation of some monster slippers for a certain toddler's birthday. i based them off the monster slippers in Stitch-n-Bitch Nation, but used a pattern for toddler's slippers, with a closed heel.

and i am not going to apologize for my use of fun fur. yes, it's ridiculous, and is hardly worth calling yarn, but it does serve it's purpose. if your rowan fondling hands can't handle it, tough! ...but no hard feelings, right?
Thursday, July 13, 2006
  i'm still alive!
i lost my internet connection for a week or so, but i'm back in action now!

in the meantime, i've been knitting away, as always. i finished kellen's storm sock (FINALLY!). i'm really glad i ripped it out, because i finished with just the right amount of yarn and they fit k. perfectly. i was so bummed out to find out knitpicks discontinued their Simple Stripes line. they better replace it with something awesome! i bought two balls of it in the Sweet Tarts colorway for a Christmas gift...but i just might save it for myself! i wish i had done more stocking up while i had the chance. that's life.

i also whipped up a little pink baby hat, using the pattern from One Skein. as soon as it's blocked, i'll post a picture.

currently, i'm working on a Fiber Trends felted alpaca, and a pair of monster slippers for a certain toddler in my life.

pictures soon!
Sunday, July 02, 2006
  something blue!
today was all about reading, dying my hair, baking cookies, and avoiding the heel flap on kellen's socks.

but guess what! i lied when i said i didn't make anything blue this month! i totally forgot that i had knit a Fiber Trends soap sack! i did the scattered blossoms motif. it was super easy and turned out really well, despite this crappy picture. i'm still trying to figure out good photo spots at the new place.

pattern:Bathtime Blossoms by fiber trends.
yarn: paton's grace (i forget the color name)
needles: US3
i'm going to redo the twisted cord because it's the worst i've ever made in my life. maybe i'll replace it with a satin ribbon like the pattern shows. at any rate, i think this may be a chirstmas gift, possibly for the aunts. i intend to make the washcloths, too.

then i made this little blue kitty necklace. i love it, it's so silly, and i've gotten quite a few compliments on it. (Again, sorry about this crap photo)

the kitty is glass, handmade by our local bead shop owner, the blue beads are glass, and the black beads are plastic.

so there is my meager contribution to june's project spectrum. it's not much, and it's 2 days late, but hey, i've been moving! i'll at least TRY to do some purple on time!
Saturday, July 01, 2006
  a good (yarn) read...
first of all, i realize that it is in fact july 1st, and june is over. AND, i am yet to post anything blue. i have excuses. like my digital camera is at the house and i'm at the apartment, i just knitted a blue hat and booties set in may, and i intended for BOTH of kellen's (blue) storm socks to be finished by this time, although after frogging and starting again, i am still only at the heel flap of the first. but excuses aside, the main reason i haven't posted a june project spectrum is I REFUSE TO BELIEVE IT IS JULY! time is just going way too fast. so in my little world, it's still june, and i'll post some blue-y goodness when i can. with that said, i'll get on to the real reason for my post...

while i was at the grocery store across the road for the umteenth time, picking up odds and ends so that kellen and i can survive in our new place, i scanned the magazine and book section, and this book caught my eye. i normally don't buy paperbacks from the grocery store and i FULLY admit to being a bit of a LitSnob. don't get me wrong, if i find a cute chicklit book that looks semi interesting in a thrift store or the library, i'll read it, and usually like it, but i'm pretty picky when it comes to my reads. but come on, this book is about a YARN shop!! duh, i had to buy it! so far it's been really good. not life shattering, new-favorite-book good, but good enough that i'll probably buy the book that came before it (about the same shop), and maybe even the author's pattern book. that's right, it was written by a knitter, and it shows. there are times, though, like when she explains what self-patterning yarn does, and calles sock knitting "the latest rage" that i have to groan.

but i really have enjoyed reading it. there's not much for me to do yet in our little apartment (other than enjoy the free wireless and read knitblogs until my eyes melt.) we don't have cable or a phone yet, so my post-work routine involves drinking a cup of tea, knitting, reading, knitting, internet, reading, repeat. so maybe this book isn't the most intellectually stimulating out there, but who wants their intellect stimulated all the time anyway? i recommend it if you've got some free time and $7.

and as for actual knitting news? last night i was knitting kellen's heel flap in bed, and although i thought i had pushed it out of harm's way before he got in bed with me, but when i picked it up later, one of my precious size 0 dpns was BENT AT A 90 DEGREE ANGLE. dammit! you'd think one of us would have felt that, wouldn't you?! luckily it was a set of five, so the remaining four are still usable.

oh, and the fair is coming up! last year, i put in my Wavy scarf from Knitty, my felted marsupial tote, and a beanie, and got two second place ribbons and a third. not bad for the first time around, huh? i just have NO idea what to put in this year...we'll see what i can whip up.
okay, i'm off to read and knit, then repeat.

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Location: up in the redwoods, California, United States

violet is a crafty girl with feminist values. knitting is her main squeeze, but she also flirts with sewing, embroidery, mosaics, jewelry making, block printing, and polymer clay. she's also been known to cook and garden. she loves a good thrift shop, teapots, and her boyfriend kellen.

Gift Socks #3

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8 pairs in 2006!
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