YO! ZMK Knits!

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Knitting Pattern-a-Day Week 8 Review

Here's the Week 8 Review of the Knitting Pattern-a-Day Calendar patterns.

Monday, February 20 -- Trio Bolero. I like this, but would like it better in a solid color with contrasting trim. The multi-colored yarn is nice, but I have enough things that only go with one other thing in my wardrobe, and think this would make a nice "go-with-anything" bolero, perhaps in black and white? (I know, me, hater of neutrals, suggesting neutrals! Never try to figure me out -- you won't!) If a dear relative emailed me and said, "I would love one JUST LIKE THAT", I would make it in these colors, but would much prefer it in a solid. I just looked at the yarn (Trio by Crystal Palace) online, and see that it's a tape yarn, 50/50 nylon/poly. It comes in some nice colorways. I can see some potential here, especially for spring or cool summer nights. Just stay away from open flames.

Tuesday, February 21 -- Thumbless Baby Mitts. A good way to use up leftover yarn, these take 1/2 oz. of either sock weight or sport weight, depending on what size you make. I can't see a 6 mos to year one kid keeping these on unless you staple them on them (which is. . . probably not a good idea), but maybe I just don't know a lot about babies. Don't newborns often get put into those cocoon-like sack things which makes them not require mitts? I'd also be afraid of a kid somehow strangling him or herself on those cords. Should they come with a hat made out of a plastic bag?

Wednesday, February 22 -- Victorian Beaded Tea Cozy. I am under the impression that many modern knitters dismiss the tea cozy. After all, how many of us have teapots? Don't we all just brew it by the cup? I *love* tea cozies, and I love this one. It is so pretty, and the set up of the picture is so elegant. Bonus: the instruction for "Push up bead" is abbreviated as "PUB". A person must love a pattern with the word PUB in it.

Thursday, February 23 -- Easy Hat. "Knit in one piece on a knitting machine." Knitting machine?!?!?! Sacrilege!!! (If I had a knitting machine myself I may change my mind.)

Friday, February 24 -- Icelandic Silk Boucle Scarf. This is one of those projects that is probably a beautiful FO that suffers from a not so great picture. It's a seed-stitch scarf done with a beautifully colored hand painted silk yarn. This is something I'd consider making as a gift.

Saturday/Sunday, February 25 and 26 -- Inca Inspired Adult Vest. Interesting charts on this, and a really nice color combo. I like black, white and red together. I'm not a big vest fan, but this could probably easily have sleeves added, and these charts could easily be incorporated into another pattern.

Copyrights and Photos

There has been an ongoing discussion about copyright law on the Patterns of the Past Yahoo group. It seems as though a woman posted on her blog about her daughter taking a cell-phone photo of a pattern in a yarn store; their defense is that they "bought $30 worth of yarn" and didn't want to pay for the pattern as well . . . or something like that. I don't wish to say more, or give any names or blog addresses, because I don't want to become embroiled in this matter.

All of the talk about copyright caused me to take a good look at the copyright notice on my Knitting Pattern-a-Day calendar, and it expressly forbids any duplication of the calendar. Which means, to me, that I was violating their copyright by scanning the photos included with the pattern and including it with my reviews. I apologize for this violation, and I have removed the photos from my reviews. I didn't think initially I was doing anything wrong -- I didn't include any charts or any pattern instructions. I think now that I have.

As far as I know, I can still conduct the reviews, just sans photos. If anyone thinks that is a violation of the copyright, please let me know and I will cease the reviews.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Weekend Update

Just woke up from a 2.5 (or so. . . ) hour nap. If I end up an insomniac tonight, I'll post my good ol' week's review.

The Malabrigo sweater is 99.6% done. It needs a couple of snaps put on and the buttonholes need to be tightened. Blocking may be in order as well, depending on how happy I am with it. . . so far I am of course not 100% happy with it, and wonder if I am even 90% happy with it. We'll just say that I didn't pick the best pattern for my first run with knitting a vintage pattern, and I should have picked something much less shaped. I will do a real post, with pictures of me wearing it as well as a picture of the original pattern, when I am ready to.

We had a rescued iguana for the weekend, and passed her along to the RI Iguana Society. We saved her from euthanasia but didn't have the means to keep her. I will post a pic of her, as well, as her incredible overbite afforded us the opportunity for some hilarious pictures.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Knitting Pattern-a-Day Week 6 AND Week 7 Review!

Here's the Week 6 AND Week 7 Review of the Knitting Pattern-a-Day Calendar patterns. Due to my vacation and apathy, I never posted last week's review. So, here it is, for those of you who actually read this.

Monday, February 6 -- Natural Pillow. Ugh. It's not even that it's ugly; it's just. . . Boring. Neutral. "Safe". It looks like something from a WASPy relative's house, where I would find it covered in plastic sitting on a white leather sofa that is also covered in plastic, in a room the kids and dog aren't allowed into. If it were in my house, it would be covered with black and orange cat hair and dotted with red wine stains. Maybe my recent love for burgundy and dark purple stems not from current trends but for my love of red wine, and my tendency to spill it. Hmmm. . .

Tuesday, February 7 -- Kokonut Baby Cardigan and Hat. Yeah, it's cute. It's a double-breasted baby cardigan, with a matching hat. In a fuzzy yarn that would be a pain in the ass to work with. Aren't those buttons choking hazards?

Wednesday, February 8 -- Kokonut Baby Cardigan and Hat continued. . .Dude, the kid is still choking on those buttons.

Thursday, February 9 -- Felted Beret. This looks cute and is probably easy to make. I wish the picture was better -- like, maybe a front view? Also, how about a little bit of color?

Friday, February 10 -- Himalaya Ribbed Wrist Warmers. There has already been a wrist warmer pattern (a couple of weeks ago). I don't think there's much difference between this one and the last one, other than the yarn used. So I will say this is redundant.

Saturday/Sunday, February 11 and 12 -- I'm Twining For You Socks. Tvaandstickning! I've recently learned about this Swedish technique (translates to "two-strand (or two-end) knitting"), and do really want to try it. There are so many sock patterns out there, and so many socks yarns, and unlike *other patterns* (I'm looking at you, Himalaya Ribbed Wrist Warmers), so many of them seem different. Viva socks!

Monday, February 13 -- I'm Twining For You Socks continued. . . Still pretty nice.

Tuesday, February 14 -- Folk Art Knitted Heart. Cute, and easy! Nothing earth-shattering, but I'd probably make these to put on presents.

Wednesday, February 15 -- Musique and Fizz Poncho. A little less offensive than most ponchos, but still a poncho. And I took the no-poncho pledge! But it looks almost elegant on the mannequin, but would probably look like ass on a person with real boobs and hips.

Thursday, February 16 -- Opal Knit Belt. This is okay, but doesn't thrill me. ZantiMisterKnit will probably chime in on how ugly it is though. It looks like something he would hate. It's pretty hippie-ish, and sadly, fits in with many of the current styles right now.

Friday, February 17 -- The South Slocan Scarf. This is a pretty gorgeous looking lace triangle scarf which I will probably attempt at some point (and take years to complete)

Saturday/Sunday, February 18 and 19 -- The South Slocan Scarf continued . . . What more can I say?? Gorgeousness!


Okay, dudes. . . remember that grande idea I had to keep "score" of how many of each kind of pattern there was, and keep track of which patterns I love and which ones I hate? More trouble than it's worth. I need to spend my time knitting and creating, not keeping track of patterns like a freakin' football pool. I think y'all can tell by my descriptions whether I love, hate, or am indifferent to something. So take my words to heart.

Oh yeah, and. . . I hate throwing shit out, so I haven't thrown out any of these patterns yet. If there is one in particular that you want (that is, that I'm not keeping), drop me a line. I think it's legal for me to give 'em away, right? As in, here's a page from my calendar, it's just a haggard poncho pattern that I don't want, it's yours. Maybe I'll ask for an SASE or something. And, I respect the opinions of others. You might like something I hate. You might hate something I like. Toe-may-toe, toe-mah-toe. I will not ridicule your opinion, not even behind your back.

All in all, I think it is still worth the $6.99 I spent on it (a hint from one cheap-ass to another. . . never buy calendars before January 1, 'cuz they go half-price at the chain bookstores immediately!).

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Update on that $%^@*# sweater!

I really shouldn't curse the sweater. It is a lovely, well-intended sweater and has not given me any trouble at all to make -- the instructions were clear and the yarn is smooth as butter to knit with. The title of this post should be "I'm a $%^@*# Knitter!" or "Sweater Says: 'I Wish That $%^@*# Knitter Would Finish Me Already".

No, the sweater isn't finished yet. And I have no one to blame but myself, for I am purposely stalling.

I do this ALL.THE.TIME. I get nearly finished with a project, and I put it aside. All because I am afraid of what the results will be. I am afraid that this sweater will suck. And suck bad. I am afraid that it will be too big in some spots, yet I will be barely able to fasten the button in the bottom ribbing, and have a huge, blousy, bat-winged 80s disaster that can only be saved by humungous shoulder pads, rather than the cute little 60s cardigan I intend it to be. I am afraid that I will not be able to tighten up the buttonholes neatly, and will have nasty-looking, irregular holes in the front of the sweater. I am afraid that the fact that the buttonholes are NOT a perfect 3" (or was it 4"?) apart from each other will be painfully obvious. I am afraid that I will do a crappy job finishing it, and it will be lopsided.

I am afraid --- oh so afraid -- that the only comments I get will be a down-the-nose glance, with the question, "Oh, did you knit that sweater?". Rather than, "Where did you get that sweater?" (the ultimate compliment!)

So, I stalled. I have it. With me. Today. Or at least the final sleeve of it, sitting under my desk, neglected during my lunch break. Tomorrow I can work on it at Stitch n Bi --- oops, SnB (gotta learn my place! Sew Fast Sew Easy *owns* those words now, or so it seems) -- yeah, at SnB, and sheepishly admit that I have not finished yet. I'm going to attempt to bring it with me to Puerto Rico, in the hopes of finishing the knitting (the 2nd sleeve and the neckline! Honest!), and hope my #9s don't get taken away by the USAir security personnel.

Other Projects:

Pencil skirt -- still sitting up in the craft room. Neglected. It will probably only take an hour or so to stitch up, too. I give myself until March 10 -- the Muck and the Mires CD release party -- to finish that. Yeah, go ahead and throw stones at me and call me a sewing poseur. I deserve it.

Craftster February Birthday Swap -- Well, the cat is out of the bag that I am making a "subversive stuffie" for Sweetpie_Press. She just doesn't know what I looks like. I don't know if she ever visits my blog, so all I will say is that it involves sewing AND knitting, and I plan on working on the knitting segment in PR on my downtime from catching green anoles and coquii frogs, and should have it in the mail to her by the 16th.

Craftster Dr. Seuss Swap -- I signed up today for it. I should be assigned a partner over the weekend, and it needs to be mailed by March 2 (I think???).

Craftster Reptile Swap -- I plan on organizing this at the end of February/beginning of March.

Boston Craft Mafia -- I'm hoping to start this up soon! I get to be the President! Woo wheee! I'm bringing my sketchbook with me to PR (so I have something to do when I'm not catching green anoles and coquii frogs, knitting, or reading on the beach -- have I mentioned we are only going for THREE DAYS? Do I know how to overpack, or what? Do you know I am going to have THREE pairs of shoes for those THREE DAYS? Yes, I'm high.) Okay. . . So, I want to make up a Boston Craft Mafia logo. I've only come up with goofy ideas, like a lobster holding knitting needles and paint brushes, or a pot of baked beans with all kinds of craft supplies sticking out of it. The other idea was the statue of Paul Revere, and have him holding craft supplies (and maybe have some paintbrushes sticking out of the horse's mouth). Someone please kick me now. Or help me with this logo.

When I'm back from PR, I'll let y'all know that I didn't do everything that I planned on doing on my trip, because I decided instead to eat a shitload of food and drink like the she-demon I am. And hang out with Mr. ZantiMissKnit (ZantiMisterKnit?), a/k/a Mr. Saturday Night (tm: Joe Tampoff), and let him ply me with delicious rum drinks and drunkenly chase coquii frogs and green anoles.

Oh yeah -- and the Pattern-A-Day week review will be late this week. Maybe I'll get to it . . . Um . . . Tuesday. Maybe Tuesday. Okay?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Manolo No-Poncho Pledge

Taken from:

I, ZantiMissKnit swear on the head and/or the grave of my sainted granny to never wear, buy, knit, crochet, or fashion from the old throw rug, the poncho. And if the poncho it is given to me as the gift, I will graciously thank the giver and then, when she has left, put the poncho into the dog's bed and/or the trash as the case she may be. Only by doing these things faithfully can I help end for the good of the humanity the scourge that is the poncho. So help me Manolo.

Sworn with all seriousness. If I am ever seen wearing or making a poncho, please direct me to my own blog post and hit me over the head, repeatedly, with either the Yellow Pages or one of our art books, whichever is handy.

xoxo. . . ZMK

Sunday, February 05, 2006

You are Merino Wool.
You are Merino Wool.You are very easygoing and sweet. People like to
keep you close because you are so softhearted. You love to be comfortable and warm from your head to your toes.

What kind of yarn are you?
brought to you by

Knitting Adventurer
You appear to be a Knitting Adventurer.You are through those knitting growing pains and feeling more adventurous. You can follow a standard pattern if it's not too complicated and know where to go to get help. Maybe you've started to experiment with different fibers and you might be eyeing a book with a cool technique you've never tried. Perhaps you prefer to stick to other people's patterns but you are trying to challenge
yourself more. Regardless of your preference, you are continually trying to grow as a knitter, and as well you should since your non-knitting friends are probably dropping some serious hints, these days.

What Kind of Knitter Are You?
brought to you by

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Knitting Pattern-a-Day Week 5 Review and Sweater Update

Here's the Week 5 Review of the Knitting Pattern-a-Day Calendar patterns:

Monday, January 30 -- Cable & Rib Cap. I like variations on basic things, as long as they still look good and aren't goofy. This is an example of a good variation on a basic. It looks much like Stitch n Bitch Nation's Basic Cable hat, except it alternates a cable and a rib (duh), does not have the pom-pom (although I'm sure one could be added), and appears to be a little bit longer (mine doesn't completely cover my ears). It also doesn't have the rib knit section on the bottom. Mike might let me make him this; I have some burgundy worsted-weight alpaca at home that I'd be willing to try it out with. (file under: hats)

Tuesday, January 31 -- Trellis and Ridges. This is just a stitch, as opposed to a complete, pattern. It's nice -- I could incorporate this into a lot of things, should I wish. I haven't quite gotten to the point where I improvise, adding bits to a pattern here and there, but I may use this as an edging some day. (file under: stitch patterns)

Wednesday, February 1 -- Match My Coat Cap. Silly title -- any cap can be knit to match your coat. The pattern, however, is very cute. Scratch that -- it is very, very cute. It's got a pinwheel top, a couple of raised contrasting ridges, and a fair isle-ish pattern. I've heard that knitting fair isle in the round can make one go bonkers, but considering I've never knit fair isle AT ALL, I wouldn't know. I'm going to keep this in mind as a "Christmas pressie" knitting pattern. (file under: hats)

Thursday, February 2 -- Americana Sampler Socks. This is a rare week. Every pattern so far is something I would make (or utilize). These socks are really cute; I like the idea of the sample stitch patterns because it would be a great way to help me learn. Plus I have leftover Cotton Fleece from my Hopeful sweater; I would just need some other colors for the fair isle. Then what's leftover from those colors I can use on some projects from The World of Knitted Toys. Everyone wins here! (file under: socks, patterns I love)

Friday, February 3 -- Americana Sampler Socks continued. . . Yup, I still like these! (file under: patterns that take up more than one day)

Saturday/Sunday, February 4 and 5 -- Neck Nestle. "This beaded scalloped edge Neck Nestle will chase away the wild winter blues with funky 60's style". I initially thought this was really stupid, but I swear a woman is wearing one in "Curse of the Cat People" (1944), and it looks really cute. (file under: Misc.)


This is a new feature, where I will keep track of how many of each type of project there is in this calendar. I'll update it weekly and the numbers reflect the entire year. I'm going to cross-reference, as well, so some of the "children's patterns" may end up in "sweaters", etc.

Socks: 4
Hats: 5
Scarves/Stoles: 5
Gloves/Mittens: 1
Purses: 1
Ponchos: 2
Sweaters: 3
Vests: 1
Children's Patterns: 4
Toys: 0
Pet Patterns: 1
Misc./What-the-#^*#?: 4
Slippers: 1
Stitch Patterns: 1

Patterns I Love: 4
Patterns I Hate: 3
Patterns Using Up More than One Day (excluding weekends): 3

Update on the Malabrigo Sweater and Other Stuff

I've come to terms with the fact that there is no way I am going to finish my sweater before I go to Puerto Rico (on Friday). It's not a big deal, because I wouldn't be wearing it there anyway. I will, however, be finished with it while it is still cold enough to wear it -- which is a bit of a record for me. I have one sleeve and the neckline left to knit, then I have to block each piece, finish it, and then do a second blocking (if necessary). I think it is going to be too big, which sure as hell beats too small. I just hope I don't look like a walrus in it.

I signed up to the February Birthday Swap on Craftster. It's an "unconditional swap", where you post what you hope to receive, when your birthday is, and if someone picks to make something for you, they have fourteen days to make and send it. I also chose to craft for someone else, but I can't mention it here in case she reads my blog. She wrote something so cute in her want list that I couldn't resist her. So, I have to send something by the 16th (a week and a half away), and I will be out of town for four days next week. I'm a little stupid that way. I have the materials, and know what I am going to make. I just hope it comes out the way I want it to. . . sometimes my abilities don't match my visions (obviously). I think I'm going to put aside the knitting for tonight and start it (plus I have all day tomorrow, and I hope like hell we don't plan on doing much).

I also have a pencil skirt in the works, but that can wait. I should pick it (and my cutting board) up off the craft room floor and put it aside though; it's got some pins in it that I would hate to step on. The rug in there probably has pins in it though; which is probably how our air mattress deflated.

Our snake, Sunny, had a medical emergency and spent the night at Angell Memorial. She's okay now, but Mike will have to medicate her every other day for a while. This is what she looks like:

Truth be told, she is a he, but we're so used to saying "she". We're not breeding, so I don't think it matters much. Sunny's a ball python, about 9 years old, nearly 5 feet long and weighing about 7 lbs. I've never had a snake before moving in here, and I'm learning a heck of a lot about them. I think she/he is a really beautiful animal.

Okay, I think it is time to get crafting, and get some tea that doesn't taste like beets (I like beets, but this tea is reminiscent of the part of the taste of beets that tastes like dirt, and I don't like it!). Oh, yeah, and dinner. A girl's gotta eat.


Friday, February 03, 2006

Craftster . . .

Craftster is down again for "maintenance". It's been several times this week. I certainly don't blame Leah for this; if anything, I think she is going above and beyond the call of duty in keeping the whole thing afloat. I think the boards just have too much damn traffic to run smoothly. It's a little *too* popular. I also can't help but blame the folks who like to use it as a personal chat board, refusing the PM people or email people because it is "too much trouble", insist that it is all "community bonding", and whine about "censorship" if people want the board to stay on the topic it is meant to be -- crafts.

So, yeah, those of you who insist on posting pics of your shoes/weddings/pets/boyfriends/haircuts/tattoos -- you are to blame!

Off my soapbox now.