Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Remember the Happy Hat? It came out great. So cute...

...it now resides next to the long stocking cap in Elder Sprog's bedroom.

I kept it for 3 days though, a new record.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

and jesus wept

The last of the blasted Christmas Knitting is done.

Oh, Hallelujia. And angels sang. It is done. Done. Done.

I have to admit, on the prayer shawl, the prayer for the last 8 inches was "Dear God, please let me finish this bloody shawl soon because I'm so bored."

Have broken my "knitted gifts only" rule: acquired the nephew a "Elmo Potty Doll" which comes with potty, tippy cup and special potty training book, and loudly sings a triumphant song about successful potty useage to the tune of Pop! Goes the Weasel and has flushing noises and extra batteries. Because I'm a bad, bad, bad person.

hey it was that or Chicken Dance Elmo. At least this one is edumacational.

Started the Happy Hat for myself, as eldest sprog ganked my long stocking cap and it's no longer, er, mine. One of these days, I"ll get to keep one of my creations. Really. I swear.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Yarrrrrrrn Pirate


Rude Girl
Originally uploaded by yarnpirate.
This is what the yarn pirate might look like, if she were toodling around Hollywood Forever Cemetary being dreadfully gawth and looking for Valentino's tomb and laughing at Mel Blanc's stone (It says "That's All Folks!") and someone happened to snap a picture.
The yarn pirate is shyly pleased that someone created a feed over at Livejournal for this blog. I mean, wow..... Thanks! Drat, I guess that means I cannot duplicate posts? New content must be created... right, okay. Stop whining, you yarn pirate, just get on with it.

Well lessee.... there has been much SEX this week. That's a "Stash Enrichment Expedition" for the knitting terminology impaired. It means, I went to the yarn store. Twice!!! Then? I used the excuse of being out and about to go get a soy gingerbread latte. Coffee porn. Mmmmm. I am really loving the new yarn shop in my neighborhood, Azalia's Yarn on Washington Blvd. in (I think) Culver City. It's about a block away from the DMV, on the north side of the street. Next to the church/daycare. Seriously good mix of cheap/mid range/high priced yarns. They carry Misti Alpaca and Cascade. This makes for a happy girl. I didn't spend much cos I'm on a serious budget, but I did mentally earmark some yarns to be purchased later on for projects I'd like to make. I got a pair of #19 knitting needles (Clover) which is somewhat like knitting with a couple Duraflame logs. But makes for a very nifty garter stitch in fancy fine yarn.

I have to come up with some kind of plan for organizing the stash, such as, bagging and labelling yarn I got for specific projects with the book/page # of the project it is earmarked for (because I'm utterly lame and cannot remember) and then having a 'general' stash for stuff I just thought was shiny. This gives new meaning to the word stashbox. Just sayin.

I finished the long stocking cap in green and black. You can see a picture of it here but you have to imagine it with the new colors because my oldest sprog has hijacked the digital camera.

My morning coffee is full of stolen sugar. See, we ran out days ago. So last night, at Chipotle, well, er.... I filled my purse with "sugar in the raw" packets. Not one, not two, but really quite a few of them. Like, maybe, ten. I'm shocked that I made it out the door intact, that security did not tackle me and raise the sugar high, yelling (triumphantly) "AhhhHA! It's the hoosegow for you, Miss!" This morning, I am feeling somewhat smug as I sip my properly sweetened coffee, yet still eyeing the front door nervously as I expect the CCPD to break it down any moment and yell "STOP! Don't take another sip of that stolen sugar!" and haul me off to lock up. It's really quite the most nefarious thing I've done in absolutely years. Years and years. Since high school, when I outfitted my dashing college friend Duane's absolutely pathetic kitchen with silverware and dishes from the Eureka Denny's, really. Which got me 86'ed from Denny's eventually, of course. In a one horse town with ONE 24 hour place to get coffee on the weekends, that's harsh punishment, y'all. I wonder if they still have my picture up next to the cash register with a note that says "NO LOVE"? It's been about twenty years, so probably not.

That's right, you thought the pirate label was just for fun, didn't you? No, really, I'm quite bad. YARRRRRRRR.





Saturday, December 11, 2004

hey there Mr. Blue...

The strangely difficult quest to feed myself continues. It should not take quite so much mental effort and two hours to get a piece of cheese toast together. Really. It went something like this:

Go to the kitchen to make cheese toast. See Chanukah gelt, eat two pieces. Notice that packages need to be taped shut for mailing. Go look for the tape. While at desk, notice Xmas cards are lying around the coffee table looking messy. Neaten them. Start arranging balls of yarn in the bowl. Go check the mail. On the way back in, notice that the packages still aren't taped. Notice Chanukah gelt is not in a bowl. Find a bowl. Realize you haven' eaten. Take cheese out of fridge. Put gelt in bowl. Realize packages STILL aren't taped. Go get tape. On the way back from the desk to the dining room (10 feet) realize stack of Xmas cards is unhung. Hang them around the door. Step down. Notice laundry is scattered all over living room, so go put that back in the basket. Arrange pillows, noticing laptop on coffee table, stop to burn a CD for my pal Pete. Neaten rocking chair and hang up Christmas stockings. Head back into the kitchen. Bugger. Packages. Tape. Fuck. Get those done. Stop to write a Christmas card. Head back into the kitchen and wonder why cheese is on counter. Get some ice in a glass, add water. Throw in an herbal tea bag for flavor. Remember cheese toast. Get bread out of refrigerator. Start to slice cheese. Realize that you meant to send someone cranes, go find a box and string of cranes, and put them on top of packages on dining room table. Wonder why there is half sliced cheese on counter, hear the CD stop burning and run back to check the burn. Spend five minutes decorating CD sleeve. Put CD in the stereo to double check burn again. Play tug of war with the dog. Go back to the kitchen. Smack head with hand. Put cheese on bread, and toast. Slice and orange. Set plate of toast and orange on sofa arm, pick up laptop and forget to eat, being distracted by something shiny, while cheese toast gets cold.

Yeah. Lame. But that's my brain lately.

Frogged the feather and fan in Koigu after yet another utterly lame mistake and am happily making this instead. The Koigu colors are knitting up really beautifully. It's an Xmas gift for a friend who does faire/SCA. Not period colors but oh well. The period nazis can bite me. At least the pattern is documented to c. 1600, so nyah.

Pondering some very chartreuse llama yarn from Cascade (Pastanza) which is sitting in my bowl, trying to be inspiring. Nothing yet, but I'm sure inspiration will bite.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

"Feather and Fan" not working so much. No. Trying out some Koigu on #4's and thought a lacy pattern would be nice. I apparently am sucktastic at lace. I have ginormous mistakes and I keep losing count and muttering bad words and miscounting stitches and there is SUCH DRAMA on the sofa lately over the knitting.

Will persevere, though.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

We figured out some Christmas stuff on our "list"

1. Give them something to read.
obvious!
2. Give them something to love.
We are buying E. an American Girl doll that looks like her. :-) And the little riding outfit for it to wear. She is also getting a handknit poncho. I am copying some of my favorite recipes for S to add to her cookbook that her grandmother started, as "food is love" around here. That and knitting her a cuddly hat out of the Magnum wool by Cascade, since she really liked the one I did for myself.
3. Give them something to make them artistic.
S is getting sewing accouterments. E is getting writing journals, pens and a new sketchbook.
4. Give them something to make them athletic.
S is getting a skateboard. E is getting a day with her dad, going riding at Griffith Park
5. Give them something to do with a parent. Do something with them.
They are getting a tea outing and trip to Chinatown with $20 each to spend, with Mom.

I really need to post some pictures, when I find the digital camera. Over the past few days, I've finished 4 scarves, two ChicKnits H2O hats (one in Cascade 'Magnum' wool for myself and one in Lion Brand Chenille for a friend) and a bunch of charity knitting.

I modified Chicknits H20 pattern (my new favorite hat) slightly - cast onto a pair of #11s, then used Lion Brand Watercolor yarn in pink - it knitted up into a perfectly sized toddler hat and is adorable with the addition of a pompom on the top. That is going into the "charity knitting" box and as soon as I get my MWL labels, will be distributed somewhere needful. I've got another hat halfway done on the same needles, in a 2x 2 rib using that same yarn. Instead of using a decrease, I'm gonna seam it up the side, leave the top square and put pompoms on each corner. Twill make sortof a "Fraggle" hat that'll also fit a toddler sized person. Took one ball of the Watercolor for both hats. I think I'll pick up a few more, this is exactly the sort of easy, fast stuff that I want to focus on this winter for the charity knitting. Time enough next year to focus on making blankets and booties and other items. Right now it's cold in LA and I'm sure some warm hats would be appreciated, like, yesterday.

I need to work on seaming and finishing techniques. I've always been a rather "whatever" person in the details, but the one thing I'm learning about knitting is that some details matter! Especially when it's going to someone else.

I had some gal pals over today for tea and crafty fun. Yarn is best when you're sharing it with others, over a nice cuppa.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Knit for free

Some nifty charity knitting sites. A lot of these sites have patterns that you can use for free. Great resources. Knitting for charity does not have to be fancy. It's a good way to use up stash yarn. Ideally, yarns used for this stuff should be washable and able to take wear and tear.

One Heart which provides obstetric and postnatal training and care to people in Tibet. Needs donations of baby blankets, baby hats, booties and mitts.

Made With Love By A Liberal providing warm knitted things to charities in our local communities.

Warm Woolies which provides knitted items to tribal reservations in South Dakota and Eastern European orphanages.

Wool Works Charity Page a comprehensive list, organized by state, of groups that accept finished knitting.

Knitting For A Better World more sites and resources for the knitter who is interested in charity knitting.

Don't forget your local animal shelters and rescue societies. These places can always use small blankets for their animals. It's a great way to practice new techniques on cheap yarn - the animals don't care if it's an awful color or if you've dropped a few stitches. They are just grateful for the warmth!

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

On the first day of December, I found this wonderful thing on the Yarn Harlot's blog. Hand repair soap for crafters and knitters. Brilliant.

I frogged the poncho I started for youngest sprog last night, but finished two long skinny novelty scarves to give away as Christmas presents. I seem to be lacking in the brainpower to do anything but the most mindless, simple knitting. Tis the season to watch endless repeats of ER and knit easy things, apparently. I might give the poncho another shot later on tonight, or I might wait. I'm making the "Mellow" poncho from Knitty but substituting a soft pink chenille and a black and pink novelty yarn for their recommended yarns. Youngest sprog doesn't want a poncho like everyone else's at school, you see. I figure this will be good and unique.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Holiday Five Things

The author Peg Kerr (of The Wild Swans fame) had this fabulous idea for holiday gifts for children.

1. Give them something to read. This is fairly self explanatory.
2. Give them something to love. A new doll, a toy, something to cuddle like a blanket or something that might encourage snuggling with Mom and Dad.
3. Give them something to make them artistic. Musical instruments, art supplies, sewing, craft or hobby items.
4. Give them something to make them athletic. Bike, scooter, skates, skateboard, trip to the beach, nature walk books, scavenger hunt games, etc.
5. Give them something to do with a parent. Do something with them.

These things don't have to be huge and expensive. You can combine them - such as, a book that encourages them to cuddle with you at bedtime or a craft they can do with you, etc. They can be small. But really? That's what it all boils down to. Those are five great things to give to a child, and can help you keep the Christmas madness to a reasonable level.

I thought I'd pass it on.

Been a busy week

Made the most gorgeous simple collar/scarf thingie for a certain someone in a blue/purple Berocco "Lavish" colorway. Am so excited! It's gonna knock her socks off, as is utterly fabulous. Am now working on a similar item in a chocolaty Bella Soft and a gold/black eyelash yarn for another pal, on a pair of #15 needles in a garter/slip stitch combo. Very nice!

New yarn store opening in my neighborhood could be dangerous. Already am on first name basis with the owner. Danger, Will Robinson.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Favorite things
For friends and family who've asked.
Because the holidays are coming
and they're curious.

I like LUSH! Lush bath bombs and ballistics! My favorites are:
Lush Pud (Xmas only, seasonal, yum!), Fairy Jasmine, Blackberry, Lavender Worrier, Hot Java and the Turbo Bubble Bath Bar
I also use their skincare line and love it. It's expensive, but worth it. I use:
Fresh Farmacy soap, Coalface soap, Tea Tree Water and Cosmetic Warrior fresh mask
Jeff uses Daddy-O shampoo.
And of course, I like Glitterbugs :-)

I love Ravens Brew Coffees
Misty Fjords, please. Whole bean is best.

I love loose leaf Assam and Yunnan tea from vendors like Harney, Special Teas, and TeaSource.

I like Dagoba Chocolate bars in chai, lavender and roseberry flavors. They're a buck ninety nine at Whole Foods.

I love yarn stores like Patternworks.com and Handpaintedyarn.com because I'm a yarn junkie.

I have a wish list at Amazon.com.

Other than that, I really don't collect, need or use a lot of "stuff". If you don't want to get me more stuff, these are the charities I support each year and a donation to them is a huge gift to me. Some of these charities operate on the "teach a man to fish" principle, which I particularly appreciate. Helping folks be more self sufficient is a good thing.

Heifer International where you can donate money to buy farm animals, poultry, bees, plant trees and provide seeds for families all over the world. I particularly like the knitting baskets, bees and trees options or shares in wool providing animals.
Habitat For Humanity build houses for homeless and needy families who otherwise would not have homes to live in.
A Greater Gift Serrv International
Aids Project Los Angeles Providing services for HIV+ residents of LA and their families.
City of Hope Hospital
Shriner's Children's Hospitals

Okay, that's it. My holiday wish list and things I Officially Like.
Now how about you?



When in doubt, embellish.

Have decided to make a yarn flower w/ vintage button center to pin to the bottom of the cookie monster scarf. Because it needs.... something. And that's all I can think of to do. Finished Mac's cap for spinning poi while waiting in the audience at Cavalia today. There were several knitters sitting around me and we yakked about yarn during intermission, much to the dismay of our assorted sprogs.

And that's the way it is.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Got another foot done on The Cookie Monster Scarf yesterday, after pie. Not so much today, been mucking out the Younger Sprog's lair. This has certainly been the world's most fascinating blog entry ever, non? Well forget it. I'm gonna go fight with the dust bunnies who've taken up residence in my bronchial passages.

Maybe I'll just eat pie.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

green crane!


P1010001
Originally uploaded by yarnpirate.
handmade paper, flourite drop, glass beads

Made with love or... what was I thinking?

Wow. Okay, somewhat daunting... Made With Love By A Liberal This is the coolest idea EVAR. Really nifty nonprofit, making knitty things for folks in need. And it's exactly what I was looking for when I said I wanted to start some kind of group here locally to help in my community. So, I contacted them yesterday and offered to set up a Los Angeles chapter and they replied today - they were thrilled and happy to have me do it and now I've got forms to submit to the state and... I'm starting a local chapter.

)kay. Okay. I coached soccer for 6 years. I taught 4 year olds how to play soccer and run in a straight line while kicking a ball (not always in the right direction, mind) so I can do this. I can do this. And it's going to be wonderful and a great outlet for activism.

You know what they say, be careful what you ask for, you just might get it? Well... I got it. And I'm excited and thrilled and kindof intimidated all at once. So hang on kiddies, it's gonna be a bumpy ride - seat of the pants all the way.

Time to get cracking and organized!

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Okay, I lied.

I frogged the blue chenille yet again and have cast back on because it was just knitting up into this immense... monstrosity if blue chenille. It reminded me too much of my mother's chenille bathrobe when I was a child. I was afraid. Out it came. Cast back on, a more manageable 18 stitches, still doing 2x2 rib, we try it again.

Dear yarn gods,
Please let me finish the blue chenille monster quickly as it is the suck and it is sucking my brain like a big sucky thing.

love and kisses,
Rainy


Friday, November 12, 2004

frog and wine are friends

somehow dropped a stitch in the current project (this'll teach me to knit after two glasses of red wine, right?) and had to frog back two inches during Ray Liota's death scene during ER last night. Nothing like getting pissed off at someone fictional dying too soon because you're trying to get your needles back through all the right loops without dropping any more and you can't look up g'darnit, not YET, not YET, NOT YET! No really, how about, not yet, Ray?

Very good ER. Managed to salvage project. Finished wine. All is right in the world.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

knit one, purl two, rip three

The chunky blue chenille yarn I'm trying to work up into a scarf is really pissing me off. I've cast on about 4 different times, switched needle sizes, changed patterns and still, it's not making me happy. Have decided, as this is a commission piece, to just do the entire thing on the biggest needles I've got, in a 2x2 rib which works up quickly, to get it done already. I need to get it in the mail and off my needles. Sometimes, a knitter and a particular yarn are just not spiritually going to mesh together. Ah well.

The charcoal grey striped rib knit cap I made for my dad's Christmas present came out beautifully, however the moment it was off the needles and finished, Elder Sprog ganked it for her own personal use. So it would appear we are going back to the drawing board for gift ideas for Grandpa.

In a bit of a panic re: the holidays. However, shall prevail and knit, knit, knit my way to Yule.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Mongol horde with knitted accessories, now at a wall near you...

Have completed another cap, this one actual librarian sized. Styled it in a kicky "Mongol Horde" fashion, with a pointy bit and tassel at the top. Hoosband says it's quite silly, however, I think it is spiffy beyond all words. Used Cascade yarn in a heathery plum shade, wool and alpaca 50/50 blend. I made a 2X2 rib stitch bottom, then completed the rest of the cap in stockinette. Very spiffy indeed.

I need to figure out how to post pictures on this thing, I guess.

http://www.heifer.org is my new favorite place for Christmas presents. Lets hear it for not quite so much crap under the tree this year, eh?

Monday, November 08, 2004

Favorite things
For friends and family who've asked.
Because the holidays are coming
and they're curious.

I like LUSH! Lush bath bombs and ballistics! My favorites are:
Lush Pud (Xmas only, seasonal, yum!), Fairy Jasmine, Blackberry, Lavender Worrier, Hot Java and the Turbo Bubble Bath Bar
I also use their skincare line and love it. It's expensive, but worth it. I use:
Fresh Farmacy soap, Coalface soap, Tea Tree Water and Cosmetic Warrior fresh mask
Jeff uses Daddy-O shampoo.
And of course, I like Glitterbugs :-)

I love Ravens Brew Coffees
Misty Fjords, please. Whole bean is best.

I love loose leaf Assam and Yunnan tea from vendors like Harney, Special Teas, and TeaSource.

I like Dagoba Chocolate bars in chai, lavender and roseberry flavors. They're a buck ninety nine at Whole Foods.

I love yarn stores like Patternworks.com and Handpaintedyarn.com because I'm a yarn junkie.

I have a wish list at Amazon.com.

Other than that, I really don't collect, need or use a lot of "stuff". If you don't want to get me more stuff, these are the charities I support each year and a donation to them is a huge gift to me. Some of these charities operate on the "teach a man to fish" principle, which I particularly appreciate. Helping folks be more self sufficient is a good thing.

Heifer International where you can donate money to buy farm animals, poultry, bees, plant trees and provide seeds for families all over the world. I particularly like the knitting baskets, bees and trees options or shares in wool providing animals.
Habitat For Humanity build houses for homeless and needy families who otherwise would not have homes to live in.
A Greater Gift Serrv International
Aids Project Los Angeles Providing services for HIV+ residents of LA and their families.
City of Hope Hospital
Shriner's Children's Hospitals

Okay, that's it. My holiday wish list and things I Officially Like.
Now how about you?



One tea cosy, two tea cosy

Made an adorable red and black boucle roll brim hat over the weekend which for some reason morphed into a vast Rastafarian affair and ended up turning into a tea cosy with the clever addition of a drawstring around the bottom. Next up, a wool roll brim cap which (while being made for a full sized librarian) ended up being baby sized.

I think there's trouble with sizing in River City. Or something.