Friday, May 17, 2013

Help Send Bronwyn to NOLOSE

Hi everyone!

If you've been friends with me for any length of time, you know this isn't something I normally do- and it's been a long time since those days when I was in 4-H selling cookies and collecting cans to fundraise for the club and myself.

Anyhow, this year in July, a great conference called NOLOSE is taking place in Portland, OR.  I'm trying to raise money for travel expenses- I've already got registration taken care of, and now I just need to raise enough money to cover my hotel room and gas for the car- Yep, I'll be driving 11 hours each way!

That's where you guys come in.  If you can spare it- and believe me, I know not everyone can- I'd love it if you could donate a few dollars to my cause.  I'm looking to raise $300, which should just about cover what I need.

And if you include your physical address with the donation, I'll send you a special thank you via snail mail- who doesn't love that?

I really hope I'll be able to make it to NOLOSE this year, because it looks like there are going to be some amazing workshops on feminist and social issues that are really important to me and a lot of people.  If you can't donate, it'd also be awesome if you could just share this around to anyone you think might be inclined to help.

Thanks again :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Knitting P.S.A. in several parts

I'm thinking it's time to do a little knitting P.S.A. around here because I've been tooling around and seeing blog comments and questions and frankly, I think it's time.

The one most important thing you can learn in knitting, that will help you in the long run and I think is above and beyond knowing how to make the stitches even... is how to RECOGNIZE your knitting.

How many times have you heard of people making the following mistakes?
1- Accidental yarnovers (adding more stitches!)
2- Purled or Knitted on the wrong row in Stockinette
3- Turned around the work while working in circular knitting and ended up
4- Lost your place in a stitch pattern and didn't know what to do
5- Lost your place when doing short rows and ended up wrapping and turning at the wrong times

The list can go on and on- feel free to leave a comment if you've got something else you add in there. Now, the truth is, everyone makes these mistakes. Some of them more than others- For example, I probably would never make the mistake of purling or knitting at the wrong time in plain old stockinette, and very very rarely do I ever turn my work around in circular knitting. Now I've had accidental yarnovers but I always notice them on the NEXT ROW and I just drop them and usually that doesn't leave any holes. When I lose my place in the stitch pattern, I can find it, and the same with short rows.

Now, why is it that these mistakes are easily avoided or fixed when I make them? It's because I know how to read my knitting, I know how to look at it and understand what is going on. There are tons of other knitters out there who do the same thing- they're the ones who can diagnose your problem with a snap of the fingers and can probably help you fix it.

But you know what? There's no reason YOU can't do the same thing! All you need to do is pay attention to your knitting, learn what the stitches look like, and learn a few really really simple rules about what your knitting is supposed to look like as you're working on it. Trust me- you don't have to finish that row if you don't want to. You can stop in the middle and come back later if you want to. It's not the end of the world if you stop in the middle of a stitch repeat- you can easily find your place if you know what the stitches look like.

I'm going to try to do some picture posts to accompany this, but what I really want to say to you today is just to pay attention to what your knitting looks like. If you're doing, say, 2x2 ribbing- you shouldn't have to keep count. The stitches should be your guide. Just look for a while- you'll see what I mean.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Dolly Restoration/Makeover

My Blythe wig from Blythaholic came today, and I am so glad that it works. I was really starting to worry that I would HATE Kirsten because the last wig looked so abysmal on her. The wig cap DOES show on this wig BUT it's OK because really, it's a pale blond wig and it's really hard to tell unless you're right up in her face.

Let's take a look at the whole process...

First, we have a few pictures from the ebay seller I purchased her from for about $62+shipping (a bit steep considering the condition she was in but I wanted the Silver Eyes)

Full Before
Back Before

When she got here, she felt rather greasy and her wig was in HORRIBLE shape. It wasn't just chopped; It FELT nasty, so the first thing I did was get rid of it...

Removed Wig
Removed Wig

At this point I decided to take a Mr. Clean magic eraser to her because she had a very small mark on the back of her arm... I discovered this:
Cleaned & Not Cleaned
I could not for the life of me get the color difference but do you see how one leg is shiny and the other is not? The SHINE is GRIME. And here I just thought the vinyl was, well, being sticky vinyl. Nope. It was grime. I don't know what was all over that doll but I cleaned her up. The mark on her arm, however, is still there. I don't care.

Then I made Cerys lend her some clothes for deceny's sake..

Unwigged Kirsten
She ends up looking like a cancer patient, poor thing, but fortunately the new wig is on the way...

Kirsten's New Wig
And... FINISHED with her new wig on!

As of yet she's still unnamed but the tentative back-story is that she's Fae-touched and has dead parents and lives with her grandmother; I imagine I'll flesh that idea out more later. After I show Jeremy the pic of the new wig. He was really worried that the pale blond was too white and would make her look old, which I think is a complete crock because honestly there's no making the AG facemold look OLD. Srsly.

Oh, and in my woes, I was going back over my BJD order last night and I realized I had put the incorrect zip code. D'oh. I emailed them about it but WHO KNOWS if they'll read it, as they are Korean and I'm not sure if they even speak english at all or just use a translating software. However I did find a place to update my delivery address so hopefully that will make it a moot point. Also WTF $80 shipping! If I wasn't so in love with the fucking doll I would have gone to Junky Spot or Denver Doll and picked something out there. However, I fell in love with Ligaya- worse for me, lol. Still, since she was 40% off she still came to over $100 than her normal retail price so *meh*

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Some knitting progress

Well, I'm not doing too great on the updating of the journals front but that's just the way it goes. I've done some knitting.

First, I finally finished the orange socks for the Ravelry Sock Knitters Anonymous September Sockdown- the theme was Orange.

Finally done

Sock notes:
Pattern- Yarnissima Firestarters (pdf)
Yarn- Wollmeise 100% Superwash in "Sonne" purchased from The Loopy Ewe.
Needles- Knitpicks Options Fixed Circs US 0
ravelry link

Then I used some leftovers from those to make a little hat for my new doll. I will be getting a larger doll in the next couple months so you will likely see a lot more knitting for her.

Next I decided I felt like making a gift with some cables so I started the mittens that brooklyntweed had published in VK Fall 08.

Druid Mittens cuff #1

Druid Mittens cuff #1

Pattern- Druid Mittens/Green Autumn (3) from Vogue Knitting fall 2008
Yarn- KnitPicks Palette in "Salsa Heather"
Needles- KnitPicks DPNs in US2 (3mm)
ravelry link.

Tonight I'm going to also start on a Christmas Stocking for the October Sockdown, (DEADLINE WTF HELLO) but that probably will get set aside for a bit while I knit the mittens. They're for someone :D I'm feeling pretty good today, so hopefully the mood will stick.

Monday, October 13, 2008

More Yarnage

I spun some more yarn- another roving from High Bid Farm.

Flamingo Firebirds
Flamingos and Firebirds

I'm pretty happy with it, though I wasn't crazy about the colorway as it was spinning up. I've no idea what I'm going to make but this yarn is WAAAAY more even than my first so I'm pretty happy about that. It's so funny to watch Polyglot playing with the wheel- he'll go sit on the treadles and make it spin and then just go nuts, or he'll walk through the spokes, or just in general be cute. I don't bother stopping him unless he's chewing on pieces.

I also got some Seacell/Wool Roving in the mail today:

Sea Wool>

Colors from left to right are: Beautiful, Deep Blue Sea, and All About me!! All came from The Loopy Ewe and are just wonderful. I can't wait to spin them- they are each an 8oz braid though so I need to get all my bobbins emptied for them methinks. I can really only get 4oz per bobbin- maybe a little more. I know that a jumbo flyer is in development for my wheel but that will not be till late next year at the earliest I'm sure, and then there's the issue of being able to actually, you know, afford it.

Oh well.

My next project is non-knitting- I'm going to be painting up this bed I got at target for my AG dolls to look like wrought iron. Right now the lavender color is just TOO girly. I don't think you should make a bed like that and make it so girly and cute- little girls don't mind things that look real, y'know?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

What Happened?

I wanna know what happened. I used to be such a prolific knitter. And now I'm not. What's the deal?

I suppose it might have to do with the fact that I have less "downtime" away from my computer these days. Or the fact that I knit mostly socks on very small needles.

Whatever the reason I'm a little depressed about it since I'd really like to knit some christmas gifts and I have 2 almost-nephews that are the perfect kid age for making clothes for... but I just don't know if I could do it. I mean, I've got plenty of time, essentially... but I dunno.

I don't know if it's procrastination, lack of inspiration, or both.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

The big spinning post

I've done more spinning today; I finished up the 4 oz of roving I had and then I plied it.

My first plied yarn

Navajo Plied. Don't ask me if the Navajo actually plied like that, I've no idea the history behind it. Once I get a PVC pipe niddy noddy made and get that wound into a skein (and the twist set, etc) I'll post another pic so you can see the "better" parts of it. The most visible stuff in the photo is obviously what I spun first (and thus plied last) so it's not the "best" part of the yarn. I'm still practicing.

Here's my fiber "stash" in picture form...

High Bid Merino
Same as what I spun the yarn with just different colors

High Bid Farm Merino
What the yarn above looked like before it was spun

Plain vanilla, will use a little bit for thrummed mittensl; Cormo wool I believe

Merino/Bamboo Blend

100% Merino
Merino, color not very accurate

There was also an ounce or so of blue wool I spun up but haven't done anything with (Not much there) so it's just sitting on a bobbin.

I also took photos of a couple other pretty things from my stash. Daffodils Tussah Silk that I got for my birthday from Jeremy; He got it from here. And some merino/tencel in a nice blue color that I got from Woodland Woolworks when I ordered the springs for my Ladybug.

That being said, I still haven't thought of a name. I was thinking Virgo but I don't think it really fits her. Jeremy said I should go with Eglantine (what the kitten would have been named if he were a girl) or Nessie (because both the loch Ness monster and sheep happen to exist in Scotland). He also suggested "Beck" because it has a "turntable" but I thought that was a bit of a stretch.

We're going to the Hilton Apple Festival tom- well, today, actually. I'm going to get some apples and maybe some other stuff depending on what is there. Hopefully it will rock hardcore.

Thursday, October 02, 2008


Yeah, I'm posting about spinning but you may recognize the Spinerooni as a wrestling move. Yes, Jeremy introduced me to the WWE and I can certainly see the entertainment value in it even though I think it's largely stupid, it can be interesting as well and there are some pretty decent athletes out there doing it.

The Spinerooni is a wrestling move that I believe is performed by Booker T. but don't quote me.

Some Wednesday Spinning

I am actually not sure why I even bought this roving, it didn't look that great as a roving (I will attempt to get a picture of what is left before I spin it) but it's actually turning into a fun little yarn. That's not the first thing I've spun on the Ladybug but it's the first thing I've thought to photograph while still on the wheel which I think is a good way to showcase it.

100% Merino Roving bought from the High Bid Farm booth at Finger Lakes Fiber Arts.

And now I'm feeling like my fiber stash is pathetically small because let's face it, spinning 4oz of roving takes waaay less time than knitting 4 oz of yarn.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Okay, so Steampunk isn't entirely my aesthetic but like many "fashions," there are some fun things that I kinda dig.

Like these awesome goggles.

I mean, seriously! how awesome is that- I love that the baseball leather just HAPPENS to be perfectly shaped for it, too. A+++

Also, if you've never seen them... there's this guy who does "steampunk" makeovers on computers- they are incredible. I mean, truly- WOW. I adore it.

Batts of Love

So, you guys may already know I'm into spinning; I'm not the best spinner in the world or anything, in fact, I'm still practicing a lot- I've mostly got the twist/feed part of the spinning, but it's the drafting that's getting me.

I get the technical aspect- you use one hand to pinch and keep the twist from running into your "drafting zone" and then you use the other hand to tease out the fibers- the problem is, I feel like I have to tug WAY too hard to get the fibers to separate.

Now, I don't know why this is- this could just be because I should be doing more pre-drafting. I don't really know, but I'm sorta testing it out- I figure I don't plan on doing anything that requires me to have perfect technique so long as what I'm getting is likeable I shouldn't care.

The problem, I'm having, however, isn't with the spinning itself- it's with the materials.

Batts. See, the thing about spinning- is that even with roving, it can be hard to tell what your finished yarn is going to look like if you have anything remotely multicolored. And a lot of that, honestly, has to do with how you spin it. For example, a roving with short little bursts of color- you could spread out those bursts into much longer repeats. Are you going to ply it? That'll change things too.

So what I have a hard time with is the fact that I keep finding these batts that look as yummy as the one I linked up above and I honestly have NO CLUE what it's going to look like spun up.

It's much the same thing with yarn, really. You find a nice, gorgeous yarn like this one, and you think "Wow, that's lovely." But knitted up it's hideous, and loses the charm.

It's rough- it's like artists really spend a lot of time making something that looks good as a product.. but then the actual finished product.. turns out not so great.


Monday, September 22, 2008


I think I am pre-disposed to hobbies that require stockpiling materials. I went to the Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival this past weekend with my aunt, and I could have bought a lot more than I did, but as it is my spinning container is now completely overfilled with fiber. I also saw some adorable little Shetland Sheepies and I am in love with them. So adorable.

My aunt wants me to make her a pair of thrummed mittens, so I ordered some Cascade 220 from The Loopy Ewe for that, along with a couple Dream In Color Smooshy colors that I wanted, another Orange sock yarn for the Mystery sock at the SKA Ravelry group... And I think that was it, lol.

I'll try to take photos of the fiber. I also posted on my normal journal that I had found a guy who makes spinning wheels at the festival as well- I was absolutely flabbergasted. Someday I'll have one- I didn't even ask the price for the wheels (which were absolutely gorgeous), because the Drop Spindles were so expensive that I didn't even want to know how much the wheels were going for. Someday, though.... They were really lovely (and small!). I really admire someone who can do that sorta stuff. I guess in a way I know I'd be able to do it, but like I said.. I have too many hobbies already. And as indicated by the "Tech" class I took in middleschool (Fancy word for woodworking in NYS schools), I've not got the patience for the finishing. Sanding and all that is just boooooring to me, though I love the result.

Anyway, I want to make a Tee-Shirt quilt with all the tee shirts I have that don't fit me or have stains or that I don't wear... so I looked online for memory quilts and found like all these great ones and suddenly it's like..... CRAP I don't need another hobby! LoL!

I also wish I didn't get sucked into my hobbies so quickly. Like, spinning- I haven't even had my wheel for that long but already I'm salivating over a drum carder. Sigh.

Friday, August 29, 2008


Okay, folks, I had my doubts about Wollmeise. I thought.. maybe it isn't all it is cracked up to be. Maybe everyone's just going crazy and it's not THAT nice. I mean, at least half the people who are buying it are just buying it because it's popular... right?

Well, when these babies came in the mail I remembered that things get popular for a reason...

Wollmeise Superwash - Sonne

Wollmeise Superwash - Lowenzahn

Wollmeise Superwash- Kalten Polar
am kalten Polar

Wow. Just wow. At this point, I don't even CARE how the stuff knits up. I just love the colors THAT much. It's completely a different experience from Dream in Color, which I still ADORE of course.

Also picked this up...

JL yarns Vinca

From ebay.

Today was a good yarn mail day, though my makeup from Everyday Minerals still has not arrived and I'm getting a bit frustrated.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Freakin' A

I just scored 3 skeins of Wollmeise. GO ME.

I'll post more about actual knitting later. Right now I'm going to go, like, do something useful.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Book Rant

I'm totally not into knitting right now- oh, don't get me wrong- I'm still into yarn and I even still want to knit, but it's more like I can't decide what to knit. It's a little insane.

Anyway, today I'm going to blog about something I dislike in books and magazines; POORLY FINISHED SAMPLES. Seriously. I think if you are going to publish something in a knitting book or magazine you NEED NEED NEED to properly finish it. I should not be seeing wavy zippers, ugly seems, or ANYTHING that hasn't been blocked and neatly put together. If you are making something for a publication and you don't know how to finish it properly, for god sakes take it to someone who does and get it finished RIGHT.

What brought this on? Well, two books: Big Girl Knits and More Big Girl Knits. Don't get me wrong- I adore the books. There are designs in there that I love (even if I happen to be on the high end of their size range and am still unable to make all the patterns out of hand), and a LOT of good information about fitting clothing for larger ladies.

But damnit, I just CANNOT condone the poor finishing on some of the items in these books. It seriously drives me batty to see it. No, I'm not going to point fingers at particular members of the author team but let's just say I've seen poor finishing sneak by somewhere else, too. You may be saying that the finishing does not take away from the fabulousness of the finished item but, well, yes it does. And in a book that I'm paying money for it's just disgusting; If I want to see what it looks like with flaws and mistakes and crappy finishing I can log onto ravelry and see what people there have made (Thank god for Rav). In a book, magazine, whathaveyou- especially one that's published by reputable sources- I expect to see FLAWLESS finishing.


New Yarn


Ok guys, I'll admit it- I've not bought from this person yet- I only just found them. But they're having a contest and their product is TOTALLY worthy so go check it out. For reals, yo. It looks like good stuff.