Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Knitting as contemporary art... and craft.

i am so intrigued by the work or J. Meredith Warner. I love the idea of commenting on culture and society through the techniques and pasttime of knitting.

visit her site knittingcommunity.org!

Monday, January 30, 2006

The Craft Collective -- online store!

This is a message from my friend rachel. hope it sparks some interest!!

i am in the process of building the online store for what i am calling the "The Craft Collective" if you are interested, please send me a picture of yourself, along with a bio to my email address: rachel.person@gmail.com. i am going to build the site with sections according to the person who made the products. this may change if this gets really popular and there are a lot of different people contributing. we will see.

also: if you have a band or you make tshirts or have ANYTHING worth selling, please contact me, i would love to include you. if you have a website, i would like to also cross promote so we can exchange banners if you are interested.

the launch date for the new site is going to be march 1. i will need pictures and prices of all of your products by then. you can keep your products where you are or you can bring them by my house were i am setting up a little stock room closet. :)

email me also if you want to be a part of the mailing list. thanks!


thank youuuu!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Orange baggin' it

We went for a walk on this overcast Sunday afternoon and I took my bag out for a spin. I must say I like it and it makes a terrific purse, even if it's incapable of properly toting my computer. I added a pin made from vintage scarf material that I bought because it also has my favorite color... orange.

click the picture if you wanna make it larger!

it shrunk!

...a lot.

I mean, I knew it would shrink a bit, that's part of felting. I measured my last bag before and after so that I would get an idea of how much it would shrink. I didn't take into consideration the double strand of yarn I used here and stuff like that, but somehow it shrunk to half the size of the pre-washed piece. It's still makes a cute book bag, but I don't know about toting around my laptop! But this is only my second bag. I have a lifetime of felting ahead of me.

Friday, January 20, 2006

the 'wifi tote'

It must be bag season! Rachel's making mexican totes and I am whipping up a line of felted bags that I hope to complete by the spring. Here's where I am so far...
I'm calling it the 'wifi tote' because it's made to hold my computer (once it's finished a felted of course) Actually, it can hold anybody's computer. If you'd like, it to hold yours. Just email me and we can talk about price!

The bag looks flat but actually has a base of 1 1/2" x 14" (pre-felting) designed to slip my laptop inside. The inspiration came from always getting dirty looks when I toss my powerbook into my purse with all my other shit. I have a feeling that even though I am designing bags I hope to sell, that I am going to end up keeping this one.... just because it's orange.

I made it, again, by knitting the base of the bag first then picking up stitches with circular needles all around and knitting in the round for a bag slightly larger than what I needed. I am now waiting for more yarn to arrive so I can finish the handles and toss this over my shoulder! To make this bag sturdier than a regular purse, I used two strands of the same color yarn knit together on size 13 needles. This also helped the project knit up pretty quick. I can't wait to make a few more!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

today = chaos

I had a bad experience with double pointed needles last night. My knitting actually came out ok and the top of my hat looks normal, but knitting with the needles was a total confusion and I will try to avoid them forever.... even though the results were better than when I don't use them.

I think I want to knit one of these shrugs (left). That is when I finish the bags, hat, scarf and zillions of other projects I already have started around my livingroom floor.

Monday, January 16, 2006

the temperature outside -- can we get a recount?

I don't know what it's like where you are, but here it's 14 degrees with just a little sun. I really would rather not get off this couch. Here's a start to my "seedling" scarf. 16 sts in an endless amount of rows in the seed stitch.

brrrrr! I am going to need this scarf.

Friday, January 13, 2006

cable ready

It was my birthday two days ago and (I'm such a geek) between going out celebrating and unwrapping graciously given gifts, I taught myself how to do cable stitches! I was up late the other night studying a book from the library and found that they are pretty easy. I'm almost done with a little purple newsboy cap.

When I was downtown the other day I stopped in the local yarn shop and bought myself a cable needle (woo hoo! $2! big splurge!) and also a very cool button that I don't need right now but am sure I will find a use for. It was a whopping $2.50 (more than the cable needle) for, COME ON, a BUTTON!! But if you saw it you would have to have it too. And it is after all my birthday!

Walking home I was thinking about buttons and various ways make my own so I don't have to spend $2.50 everytime I finish a bag. When I was looking in the shop for a wooden toggle the woman working there recommended using a small branch or stick with two fine holes drilled in it. That's innovative! But my bags are a bit funkier and the outdoorsiness might not go. Plus that was her idea, I needed my own. Suddenly my booted toe kicked a piece of metal and I had it.

Looking down at my feet I saw a Heineken bottle cap. Red star in the center, rusted around the edges. Perfect. At home nick and I save a jar of bottle caps from just about every drink we've had in the past year for god knows what reason. When I got there I went straight for the jar and got out my hammer. I started flattening the caps and pushing the rough edges underneath. Taking my awl I poked two small holes in the center. Perfect. A funky little recycled button and it didn't cost a thing....

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

rachel's scarf.

Rachel is a photographer, designer and all around crafty girl. She has just added knitting to her repertoire of cool stuff and completed this gorgeous scarf as her first official project. Together we are plotting ways to turn knitting and crafting into our self-employment and become rich and famous!

Monday, January 09, 2006


ok, now THIS is a knitting blog! www.yarnharlot.ca Way geekier and over my head. I love it!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Making the Bag 2

I'm back home now from my travels and my bag is all finished. It really was easy to make -- knit all in one piece and fit conveniently in my carry-on while I was working on it. I actually stashed my working yarn in the bag as it began to take shape.

To begin, I cast 36 sts onto 10 1/2 needles and knit in the garter st for about 16 rows. (ok, nothing is ever exact with me, most of my measures are approximates! But I give you these as guidelines to construct what you want in your own size.) Switching to circular needles I picked up sts around the edges of the rectangle (16, 36, 16) placed a marker in between each group and then joined them and knit in the round for about 8". Then I switched to a different color and knit for and inch.

To shape the handles I continued to knit in the round, binding off the 16 sts between markers on each of the sides. With a separate pair of same size needles I continued knitting up the front and then later did the back. After knitting another inch I bound off 15 sts in the center of the row and then cast them on again in the next row to shape a very large button-hole like handle. When felting this comes out looking way neater than it did in the floppy stockingette stitch.

I repeated the same for the back of the bag and when I got home and threw in my laundry (jeans and sweatshirts are best) I tossed in the bag for 2 cycles.

Happy knitting!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

happy new year, knitters.

I went to Barnes and Noble tonight to check out the knitting books and magazines. It was the first time since last year that I had been in a major book sellar and I couldn't get over the amount of books in the knitting and crochet section! There's soooo many books out there for every aspect of being a knitter. It's overwhelming!

But books can be great guidence for knitters of any caliber, as well inspiration. Yarn Harlot: The secret Life of a Knitter doesn't feature any instuctions, just meditations on the knitting obsessed lifestyle.

Or if it's motivation that you seek this calendar may be just what you need to get you through your day!

do the twist!

I got a great idea when I was knitting on the airplane and didn't have any way to mark my stitches. Digging through my carry-on bag all I could find was a single twisty tie. Cut into fourths (with my safety scissors they allowed me to bring on the plane) I curled each peice, about 1 inch, around the needle for a very neat, adjustable stitch marker!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Making the Bag.

This bag started in the air between Boston and El Paso.
Flying earned me several hours of uninterrupted knitting time while listening to all 69 of the Magnetic Feilds Love Songs. When I arrived in New Mexico I had the workings of a bag as blue as the southwestern sky!

The pattern was amalgamated from several that I got from online sources before I left. I started by casting on 36 sts and knitting strait garter sts for approx. 3" (16 rows) to create the bag's base, then picking up sts along all sides and knitting in the round for about 8". The bag is bigger and floppier than I would want it but thats ok! I have to allow for shrinkage! I still plan to add another color for contrast and fashion a handle. Once the bag in felted and complete I'll post the entire pattern!

Happy New Year!!