Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Spring Break (Woot.)

While some may say that Pennsylvania and Delaware aren't the most exciting Spring Break destinations, those people obviously don't include in their vacation plans knitting, sewing, and drinking coffee while watching trashy TV. I haven't just been loafing, however.

Above, you can see the wondrous new pouches cooling on the ironing board. I think that gal with the shock of pink is my favorite. Reminds me of how my hair used to be, once upon a time. The nurse one at the bottom is for a dear friend who is (surprise!) studying to be a nurse. I think she'll like it. Look for them coming soon to my Etsy shop near you! Hopefully they'll be finished by Thursday as I won't be dragging my machine to Delaware (like we need one more thing to move!)

In my knitting news, I switched needles for that shrug and the bamboo needles are working much better than the other ones I was using. Much less slipping and stitch dropping. I've been thinking about taking a bath all day (in an attempt to relieve a stubborn headache) and then I thought, "Hmm, I wonder if I could knit in the bath?" This only lead to visions of a big, soggy yarn mess. Then I thought, "Why not a sauna? Then the yarn and needles won't fall into a giant puddle of water!" This lead to the realization that, under the right conditions, my project could felt as I knit (and not nice and evenly, either). I think I should just do one leisure activity at a time. Besides, I always take a bath thinking, "This will be so nice; I'll probably spend an hour or so just soaking!" Then, after 10-15 minutes I realize I'm bored, books are hard to read without getting them wet and I'm ready to actually do something.

I like the idea of baths much more than the bath itself, like so many things in life.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

You never know when...

You just never know when you skills may come in handy. For example, one of my lab mates was telling me about this hole in her mitten. The manufacturer put in a tag like a t-shirt has inside the mitten (uncomfortable!) so she decided to snip it out and accidentally snipped more than necessary. She was describing how she was thinking about sewing it because it keeps spreading, but I took one look at it and said, "Hey! There are live stitches here!" and offered to fix the offending hole.

Now, I've never mended a mitten nor darned a sock in my life, but surely I should be able to fix it in a way that will be more effective than needle and thread, right? I'll be trying tomorrow, we'll see how it goes. I'm kind of looking forward to it... weird, no?

In other news, no time to knit really this week, but today was my last exam for the week and now all of my subjects have been run for the lab (woo-hoo). The boy is swinging by this weekend, and part of me wants to go down and spend all of spring break with him, but... he's in the process of moving (the "real" reason for my visit), he'll be at work all day (high chance of boredom), I could work more effectively at home (I think), and there's not much to do down there except shop for yarn and other crafty supplies.... but seeing the bf would be so nice! I'll probably stick around here, though. It is supposed to be nice (spring, here we come)!

And the picture? It's from the cable car from Manhattan to Roosevelt Island. That was a fun day; I'd never heard of it until my friends were apartment-hunting, but if you're in NYC and want something different check out this island. It's so rad! Cute little diners, some open park space, it's absolutely lovely!

Monday, March 5, 2007

Winter Won't Let Go.

For those of you in the Northeast, you know what a cruel game the weather has been playing with us lately. Last week was beautiful, sunny and relatively warm; it seemed that the days of shorts and flip flops were right around the corner! Alas, today it is cold, blustery and snowy with more on the way.

What's a gal to do? Curl up with some herbal tea and knit with yarn cozy and lovely, but in a garment that will be worn from chilly Spring mornings to cool Summer evenings. That's where that mohair silk comes in. I picked it up whilst visiting the boyfriend in a lovely yarn shop in Newark, Delaware called "Stitches With Style" (I highly recommend it if you're ever in the area). It was love at first sight (not with the boyfriend, the yarn; I don't subscribe to the notion with significant others). It's one of my absolute favorite colors; I can't wait to finish this shrug and have the weather be warm enough to wear it without a big coat. Knitting always leaves me dreaming of more lovely knits I'll wear frolicking on the beach on a warm Summer day and into a breezy cool evening. Of course, I only have 1 or 2 days like that each year.
And the pouches? They're calling my name now. Off to paint!

Sunday, March 4, 2007


So this week is shaping up to be a doozy. (I never use that word, doozy.) Professors always seem to all cram in the same stuff at the same time. Which makes sense, when you think most classes have 2-5 exams to fit into 15 weeks while avoiding things like Spring Break. Unfortunately, this practical fact of the time-space continuum results in a week fuller than the rest now and again. Plus, in my lab we're running subject this week. Yes, running subjects in a psychology lab. No electric shocks, no confederates, and no fake electric shocks. We're just watching people put tennis balls into boxes, with the hope that it will yield some interesting data. We shall see!

So, you may be wondering about those zippered pouches I discussed yesterday... I began painting the ladies on today and, while I have no pictures to show, I'll give a few clues about what they'll look like:
1. One will have some pink hair.
2. One is vampy, like she just came from an award show that gives little gold men to people.
3. Two are for my dear friend, which won't be for sale but will be posted.

Stay tuned for the finished pouches, hopefully coming in the next week!

Saturday, March 3, 2007

This is just the beginning...

After last semester's GRE, grad school applications and general finishing-up-requirements-to-graduate-madness, I'm finally finding much more time to dedicate to creative endeavors. After getting some projects finished and moved out of my knitting basket (I had let them go for far too long) I'm getting on to exciting new things! "So, what's in the works?" you may ask. For one a whole new batch of zippered pouches! I love making these, the right combination of illustration, sewing, design and a little bead work. They're a fun, satisfying project; see them in their infancy above. (Plus, a beauty shot of my machine, a Janome. I used to joke with my friends at FIT that the machine was my true love and I was having an affair with it behind the boyfriend's back. Ha, good times.)

I, like many crafty people, find turning to projects in times of great stress or sorrow can provide relief and solace. As I'm waiting for a handful of universities decide where I'll be and what I'll be doing in 6 months, I feel focusing my energy on producing something is keeping me from obsessing over the uncertainty of it all. I turned to knitting once before when I lost my dear Grandma. She was such a force in my life, and losing her was so scary; I used my spare moments in the weeks before and after her passing to knit the Marsupial Tote from Stitch 'N Bitch. While the project didn't turn out (it was my Aha! moment for why gauge is important), it allowed me to escape the stress of the situation and just quietly contemplate and think of my sweet Grandma. While she wasn't much of a knitter, she pursued all kinds of other crafts and I always feel somehow closer to her as I work on projects. I only hope the next time I face turmoil or pressure in my life I have enough wisdom to whip out the needles and stitch up something simple.

Nothing seems to be better medicine in uncontrollable situations.