Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I Finished the Race!!!!

The completed Forest Footfalls, as modeled by Nature Boy.
I may even start on another smaller project; a sweater for a new baby girl born this month who is a second cousin to Wee One. I have some yarn picked out that survived the vandalism; off to Ravelry to look at pattern contenders.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Vandals Strike Knitsburgh, Leave Craftorium in Shambles

This weekend was wonderful! We managed to break out of the snowdrifts and drift up to the mountains and walk in the woods. It was perfect.

As the weekend ended, things changed.

The Craftorium was vandalized! The suspects? Moths. That's right, some moths apparently have been munching away on some old skeins of wool I had stockpiled PV (pre-vegan). I was heartsick; I had not really used any of the wool out of guilt but thought I would either pass it on to someone someday or use it up to knit things for non-vegan folk. The moths got to it much faster than my needles. As I filled a large garbage bag full with damaged skeins, tears fell out of anger at myself for not giving it away; regret at not knitting faster and more often.

The stuff left is mostly cotton with some acrylics, bamboo, corn, linen, hemp and two skeins of llama that Nature Boy's mother had gifted me two holidays ago. She purchased it from a neighborhood llama farm and I still don't know what I will use if for. Maybe some diaper covers for Wee One? Or a sweater for him? One thing is certain, I won't let it get eaten first.

Anyway, I'm off to search the net for ways to ensure the moths won't come back and ways to make sure they have all been banished from the estate. I think I remember lavender is a good moth repellent and I have some for soap making, so maybe tomorrow I can make some sachets to stick in the yarn baskets. I put one basket that did not have a fabric liner and wasn't as easily cleaned on the porch in the hopes of freezing temps taking care of things, but we haven't dropped to freezing in the past two days. It's just raining and all the snow and icicles on the house are melting. Disappearing slowly. Like my yarn.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


So here is where the Forest Footfalls socks stand...

Will I finish before the 28th? Will the socks be presented to Nature Boy during the closing ceremonies? Will I medal?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Options are Optional

We like to keep things interesting here at Knitsburgh. Consider the new "kit" for a wrap I recently scored. Once I read the wrap's directions which were enclosed in the bag with the yarn, I had some second thoughts. I like the imagined end result save for two things:
1. The whole thing is basically stockinette stitch, which may become tedious.
2. The whole thing is basically stockinette stitch, which will cause the edges to roll terribly.

I remembered storing a mental pic in my head somewhere, and did some research on Ravelry and found it: THIS WRAP which I spied in a recent Interweave Knits issue.

Hmm...was I already mentally channeling this new wrap with my choice of yarn color (they had light pink, slate blue, oatmeal and pale green options too but I went with the orange)? Or was I still just trying to match the nursery wall? We may never know.

So my new dilemma:
1. Do I knit the stockinette wrap and play it safe but risk death from boredom?
2. Do I knit the more intricate wrap and risk running out of yarn and stabbing myself multiple times with cable needles?
3. Do I make up my own pattern for a wrap and risk a mental breakdown?

I will let you know in the future what I decide. In the meantime I've got my Forest Footfalls Sock #2 (pattern by Laurie) to keep me warm at night whilst I stay up way, way too late watching ice skating and snowboard cross events. So Olympical!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Vegan Discrimination is a Crime!

I have finally entered the Ravelympics 2010. The project? Sock #2 of Forest Footfalls. I really need to finish it and figure this is the perfect way to give myself a deadline and feel guilt if I am watching any Olympic event without Sock #2.

I also have this to motivate me; a new project calling out my name.

I went to the Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival and again, asked myself why as I was touring the booths of fibers. Again, 95% of the fiber was of animal origin. Beautiful but with lots of imagined suffering included. Ok, I get I am in the minority when it comes to my views on animals and food. I would love for the world to say, do we need to wear fur and eat cute happy animals, but again I know I may be on the extreme and most people have made peace with the choices they make. There is still that piece of me that hopes, I guess. Even if there are relatively few knitting vegans around here, aren't there knitters who can't use wool due to allergies? Come on vendors, please bring something cool like hemp, linen, soy and bamboos! I had only about three yarns to choose from. Thank the goddess I found the Eco Cotton!

That's right, it's a "kit" for a wrap that includes 8 balls of lovely Eco Cotton 100% Organic Cotton fibre. Good for animals, the environment, and me! Such a winning situation. I snagged some buttons there too so we are ready to go, ahem, once Sock #2 is completed. I selected an orange colorway and then thought, wow I like orange. I figure I can blend into the wall of Wee One's nursery like camouflage now if I feel inspired to lurk for some reason. The kit is from a shop called Bloomin' Yarns which I believe is not too far either...

The coolest part by far was the Ravelry meet up at the show. I met some lovely people but due to Wee One's lack of mid-day nap and impending meltdown, we couldn't stay long. One thing is certain though; if you go and plan to bring a baby, especially a cute one, look out because you are in for lots of people coming up to you and talking to said bambino. Which makes it hard to buy yarn, but thankfully not impossible.

Oh and what a Valentine's Day! Nature Boy surprised me with not one but several lovely things, what a charmer. Behold the booty:

An orchid-
New tea kettle and chocolate-
Made a quick treat for us too, some chocolate covered pretzels. I melted down some vegan chocolate chips in a double boiler, coated some pretzel rods, then sprinkled them with toppings (chopped peanuts, some vegan cake sprinkles called "Let's Do Sprinkles" and some decorating sugar from India Tree). I was hoping to coat some in coconut but my coconut looked a little un-fresh so we decided to toss it instead of risking illness. These were fast and so very good.

Oh and back to the show--I have already voiced my need for more variety in fibres on past reviews of this show and feel I need to warn the organizers I am now considering this to be a case of Vegan Discrimination. Please be kind to the vegans, they really are people too.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snowed In!

So I think most of the eastern half of the US is getting buried under snow or rain, depending on how far north or south you live. Of course, we too have had our share here. We first got about 2 feet of snow, now we may be at 2 1/2 feet. It just keeps coming. It's beautiful and exciting. Then again we still have power and heat; not everyone in the city is so lucky right now. I've seen some great things happening too--neighbors helping one another. It's nice. Call me crazy, but I'm enjoying this.

Still working on the Hardanger curtains. Once I'm done with all the Kloster blocks and trees on the first panel, I'll take a photo, hold my breath and start cutting the threads between the blocks. If I have done things well it will be fine; if I have one little stitch on the Kloster blocks a smidge off, there will be some unraveling and I will cry or curse or both at once. You'll see the end result here either way. Once the threads get cut, the various wrapping and weaving of the threads left in place between the blocks ensues. Then I will repeat the whole thing for the second panel. I think I once again underestimated the time it will take to finish these; I told Nature Boy I hope to complete them before I die.

Sadly, I still have not sewn the pillowcase dresses for girls in Haiti yet. I have 10 cases bought at a discount store at $2 for a pack of two. So they will basically have cost $1 each to make, not counting the elastic. I have some so I didn't buy any and I think I may even have enough.

We did venture out between storms to hit the store and I picked up some organic seeds for our garden. We grabbed some cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, green beans and snow peas. I also got some chives, a perrenial mix (which I get suckered into every year and it never grows where I put it), morning glories, sweet William and petunias because these were all 20 cents each (the organic veggies were $1.50 a packet). I want to try and start growing some indignous flowers around the estate too, we shall see.

So besides shoveling snow, playing in the snow, baking, eating, drinking hot tea, embroidering, reading, garden planning and watching the snow come down, not much is getting done here. No cleaning on a grand scale, that can wait til the snow stops. As a stay-at-home mom, I view cleaning the house as a my job so since I'm snowed in, I can't go to work and do my job, right? Right?