Saturday, April 28, 2007

How Cool Is This?

First Hokie KAL Scarf

Here's a shot of the first scarf I've done for the VA Tech KAL I'm involved with. It's the same yarn I used for my mom's collared wrap about a year ago, so it's a fine (DK weight) yarn I used size 6 needles on. It looks nice, I think, and my mom will be the recipient of the first scarf.
I was about to start another scarf when I realized I have way too many projects taking up needles that I need for more scarves. So I finished a sleeveless sweater from an Family Circle Easy Knitting pattern I started last month, just because it was 3/4 of the way done and I could feel accomplished. I finished it and blocked it last night; it's currently sitting pinned to my ironing board in my bedroom waiting to dry so I can seam it up. Yes, you read that right; I will actually seam it up. It's a new me.
I even got more work accomplished on a cute U-neck vest I am knitting myself. I got the pattern from the first issue of Knit.1 mag about a year or so ago, and fell in love with it. Of course, I didn't buy the yarn for it until earlier this year when I used my birthday gift card from Stacey, but hey - I bought it, right? It's a little more than halfway done, but of course, I need more yarn because I underbought. Argh. And that's the project that's taking up the two needles I need for more scarves. I think I'll just grit my teeth and use straight needles to keep the momentum going, scarfwise.
I have to split now, I have to go to Sears to get Will a new shirt for his Communion photos at 1 p.m. today. And I just saw that I have a Communion workshop for parents at Church from 11 to 1 today. So I have to bring Alex, which will be BIG fun. Gah!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Multimedia message

Finally finished the pillowcases I bought the fabric for a year ago!

Friday, April 20, 2007

When bad things happen, I'm one of those people who want to do something, but never know what to do. So I'm grateful to Cindy Cafaro, who figured out how to do something, anything, in the aftermath of Virginia Tech.

Mary Read
Hometown: Annandale, Va.
Age: 19 years old
Class: Freshman
Major: Undeclared
Location: Norris Hall
Related Links: Student, 19, with relatives here among the victims, (Rochester Democrat and Herald, April 17,2007)
Profile: Mary Read was a "fun-loving 19-year-old" who graduated from Fairfax's Annandale High School last spring, said her aunt, Karen Kuppinger of Rochester, N.Y.

Apparently, Mary was a knitter, too. Among some of her projects was a scarf that she made her grandmother. Her aunt, Karen Kuppinger shares:

"Here's a story about what a sweet, family-oriented girl she is," Kuppinger said. "The last time I saw her -- a year ago Thanksgiving here at my house -- she kept disappearing while she was here. I finally said, 'Mary, what are you up to? Are you reading a good book or something?' She was knitting a beautiful scarf -- a multicolored fluffy scarf like the girls wear -- for her grandmother for Christmas. My mother still wears it. She did very thoughtful things like that always and was very close to her mother and father and brothers."

Cindy decided to honor Mary's memory in the best way she could; she has organized a knit-a-long (I'm sure crochet-ers are welcome to join!) to honor Mary's memory, as well as the other victims. Participants will in this KAL will knit up their fluffiest novelty yarn into a scarf for an elderly person. Recipients can be loved ones or charities (e.g., nursing homes), but the gift will be made in honor of Mary Read. It's the simplest, more eloquent tribute and I'm happy to be a part.

You can check out Cindy's blog at, and e-mail her to join the knit-a-long. I will be posting pictures of my scarves (and scarves-in-progress) both here and on that blog (once you e-mail her to join the knit-a-long, she'll provide you with access to the blog).

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Ghetto Knitter

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I came across the most hilarious and true post today. While I do love myself the cashmere blends and the pricey yarns, I like to think that the craft store yarns do just fine by me - they sure as heck take it easier on my wallet. I know many yarn snobs tends to look down on this, and to them I say, "Buy my yarn, if it bothers you." Regardless - I'm not here to kick that debate into high gear one more time. But this post pretty much sums it up:

You Know You're a Ghetto Knitter If:

* Your fancy yarn comes from KnitPicks, or the clearance bin at the LYS.
* You don't understand why Plymouth Encore costs twice as much as Wool-Ease.
* You carry around your knitting in the plastic bag your yarn came in. Who's Jordana Paige? (I actually know the answer to that question, but it's only because I saw her on Knitty Gritty)
* You block your shawls with thumbtacks and bamboo skewers (um... do safety pins and an ironing board count?)
* You save those little charms that come with bottles of red wine to use as stitch markers. (No, but I have cut straws down and used those. I thought that made me dedicated.)
* You thought Addis were a new kind of athletic footwear.

If you can identify with one or more of these statements, then you are a Ghetto Knitter! Ghetto Knitters of the World, Unite! After all, it's easy to be a knitter when you've got Rowan Calmer to knit with. When all you've got is Red Heart and Lion Brand, but decide to knit anyway, well, that's true passion for the craft.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Keep an eye out for this logo, you'll be seeing it a lot soon... in the meantime, check out the site here.
Crochet Girl

I've decided to pick up an honest-to-goodness crochet pattern and give it a shot. I picked an "easy" one from an old issue of Family Circle Easy Knitting & Crochet, and found a cute capelet. Astonishingly, it's not making me pull my hair out while I jam the crochet hook into my eyes. I think it's - dare I say? - kind of cute. I'll take pictures soon.

It's so funny, I learned to crochet first - over 10 years ago, now - and never really advanced beyond scarves and blankets, all done in either single, double or triple crochet and that was that. So now I feel obligated to try and learn more.

Still hanging by the telephone, to paraphrase Blondie. I spent most of the late afternoon in bed. Have to shake it off. It's hard.

One thing that's helping, though, is actually doing marketing and publicity stuff for my buddy Dan's book, Closet Monsters: Zombied Out and Tales of Gothrotica. ISO has picked up the book (and they didn't even need a reader report from me, hee hee) and hopefully, he'll start getting some press. I also wrote the press release, if I may say so myself. Now, we've got to get the GLBT press to be aware of the book. I'm checking out different search engines to submit his site to.

And I've also started doing marketing and publicity for Patrick's upcoming show, Zombie Hunters: City of the Dead. This has been a blast; I've started submitting the sites to search engines, found a bunch of horror search engines, and am trying to get a table for the show to exhibit at the HorrorFind weekend in August. And I'm fooling around with a CafePress boutique, too. So more on all of that once it's ready to go.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Happy Easter, Everyone!
Five Year Meme

I found this on a blog ideas board, thought it would be fun. Give descriptions of your life in five year jumps working back from 2007, so every year that ends with a 2 and 7.

1972 - I was two, we had just moved to the apartment I ended up spending the next 23 years in, and my first memory is around this time. My mom carried me into the kitchen, where my dad was on a ladder, painting the kitchen cupboards. He turned around and made a goofy face at me. That's about it. :-)

1977 - I was 7, and Star Wars entered my life. Need I say more? I remember my dad signing me up for the Star Wars fan club - still have my introductory poster, the dogfight by the Death Star.

1982 - I was a preteen (12) and roller skating with my three best friends, Annie and Sandy (twin sisters who are still two of my closest friends) and Manisha (who I lost touch with after college). We logged hours and hours of playtime on our block that summer. I was also whiny because Mom and Dad wouldn't let me see Blade Runner with my beloved Harrison Ford.

1987 - Ah, the beginning of my senior year of high school. Duran Duran toured Notorious earlier that year, so I got to see them in concert finally (with Erasure as their opening act - how great a show is that?!), Def Leppard released Hysteria, we had our senior trip to Busch Gardens Virginia, I was going on weekly trips down to Greenwich Village with my galfriends, and having a great year. Love 1987.

1992 - I was 21 and graduating college, working two part-time jobs until I could find a full-time one, and dating the man who'd eventually become my husband. I was a full-fledged book and sci-fi nerd (and I say that with pride) and hanging out with a bunch of people who I still have the privilege to call my friends all these years later. I was playing the Dark Conspiracy RPG and having a pretty good time overall. I started off the year making my first trip overseas, to visit my friend Helene in Sweden. Not a bad way to start off a year.

1997 - I was engaged and living with Mike. We'd go out, have friends over, host Vampire: The Masquerade card games, and generally just have a good time. Mike built a shelving set that went around our living room for our copious books. It looked like a drop ceiling filled with books. We had two bookshelves mounted on the walls to hold all Mike's pewter miniatures, and I had Star Wars action figures displayed on the walls. It was a great place. Hell, I still miss the dishwasher.

2002- I had a three-year old asking nonstop questions and ended the year finding out I'd have a new addition shortly. We had our best friends coming over every Friday night to eat, laugh, watch TV and occasionally, coerce the men into a Boys vs. Girls Trivial Pursuit game.

2007- We've still got the best buds coming over, maybe not weekly but often enough to keep us all happy. I've somehow managed to acquire a 7 1/2 and a 3 1/2 year old. I knit. Obsessively. I am still a happy sci-fi nerd and am currently researching Cthulhu knitting patterns. I've had some ups and downs - haven't we all - but learning how to deal with them comes with the territory.
Last One for Today...

Although it's showing up aqua, this is a baby green hat for Will's teacher (well, her baby-to-be), Mrs. Pine. It's knit in Lion Brand Baby and it's got a little basket weave pattern. I'm hoping to bang out a matching set of booties and cardigan, and with the pinwheel blanket, I'll have a whole layette set to give her.
I'll say this much; knitting keeps me from losing my mind these days.
Pinwheel Blanket - Complete!

Here's one of the two pinwheel blankets I began a little while ago. This one is in the softest pink Bernat Satin yarn, with a fuzzy yellow yarn (I think it's Hunny? Can't remember right now)crocheted border to finish it off. I love the way it turned out! I'm sending this off to a friend who's due in a couple of weeks (along with the ever-present Umbilical Cord Hat and one of the Jester Hats I just finished) shortly.
I've got the second pinwheel blanket done too; I did it in yellow Lion Brand Baby yarn with a green Lion Brand Baby border (single crocheted and then double crocheted) and it looks adorable; that's going to Will's teacher for her baby-to-be. Photos forthcoming.
Triumph Over Adversity!

Your eyes do not deceive you... I HAVE SEAMED! TWO HATS! Those cute little jester hats from a few posts ago? I sat down yesterday and told myself I could not knit anything new until I finished these. I fought myself for an hour, but I sewed them both up. And they look kinda cute. So who knows? Maybe it's the dawn of a new day.
Now I just have to make the pom-poms to add...
Preemie Hats

Learning to knit with circular needles - actually knit in the round with them - opened up a huge door to me, especially since I think I've documented pretty well by now my issues with seaming up my work. But learning to knit with double pointed needles allowed me to start doing small, fine work that was too small to even do on circular needles.
I've been wanting to knit preemie hats for ages; I had once read about knitters making things for premature babies, who are just too small for the standard-issue hats the hospitals have, and to give a nice, handmade touch to the babies and their parents, who are already out of their minds with worry. And since anyone who knows me knows how I tear up at anything involving kids in distress, preemie hats seemed like the way to go (although by Fall/Winter 2007-08, I will have more of my act together to take part in the Warm Up America Foundation afghan squares project, and the Caps to the Capital initative for newborns). I customized the Stitch & Bitch pattern for my current favorite, the Umbilical Cord Hat, to a tinier size. It's heartbreakingly cute; it looks like a doll's hat (and it very well can be) but when you realize that it's going to go on a baby's head - let the sniffles flow.
So enjoy. I'll go whip out a few more...

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

One More...

One of Theresa's and mine. :-)
Garden in Transit

With school being out all week, the operative phrase is "whatever keeps you sane". So when the opportunity to take part in Garden in Transit came up, I jumped. And I am so glad I did, because I had a blast, and as you can see, so did Will.
Garden in Transit is a public art project - Portraits of Hope, an organization that tries to make kids' lives brighter through art, is doing it. Check out their website(s), they've done some great stuff. Anyway, this time out, it's New York Taxicabs. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the yellow taxi, Garden in Transit is letting folks paint decals that cabs will sport all throughout the city. It was so much fun. My friends and I painted four decals; Will and his buddy George got through five. They look Warhol-esque, n'est pas? We even got to sign the petals, so who knows? Maybe one day, I'll see one of our cabs drive by.
The springy flowers got me out of this several week-long funk I've fallen back into. It was nice. I even knitted another baby hat.
Speaking of knitting, I finished two of the pinwheel blankets - pictures to come. I love how they look, especially the one with the slightly thicker yarn (Bernat Satin - what a beautiful sheen). I finished each with a row of single crochet and then a row of double crochet on top with a contrasting yarn. I have found a new blanket obsession.
More pictures to come...