Category Archives: knit

blockbuster.

So a while back… we’re talking March here… I decided that I was going to try to knock out a couple of my favorite Pinterest projects. This didn’t go as planned exactly (what does?) but I am here to announce that I have completed this challenge to myself. Sort of.

I started to make that amazingly cute little clutch. It’s seriously cute. I went with a hot pink and taupe color scheme because I had a lot of those colors in DMC thread laying around from the Golden Girls needlepoint I did last year. Oh god, I need pics of that so bad.

I’m slightly further along now than at the time of this photo, but I’m out of embroidery floss AGAIN.

Little did I know that I would need a metric fuck-ton of the stuff. After buying out all of my local JoAnn’s stock of DMC 600 and 611 and the surrounding colors and hoping they’d just look cool and variegated, I still didn’t have enough. SO. That project is on hold.

In the mean time, I picked a different project from my “Shit I Like” board. Berroco offers free patterns on their websites and the Espenson was calling to me.

Today’s word of the day is Caftan. Caftan (noun): a potentially frumpy sweater, ideally worn while staring over your right shoulder at nothing at all.

Lucky for me, I had the perfect yarn handy. You see, one day at work, my boss proposed a bonding experience that involved a 3 hour excursion to get Chik-Fil-A, go craft shopping and drink milkshakes. My boss is a 37 year old straight man. My coworker, Alfred, called it “the worst day of his life.” You win some, you lose some, Alfred.*

So I set to work. And damn it was a lot of work. I learned a few things, like how to increase and decrease stitches and that, for who-knows-what reason, the TSA totally lets you take knitting supplies on airplanes. Tell me how that’s logical.

I mostly finished the thing while I was on a plane home from a wedding in San Diego. When I got home, I stitched it up the sides and put it on.  IT WAS FRUMP CITY. I just didn’t understand it. It was heavy and had no stretch. I should have gotten a photo with it on, but I was damn embarrassed.

Imagine, if you will, putting this on while laying down, then standing up and having it retain that EXACT shape.

I put it in a pile of clothes that I have to repair and consigned myself to just ripping the whole thing out. I was a little sick over it actually. I spent at least 30 hours on this thing. Let’s do some math:

Yarn: 5 balls at about $5/each (sale, woo!) = $25

Time: 30 hours at minimum wage ($7.25/hour) = $217.50

This sweater is worth $242.50. Just think about the last time you spent nearly $250 on an item of clothing. Yeah, never, right? Ok, ok… I know some folks reading this have, but I’m no Oprah. Occasionally I get dressed and realize, hours later, that I’m dressed head-to-toe in House of Goodwill. I fretted over pulling the whole thing out, but I knew it was the best thing for both of us. Just like putting the family dog to sleep.

Then I discovered the knitter’s miracle. BLOCKING.  Oh my lord. I came home from work that day, ripped out the side seams and got the whole thing wet. Just like putting the family dog to sleep.

Get it wet, pin it to something and the rest will take care of itself…

So this is the final result. Pretty swift, huh?

The caftan is cool, but check those earrings. Trent’s amazing at buying me things.

Sincere apologies to my girl Em for wearing leggings as pants in this photo. I’m not gonna lie, I’ll probably do that in public too.

Up next, something summery. It’s fucking hot.

*Note that this trip was inspired by Alfred’s deep seated hatred for the awkward teenage boy that works in our local Chik-Fil-A, offering to grind fresh pepper on your sandwiches and insisting that you take mints. We’ve all had separate encounters with the kid, only Alfred hated him. This trip was entirely about witnessing the interaction between Alfred, a 60 year old queen, and the minty fresh pimpled pepper grinder, but the kid wasn’t working that day. Worst day of our lives, indeed.
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Filed under generally awesome, inspiration, knit

knit or treat.

Halloween, a holiday that seemingly closes the window of fall comfort and opens the gaping barn door of winter and it’s never-ending holidays, has never been one of my favorite times of year. Trick-or-treating in my town sucked. My costumes sucked. It snowed (like a lot!) the one year that I really got dressed up and went to a bigger town for trick-or-treating. I gave up on that holiday at a pretty young age.

Then I got to college and was introduced to college Halloween. Slutty costumes? Movie characters that weren’t animated? Doing more than gathering skirts, scarves and bangly jewelry into a new iteration of a gypsy woman/witch? (regular gypsy, dead gypsy, regular witch, dead witch got me through at least 4 years). Then we don’t even trick-or-treat, we just drink? That last part was pretty much the only part that I could get my head around. I didn’t know people liked it so much. Anyway, adult Halloween was a whole different ball game that I still had no idea how to play.  Freshman year I had braces, so everything about my life was weird anyway. I just went to a John Mayer concert with a top hat on or something. Sophomore year, I opted out entirely, indulging in maybe one terrible PSU area haunted house. Junior year, my boyfriend at the time was all about Halloween and having corresponding costumes, so I went all out and made him a Han Solo costume while I went as Princess Leia. Although, I totally forgot about the sexy thing and went as this Leia by accident and not the slave one:

I mean, I made it, I didn't buy this crappy one. But still... I cringe thinking about the awesomeness of a home made slave Leia costume and how I failed.

Then the same ex-boyfriend refused to go as Peter Pan the following year so I could be a sexy Tinkerbell. As I mentioned in my previous post, he ended up going as Tinkerbell and I looked like this:

Seriously, the girl on the left isn't even anything in particular, she's just wearing leopard print. Why didn't I think of that?

I was Peter Pan. Decidedly not sexy. Then I did some terrible old Power Rangers costumes, then I skipped it for a few more years. Then I hit a new low and went as… (it’s only funny if you know the suburbs of Pittsburgh) Upper Saint Clair — I wore a halo and a wrap on top —  and Trent was Lower Burrel(lap) — he wore a regular shirt with burlap wrapped around his legs. After all these terrible experiences, I was finally ready to say I was done half-assing it and give up on Halloween altogether.

Then Trent wanted to have funny costumes this year. I told him to think of them and I would do whatever. Then he didn’t think of anything. I felt like a bad girlfriend, since he’s said how much he loves Halloween and costumes and all that, so I tried to encourage him to think of something. We had a brainstorming session. Nothing. Everything was either a) impossible or b) not very good. After a couple of these discussions, we hit upon the fact that there’s craft shit strewn all over the apartment and thus, a Halloween costume was born.

I would be a sexy ball of yarn and Trent would go as Knit of the Living Dead. 

Pretty good right? I love yarn, Trent loves puns. I’m not going to bore you with all the details. It’s not that great of a project. I’ll just show you the final product:

Trent’s wearing numerous knit pieces refashioned into some kind of knit zombie. He was pretty pumped about the latex stuff for his face and his head wounds oozing yarn. That and his scary-ass knitting needle claws. They made me uncomfortable.

On me, I knit the headband at work one night, it’s pretty sweet and will see further use. The top is just a sweater sewn onto an old bra. The ball-of-yarn skirt is also pretty cool, but we couldn’t get a good shot of it, sorry for the shaking:

So that was pretty much it. We went to a roller skating party called Down and Derby and had some drinks with our friends, but we didn’t skate at all cause Trent’s hands were dangerous.

Anwyay, this year I got into the Halloween spirit full tilt. All in the week leading up to Halloween, I watched Beatlejuice and Hocus Pocus, made our costumes, went to Scarehouse (which was awesome), drank spiked cider and carved this pumpkin in the likeness of my boss, Ted Pappas:

It's not bad, but it's not good either. The stencil is far more accurate.

So that’s all for my Halloween spirit 2011. It was a good year for festivities. This week, I’m getting busy and making some pants. Or maybe getting a jump on Christmas presents. I should pick, like, tonight.

Oh, and one more thing. Thanks to my girl Emily over at Dinner Is Served! I went down a dark Courtney Stodden rabbit hole again today. For Halloween, she and her creepy 50 something husband BOTH WENT AS HER. Only, to make matters worse, SHE WENT AS A “CHILD” VERSION OF HER 17 YEAR OLD SELF, according to her completely bizarre alliterative twitter feed.

Girl knows how to hold a lollypop.

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Filed under crafts, knit, sewing

a stitch a day.

This week’s craft has been pretty much finished for almost two days. Unfortunately, I was too tired on Sunday night to wrap it up and thought I’d get to it yesterday and just couldn’t fit it in. Today, I finally sat down and finished the seams on these finger-less gloves or wrist-warmers or whatever you want to call them:

This is actually the second set of these that I’ve made. The first set will probably be given to one of my nieces, as I made them a bit too snug. The pattern is super simple: cast on as many stitches as it takes to go around your wrist, do a little ribbing if you feel like it, continue knitting until they’re as long as you’d like, bind off and sew up the seams leaving a gap for the thumb to fit through. The End. Just to give you a time frame, these gloves took me approximately 2 shifts at the theater (during the downtime), 3 episodes of Modern Family, 3 episodes of Parks and Recreation and 2 episodes of Louie. I’m still a slow knitter, but I’m getting better. I think my next big project will be this:

The file name for this photo is Mickey McYarn Pants. I challenge you to find pants in this photo... or not. That probably gets you on some kind of list.

Just kidding. That’s a little ambitious. I’ll make this for a little kid that I know instead:

"Indian" ski mask pattern? This is everything that's right with America. The look in his eyes says it all.

But even that might be too much for a beginning knitter like me. Instead, I can work on this and each piece would count as one week’s craft:

I don't even want to know what the black cloth behind him is covering. Also, is that a really tiny donkey pinata?

Clearly, people who knit are bat-shit insane. Where do they come up with this stuff? The first two are clearly from an era when LSD flowed freely around the offices of McCalls. And don’t get me started on the fetish knitting community, it combines all the worst elements of rubber play and furries. Honestly, I don’t think you could wear any of these items in public without be arrested for indecency. I’ll stick to my very functional, plain, wearable, non-embarrassing knit crafts, thanks.

Dramatic lighting... potted plants... I must be blogging from my parents house.

So the reason I didn’t get everything done yesterday is actually much more interesting than this craft. First, I was going to do my hot girl work out, but it was just too beautiful outside to stay in. I knew I had to be downtown to work by 3 so I decided to hoof it instead of catching the bus. It’s about 3 miles and was absolutely perfect. I didn’t even get all sweaty and out of breath. Once I got to PPT, I was on duty at the costume and clothing sale, which is a cool tradition where the theater sells off years worth of old costumes and clothing in an 8 hour crazy fest downtown. By the time I got in, stuff was pretty picked over, but there were still a couple of things I had my eyes on. The last hour was a total free-for-all: for $5 you could fill a bag with whatever you wanted. I didn’t get as much as I could have, but I picked some things I knew I would wear/could make wearable. Here’s my haul:

The crazy black pants are actually pretty amazing. They just need a little love and they'll look less like hammer pants. I think.

I fell in love with these shoes even though they're at least 25% ugly.

Anyway, here’s my real knitting inspiration for the fall. It’ll take a lot longer than several sitcoms, so I’m making it a side project that I’ll update as I can. The poncho itself should be easy, though I’ll have to use cable needles for the first time. My biggest concern is figuring out how to make that collar, so if you have any suggestions, let me know.

I’m going to wrap it up here, as I’m blogging on location from my mom’s living room. I came out today to spend some time with my lovely motorcycle and I smell dirtbike farts. I should get back to the city and shower, f’real.

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Filed under knit