Sunday, August 19, 2007

Michigan Fiber Fest!

For the second year in a row, I've made the trek to Allegan for the Michigan Fiber Festival. This year, with quitting the job and starting law school, I was on a bit of a budget so the haul wasn't as exciting as it potentially could have been. However, this is all either gifts or for a specific project! Good news!

The outside is six skeins of Lamb's Pride Superwash Bulky in Baron Red, meant for a buttony. There are some really gorgeous ones on Ravelry that inspired me, otherwise I'd probably never have looked twice at the pattern. This wouldn't be such a new, exciting thing, EXCEPT that the skeins were only $3.90 apiece rather than $8.00! Twenty-five dollar sweater, hello!

The two skeins of sock yarn are from the same vendor, Ellen's 1/2 Pint Farm. The red/black is for my mother, and is superwash merino. The black/green is for myself, and is an 85/15 merino/nylon mix. Delicious stuff. It may actually become my second pair of Monkeys, unless something cooler comes up.

Not pictured: A set of 5" brittany size 1 DPNs, already hidden from the cats who chewed up my clovers of the same size. They don't seem to like yarn as much as needles. I'm not sure if this is a blessing or a curse.

Ever wonder what $500 of law books looks like?

Wonder no more!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Fiber festival, orientation fame

I was so excited about posting the Absorba that I totally forgot to mention two other awesome yarn-related things.

I initially thought I'd be unable to attend the Michigan Fiber Festival in Allegan this year. It was only today and tomorrow, and I was supposed to work tomorrow... but I quit my job! Yay! After less than a month of working in Lansing I decided to quit. I hated it, and it won't mix with law school by any stretch of the imagination. What was I thinking? Now I'm going with Steve to the fiber festival, and I have a meager paycheck I can put toward my bad habit. WONDERFUL!

Speaking of the law school thing, I had an orientation seminar this morning. One of the Dean-types welcomed us and then told us how diverse our class was with random facts about us. There were pro basketball players, poets, a student that knows how to eat fire... "and," she announced, "one student enjoys knitting socks!" I sort of groaned and sunk into my seat, because my entering class seemed to think this was one of the most amusing things they'd ever heard, and erupted into laughter. I think I'm going to take it as a compliment. I don't remember exactly where I said I enjoyed knitting socks; perhaps it was on the application? Maybe it WASN'T something I mentioned anywhere, and someone ELSE enjoys knitting socks!

Fun fact: Total cost of my books was roughly $500 this semester. This may sound really expensive, but it really isn't that bad, considering I was expecting it to be much worse. No one book cost more than $50. I did far worse as an undergraduate, when I had a java book that was $110 by itself.

FO - Absorba bathmat

Decorating a new place has inspired me to attempt to knit a variety of home-ish items. A few dishcloths, then the Kitty Pi... and now Absorba from Mason-Dixon knitting. It was a really quick knit when you get down to it, however, the pattern calls for three strands of double-worsted cotton on size 15 needles. Since cotton has no give, I had to take it in short spurts because knitting on it for too long was somewhat uncomfortable on my hands. Not enough, however, to ruin the pattern for me. The pattern was wonderful, and I'm in love with the final result. It's so squishy and comfy to stand on, I can't wait to take my shower tomorrow morning!

The colorway is Peaches and Creme Delft Blue. I used three cones of double worsted. There's enough left over to make me believe that I can make a second bathmat to send to a lucky friend.

Of course, it weighs a ton, and would actually probably cost a fair amount to send it to someone. Go figure.

The color in this photo is a bit wonky. The flash made the blue much brighter than it really is. But it is an accurate reflection of the size the bathmat comes out as written in Mason-Dixon Knitting.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


I hear horror stories of finicky kittens who don't like the things that their owners lovingly knit for them. My last cat, Dumars, was definitely this way. I just finished my retro-colored Kitty Pi, which is really more of a Kitty Spot. With the way I added increases, I just cannot get the sides to stand up, even with vigorous blocking!

Thank goodness that they don't care:

Orangecat and Blackcat both investigated and then immediately plopped down on their new bed! Yay!

Now hopefully they weren't just being polite and will continue to sit on it. As far as the pattern goes, because of my increases I basically used five skeins of lamb's pride bulky, although my leftovers suggest I could have gotten it out of four with a solid-colored version. The fuzz is my mom's free skein of Bernat Disco. A while back they ran a promo where they would send you a skein of this yarn - too bad it's metallic and glittery and furry and just overall not very nice. The kittens don't mind.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

An update!

I have to admit, I'm liking Lansing. This could be because I'm working 15 hours a week and sitting on my butt waiting for classes to start... It's like a vacation. It'll be over soon enough, though. The main stress is Steve's job hunting and money situation. Unstable would best describe it. As I type, he's working on perfecting his portfolio site. This could be pointless if none of the tech jobs in the area want him and he ends up waiting tables at Applebee's or something. Some freelance work would be really nice right now just so he has more to show off... As he's a web designer (and quite talented, not that I'm biased or anything), would any of you lovely knitters like a spruced up blog?


Continuing the Lansing-area yarn crawl, I went to Rae's Yarn Boutique last week because Meg had mentioned it in her blog. Imagine my dismay in finding out that there was a yarn shop like, literally a block south of a shopping center I've started frequenting! And oh, what a cute shop! Steve and I made it there on an evening that they were open later; I assume it was for the knitting group talking Harry Potter on the front couches.

Well, they were sort of talking Harry Potter. When one of the ladies there would start to go into ANY detail about the plot of the last book, another would screech, "Don't ruin it!" It was really amusing. I really wanted to walk up to them and proclaim that ---- kills ---- on page ---. Really, I haven't read any of these books, but my experience with literature has overwhelmingly been that it doesn't matter if you know major plot points in advance. Does Pride and Prejudice lose any of its charm if you pick it up knowing that Elizabeth and Darcy get married? For me, it certainly does not.

Anyway, back to Rae's. Back when I worked at the shop in Ann Arbor, I was always disappointed that the ladies didn't keep a very good selection of sock yarn. (They don't like knitting socks, so their customers shouldn't either!) Not only was Rae's full of luscious sock yarn, but imagine my delight at seeing an entire box of Socks that Rock waiting for homes. There were probably at least a hundred skeins in this one box! I'm lucky I only came home with one skein:

The colorway is Lemongrass. It's springy and happy, perfect for the Sockbug Lava Flow socks it is becoming. The pattern is absolutely mindless, and highlights the little stripes that are forming.

I would have made more progress on those socks if it weren't for this little guy:

He's based on The Anti Craft's Purasuchikku no Tetsujin. I really shouldn't call him a little guy, considering he is no less than two feet tall. He's completely finished, save for some arms and maybe an antenna on top of his head. I wasn't a huge fan of how the original has wrenches for arms. While wrenches are clever, I want to do something different. I haven't come up with anything yet, and am open to suggestions. The antenna may not happen, because I'm thinking of putting a slot in the top of his head for kleenex or maybe an air freshener.

Thank god I have a robot for a tampon holder now, even if he has no arms or antenna sense of direction. While working on the tampon robot, I was thinking about the merits of plastic canvas and the other things I could make with it... Until I finished seaming up the tampon robot and had sore fingers from all the tight spots and tough seams! Ugh. Honestly, I can see why plastic canvas went out in the seventies.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Free sample to FO

I went to Threadbear to pick up another skein of Lamb's Pride for the Kitty Pi in progress. They gave me, in a little plastic baggie, probably about 25-35 yards of Colinette Iona, as a "free sample." The yarn retails for $23.50, apparently. I've never been much of a fan of Colinette yarns, so what did I do?

I made a cat toy. A wool/silk/mohair mouse that the cats can attempt to shred. Wouldn't want that ugly yarn to go to waste...

Both Orangecat and Blackcat seem to agree that the mouse was a good use of of free yarn.