Kitty Kitty Bang Bang AKA Knitty Knitty Bang Bang.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

This year I vowed not to do any Christmas knitting, but what did I do? A lot of holiday knitting. A couple of hats, a couple of cowls, a scarf, a pair of fingerless gloves, and if I'm lucky I'll finish the socks that I started for CWS back in February before Saturday. Yikes. I turned the heels back in April and then totally abandoned them. Boring stockinette socks are... well... boring.

Leaving Christmas behind means I can cast on for a new project for myself, or maybe finish up some of my lingering projects. I have two sweaters that just need sleeves - one from January 2009 and the other from February 2009. There are TWO full sized blankets on my needles, two baby blankets, two shawls and at least one other pair of socks. Maybe I'll spend next week cleaning up my WIPs and then cast on for something fun and new in January. Maybe a pullover!??!

Friday, December 3, 2010

beads and nupps.

I fell hard off my yarn diet in the past few weeks. I had been doing great all year and mostly only knitting from my stash (except for the sock yarn mill end binges) but I got sucked into two great sales this week - two yarn stores going out of business with stock at 40% and 50% off. I can't resist yarn if it is 30+% off. I'm a yarn whore. I've got about $175 worth of sale yarn on it's way to me now... shhhhh, don't tell anyone. It'll be our little secret.

In knitting news, I'm doing the Advent Calendar Scarf which, even though we are only on day 3 (and I'm still on day 1) includes a bunch of stuff that I don't know how to do - like adding beads to my knitting and something confounding called NUPPS. But I am using stsh yarn AND stash beads! Go me!

I hope to catch up through day 3 tonight after work.

Last night was the annual Arts & Drafts holiday party and it was awesome. I put 4 gifts into the swap - two hand knit hats, a sock yarn book with some Shibui sock yarn (Yarn on Stage colorway) and some stainless DPNs, and a bag of 10 skeins of Araucania Atacama (100% alpaca). I ended up getting the BEST gift in the swap - although I had to use some strong arm tactics to make sure I ended up going home with it.

Shant's giant round scrap blanket which was inspired by my own huge scrap blanket. I am so happy!


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Laurel Violet under the blanket and Olive wondering what the hell is going on!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Long time, no post

It has been a while since I last posted anything here at Apology Pie. But the sock yarn blanket madness continues - in fact, I've finished the mini zig zag blanket pictured in the last entry, plus a Rippled Baby Blanket and then a random vertical striped blanket, PLUS work on the huge zig zag blanket continues....

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I just got back from Fall Yarn School in Harveyville where I spun some lovely yarn. Although to be totally honest - it was a colorway dyed by Adrian from Hello Yarn, and I made such a mess of the plying that the nice lady who was sitting next to me at Yarn School did the plying for me... but still, I did the spinning so....

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Harveyville is my happy place and being there for the weekend was magical. I drove around with Ron, went thrift shopping, got a massage, took some naps, ate and ate and ate, and just really tried to relax and put work out of my mind. I was actually rather homesick and missed my house and man and dogs. In fact... I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to the newest member of our household. Olive Pit Kieserman Smith:

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She is the sweetest little gal and has fit easily into our little household.

Friday, July 2, 2010

The definition of insanity.




I've been collecting luxury sock yarn mill ends for my enormous sock yarn blanket - Koigu, Colinette Jitterbug, Cherry Tree Hill, Pagewood Farms. Some of the mill ends are not big enough for complete pattern repeats on the big blanket. Also, some of the odds & ends donations I've received from friends are gorgeous but are just a few yards of lovely yarn.

And these smaller bits of beautiful yarn have been taunting me.

My solution?

Start another sock yarn blanket!!!

This time I cast on for the "pram baby blanket" size - 127 stitches (versus the 361 stitches on the big blanket).

The big blanket is about 5 feet wide and will end up being 7 feet long. The smaller version will end up being 54cm x 66cm (whatever the hell that is in inches??)...

So far it is a quick and satisfying knit, and with another pound of Pagewood Farm mill ends on their way to me (along with some additional odds & ends donations) who knows if this one will be my last, or just my first.

Thursday, June 10, 2010



I'm on the 19th color of my crazy sock yarn blanket. It was hibernating for a while but I'm so glad to be working on it again. It is relaxing (although purling back across 361 stitches is tiresome). I don't think I'll be done for many years, but that makes me feel comfortable and excited.

Unfortunately my iPhone wasn't able to properly capture the richness of the colors.

Also, I finished my black & yellow Skew socks. I LOVE THEM! They are a little tricky to get over my heels but the fit like dream once they are on. I'll be casting on for another pair shortly.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Ms. Lola Meat Pants



We said farewell to Ms. Lola Meat Pants on Saturday morning. Her condition had deteriorated to the point where we had no viable options for continuing her life.

The house is impossibly empty without her in it.

My sweetest love Lola, thank you for being my best friends for all these long years.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sanda from SandraSingh.com had an open showroom day/sale yesterday at her lovely house out in the hill country. I came home with 4 skeins of Malabrigo Silky Merino in colorway Archangel. I almost bought an entire bag of 10 skeins but luckily talked myself down to just 4. Now to decide what to make with it...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Left sock and Lola.



My sweet lovely dog Lola is dying of cancer. We've been cooking her yummy meals (mostly chicken and rice) and spoiling her rotten. She's been hanging in there this week - after a bad week last week - and I'm glad to spend time with her. This week we've been taking it easy and I've been finishing up my second pair of Skew socks. I love them. I'll probably make a 3rd pair as soon as these are done.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Yarn School - as always - was amazing.

I left Austin on Wednesday morning and made my way to OKC. I spent the night with Justine & Larry - and their beautiful family - and then headed to Topeka bright and early on Thursday morning. I made it to my 1:00 PM appointment with Ron with mere moments to spare and we spent the afternoon putting the color into my yarn geisha tattoo.



An interesting side note on my afternoon of getting tattooed - I hated it. Every moment was agony. I'm not sure if it was because I spent the whole day driving (and the day before) and this was my driving leg, or maybe it was hormonal - but I hated every second of it. And it went on and on and on... Hopefully Ron will forgive me, as I'm sure I wasn't a star customer.



After the tattoo, I drove out to Harveyville and settled in for a long weekend of dying, spinning, eating, napping, chatting and laughing. I met some amazing new people and reconnected with some of my old favorites. The food was amazing, as always - and I brought home a few extra pounds as a souvenir.

My room in the high school is called the "Time Out Room" and it is a strange little room that is built directly on the balcony of the gymnasium. If I had to guess, I would say that it was originally used for storage or maybe as a projection booth. Really I have no idea. It was nice to have my own room but it was pretty loud up there - both with the late night spinners and the early risers. But overall it didn't really effect my sleep very much (or my multitude of naps).

The view out of the window in my room:



The same view once a day's worth of dyed fiber was hung out to dry:



The view down to the spinning circle in the gymnasium from the balcony outside of my room:



Down in the gymnasium looking up:



Dying fiber in the Dye Lab.



My finished fiber.



Most of what I spun all weekend was crap, but it was very enjoyable none the less.



Handspun. Spun from Hello Yarn fiber, colorway "Bubbles".

Some handspun yarn from some of my dyed fiber:



Nikol's little ranch is wonderful. The barn and chicken coop were made using the old school playground equipment. Here are some photos of the ranch and it's inhabitants:






I skipped the trip to the alpaca ranch on Friday and spent most of the day looking through antique stores in the towns surrounding Harveyville. Everything was SO CHEAP! I spent about $50 and bought some amazing stuff. Mostly dishes. I've been on a vintage dishes kick and have replaced all my 'new' dishes with mismatching chipped antique china. It makes me happy.

I drove home on Monday - did the whole trip in one day (with two stops for short naps) and was happy to have a day at home before I had to go back to work.

While driving to and from Yarn School I listened to the entire unabridged audio book of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Highly recommended.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

vintage buttons



Vintage buttons. Two mounted horizontally and one vertically.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Yarn School! FTW!



So I finished my February Lady Sweater. I love it. This photo is from before I blocked it. I'm wearing it again today - post-blocking - and it is even better. A little longer in length on the body & arms, and the lace is more open and airy. Love love love. It just needs some buttons - I picked out some nice ones from my vintage button collection and I'll sew them on this weekend. Hell yeah.

I finished my first pair of Skew socks and immediately cast on for another pair. For some reason the unique construction on these socks make them feel like they FLY off the needles.


First pair - Claudia Hand Painted Yarns Fingering in colorway "Walk in the Woods"


Second pair - Schachenmayr nomotta Regia Nation Color, black and yellow.

I started another cardigan last night at Arts & Drafts. I'm making a Rayne Cardigan from a bag of Kureyon (colorway 195) that I picked up for a steal at Little Knits. I wanted something really mindless to knit while I'm at Yarn School.

I leave for Yarn School on Wednesday. I'm driving to OKC and then going to see Ron on Thursday to get some more work done on my yarn geisha tattoo. And then Thursday night I'll be in Harveyville just in time for the other attendees to arrive! I'm a bit nervous about making the drive alone but I think I'll be OK. I've got some books on tape and podcasts, so I should be able to keep myself entertained. Too bad I can't drive and knit at the same time.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The not so successful plaster of paris/dog print experiment/tutorial

As my dogs near the end of their lives I keep coming back to the idea of casting their paws. Today I gave it a try - and while it was fun, it wasn't 100% successful.

Start with:
plaster of paris
disposable pie tins
a bowl
a measuring cup
a spoon
dogs
some towels (unfortunately this was an afterthought)
optional: bead letters



Mix the plaster with cold water - follow the directions on the plaster container. For this brand it was 2 parts plaster to one part water.



Mix until smooth.



Pour into disposable tins and tap gently to pop any remaining air bubbles and even the plaster out in the tin.


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Attempt #1:

I let the plaster sit for 10 minutes. It got too hard and I was unable to easily jam Jezebel's paw into it.



FAIL!



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Attempt #2:

After spending a while wiping plaster dog prints off the floor of the entire house, I went and got some spare towels. On my second batch - I poured a little extra plaster into a tin and pushed my finger into it every few minutes. I waited until the plaster was firm enough to hold an imprint but not too watery (and hopefully caught it before it got too hard).



Before trying to again, I put some towels on the floor.



While not perfect, the result was a lot better.



I did Lola's paw too but I ambushed her while she was eating a bone on the couch (and didn't get a photo of it). Her's came out pretty well too.



I ended by thoroughly cleaning the dog paws with a towel and warm water. Didn't want them to ingest the plaster and this helps to keep it from getting all over the house.

Lola's is out drying on the back porch and I'll update this post once I see the final result. I'm going to keep experimenting.... so stay tuned.... I think my next attempt will be with clay instead of plaster.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Glass Club FTW!

My beautiful pal Shanti Deva runs a class called Glass Club. She opens up her home and glass studio and allows you (for a fee, of course) to come in and learn about fused glass. It is incredibly fun and I love learning new crafts.

My first attempt was an exercise in texture. My plan was to do all clear glass but I ended up including a lot of iridescent pieces. A pre-fired photo is below. The end result (not pictured) is a cool bowl with lots of interesting reflections and some texture.



My plan for my second visit was to do another monochrome piece (all red or all blue) but after watching Serena building Mount Fuji on her glass plate, I got all inspired and ended up with a sacred heart.



I love Glass Club.

In sweater news, my February Lady Sweater is chugging along nicely. I just finished the 9th lace repeat. I'm trying to do one lace repeat (4 rows) per day. I just started into my 3rd skein of yarn and should have enough to dedicate 1/2 a skein to each sleeve.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

skewed!

I was unable to restrain myself from casting on for Knitty's SKEW socks. The are a fascinating knit and I haven't even made it to the magical origami heel yet!! I can see myself making these again in the very near future.



In February Lady Sweater news, I have finished the garter stitch yoke, separated the sleeves and have started on the lace body. Unfortunately I don't have a more up to date photo than the one below which was taken mid-yoke. So far it is a pleasing knit.



Outside of knitting, life is lovely for most part. Skating, hooping, working. My home is harmonious, except for a sickly dog (which is to be expected at 11+ years old).

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Arts and Drafts is tonight. And we are halfway though the month... so I'm going to need to come up with a good sweater strategy before this evening.

My options:

• Continue knitting the Vine Yoke Cardigan, despite my reservations and lack of enthusiasm
• Frog the Vine Yoke Cardigan and use the yarn for something else
• Spend some time finishing the Pinwheel cardigan, Garter Yoke cardigan and OWLS cardigan before starting another sweater
• Cast on for another sweater in my queue (February Lady Sweater, Climbing Vines Pullover, Juliet, Tea Leaves, Mondo Cable Cardi, etc.)
• Discard the idea of knitting anything but socks this month
• Cast on for another big project (not a sweater or socks) such as a shawl (Andrea's Shawl, Icarus, Peacock Feathers, etc.) or a pair of fingerless gloves for myself.

I'm leaning toward abandoning the Vine Yoke Cardigan and casting on the February Lady Sweater (it is February after all!) in Malabrigo Worsted - colorway Lettuce. I have a whole lot of this yarn in my stash from the Marlabrigo project club that I belonged to last year.... It is a crazy color, and totally not in my usual palette, but what the hell...

Monday, February 15, 2010

I've given up on both the February Sweater KAL and the Knitting Olympics. I'm neck deep in reorganizing (and purging) my storage room - and with the end in sight - I'm just not motivated to commit myself to a massive knitting challenge. I feel like an asshole because I organized the February Sweater KAL but I just don't have it in me right now. The storage room reorganization has been totally cathartic. I'm just not feeling sentimental about a lot of stuff anymore. Stuff that I've been holding on to for some reason all these years - old zines, derby detritus, triathlon race numbers, mismatching socks, old makeup, cassette & VHS tapes - it is all going in the trash. I'm keeping most of my books, photos, derby programs (that I designed), tools, a couple of love letters... Some of the trash isn't due to sentimentality, but more due to poor housekeeping/filing skills. Tax returns from the 1990s, ancient bank statements, prehistoric paycheck stubs, etc. Soon I'll have a clean and organized storage room, I'm SO looking forward to it. A storage room that I don't have to think of as my dirty little secret! Hell yeah!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Crap. And Junk.

It is the eve of the Winter Olympics - and thus the start of the Ravelympics and/or the Yarn Harlot's Knitting Olympics. And I'm still totally on the fence about it. And I'm still on the fence about my knit-along cardigan too. It is stalled at row 15.

During the Summer Olympics a few years ago I tried to knit the Peacock Feathers Shawl (for Laurel for her wedding). It was a horrible disaster.

Maybe I should try that fucking thing again. The 2 years of knitting experience that has occurred between now and then is pretty significant. Hrmmmm....

So, yeah, that show Hoarders. HOLY SHIT! But let me tell you how awesome it has been for me! I have been able to get rid of so much stuff after watching a couple episodes of that crazy show. Last night I took 2 huge trash bags of junk out of the storage room. In fact, a clean and organized storage room is within my reach. I'm hoping to have it semi-organized by the end of the weekend - so that my roommate can more comfortably traverse it to get to and from his room to the rest of the house. I wouldn't be surprised if another 2 garbage bags come out of it - plus a bag of clothes/shoes for donation and at least one box of books to sell. Hellz yes.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

a lack of enthusiasm.

I arranged a sweater knit-along with the gals at Arts & Drafts. A couple of us are knitting the Vine Yoke Cardigan and a bunch are knitting OWLS. I cast on for my VYC last week but I'm really not feeling it. All I want to knit these days are simple stockinette socks. Just knitting around and around and around. Additionally, the Olympics are coming up - which means the start of the Ravelympics and/or the Yarn Harlot's Knitting Olympics. The point of the Knitting Olympics is to challenge yourself to start/finish a challenging project in the 17 days of the Olympics. My original plan was to knit a coat, but again, I'm really not feeling it. Seriously, I'm not feeling it at all. I suppose I could do the Knitting of SLEEVES Olympics and put sleeves on the two cardigans that just need sleeves. That would - essentially - be knitting around and around and around in stockinette. (UPDATE: Holy crap. I didn't realize that the Olympics start TOMORROW!! Wow. I am totally out of it.)

I feel terrible about having arranged a knit-along and then feeling no enthusiasm to work on the project. Crap.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

And the crafting marches on.

At the end of January I was down to 5 unfinished items. After finishing the Akimbo, I also finished a couple pairs of socks. One for me and one for the mister.


Spring Forward in Dream in Color Smooshy - colorway: Happy Forest.


Simple Trekking Socks in Colinette Jitterbug - colorway: Velvet Damson.

Of course I immediately cast on for another pair for both of us.


Basic toe-up socks in stockinette. Prism Merino Mia - colorway: Night Music.


Basic cuff-down socks in stockinette. Artsygal Stripes - colorway: 90144.

It doesn't feel right if I'm not always knitting a pair of socks for me and one for my lucky mister.