Addicted Knitter

Gwen is a high school junior stranded on a not-quite-deserted island. (Manhattan.) She's obsessed with knitting and everything japanese.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

SP5 stuff

In preparation for my first Secret Pal (whoo!) I'm going to make my blog pretty. ha. well, I'm going to try, anyway. I'm also going to do the questionaire. whee, fun.

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?
A little. I don't like acrylic, and red heart is usually acrylic...so yeah. Although actually I've seen some pretty nice fuzzy acrylic blends, which aren't so bad. Lion Brand, too, does some cool stuff. But just plain old 100% worsted acrylic...blech.

2. Do you spin? Crochet?
Spin, no. Crochet, a little - long chains, lol. I want to learn how to really do it, though, because of the freedom to make really big throws and stuff. I have this ripple afghan my great-grandmother made...I love it so much. It's pink. ^_^ So I want to be able to do that, too. ...wow, rambling.

3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)
No, just the one food allergy, ginger. Which sucks, because I LOVE gingersnaps. :*(

4. How long have you been knitting?
Um...since middle school...I guess around seventh grade. So almost four years. I didn't do much last year, though.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Yes I do. ^_^

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
Hm. I dunno...cooking stuff. I mean, fruits and things are nice, but spices rock. Vanilla expecially.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth?
Do I ever.

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?
When I was little, I was really into sewing...lol, I was so ghetto - all my friends would be shopping for their American Girl dolls and I would be making my own clothes for mine. I still save cool fabric and stuff, just out of habit, but I haven't done much sewing in a while. Just knitting. I do some drawing, though...I'm trying to learn how to draw manga.

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I like pretty much all music. (Really.) My favorites, though, are any kind of rock (including punk, metal, etc.), pop, gospel, and some jazz. And a little classical, although only TSO, which is more rock classical. (no, not classic rock, rock classical. hee.) And yes, my computer can handle all that stuff - although it can't burn CDs itself, which makes me sad.

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?
Purple. All purples, except for lavender. (yuk.) I also really like hot pink and black. And hot pink with black, or purple with black. I don't like really drab colors...mustard yellow etc. And certain color combinations are bad, like green and orange. ::shudder:: other than that, it's all good.

11.What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I live with my parents (no, I'm not a 30 year old who never moved out - I'm 16.) In New Jersey, there's also Wendy, who lives in our basement guest room and is the one who taught me to knit, and my beautiful doggy, Pepper. We're only in NJ on the weekends, though - usually we're in New York, wher I have no pets. I hope to get two gerbils next school year though. I wanted a cat, but since I'll be going to college in a few years, my parents threw that idea out.

12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)
I'm not really sure yet. Get into a good college, get a degree in something I like - theater design, maybe. start making some money, get married, have kids, become a stay-at-home-mom. Or just a mom. Who knows.

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
Right now, Cascade 220, because it comes in nice colors and is perfect for felting, which I've been into lately. I also like anything Noro, because it's Japanese and very pretty - although Kureyon is a little too itchy for me. And Rowan. So pretty. Expensive, though, so I don't use it much.

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
Acrylic. And 100% wool tends to be too itchy.

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?
Felting. And I've been doing cat blankets for Knit4Paws - I'm in the middle of a blue and purple seed stitch one. It's very pretty, if I do say so myself.

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Accessories. Armwarmers, hats, purses, scarves, mittens...and I've made some baby stuff. Lots of blankets and teddy bears. I'm hoping to tackle my first sweater soon though.

17. What are you knitting right now?
A cat blanket, althouh I have some UFOs sitting around too. Most notably a hot pink and black felted purse.

18. What do you think about ponchos?
I have a really nice red one...everyone always asks me if I made it myself, but I think it would be waaay too complicated. So yeah, I think Ponchos in general are nice. People have been going a little overboard with them lately though. I saw this one in an ad in vogue knitting...it was made of this specialty yarn that made it look like it had ribbons hanging off it...::shakes head:: too much.

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
Straight in general, but circulars are okay too. Usually just ifthe project is really big, or you know, circular.

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Bamboo. Those milk protein ones are really cool, too. But that's it. I'm pretty snobby about my needles. ...well, I can put up with plastic other than the milk things, but aluminum is icky.

21. Are you a sock knitter?
Nope. I will be someday, I hope.

22. How did you learn to knit?
My friend Wendy taught me. Her church was doing this thing where they got together and knit hats for kids in Trenton who didn't have them, so she brought me with her and taught me. I swear that first hat must've been waterproof, I knit it so tightly.

23. How old is your oldest UFO?
About a month, maybe a month and a half. A few days ago I would've said like a year, but I finally finished up this little teddy that's been sitting around. It's very cute, if I do say so myself.

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?
Hm...I'd have to say Ein, from Cowboy Bebop. Pretty much all anime animals are awesome though. Especially wolves, there are some kickass anime wolves out there. Like in Princess Mononoke. Oh! And the Totoros, of course! From My Neighbor Totoro. ...wow, I watch waaay too much anime.

25. What is your favorite holiday?
Christmas. Halloween's good too, but Christmas is just awesome.

26. Is there anything that you collect?
Demo CDs/singles and cool shoelaces. (My current ones are about an inch wide, black with big rainbow stars.) And manga, of course, although since they're books I don't know if that counts. Oh, and Magic Cards. But I'm more into the game side than the collecting side.

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
None, I spend all my subscription money on gaming magazines. But I do keep an eye out for knitting magazines on the stand, and pick them up if I like the patterns. Vogue knitting is especially good.

28. Any books out there you are dying to get your hands on?
Ecotopia Emerging, lol. Knitting books, though...Last Minute Knitted Gifts and Knitter's Stash: Favorite Patterns from America's Yarn Shops. And the one by the Yarn Harlot that everybody's been raving about, I suppose, although I'm a Quaker and therefore already 'meditate' quite enough.

Whew. done, finally. I missed the Simpsons doing that, I'll have you know.

Okay, off to spruce up my blog...

Saturday, May 21, 2005

OMG, FOs!

WARNING: Long entry.

Well, I finally found the cable for my camera. Actually my mom found it - one of my technologically challenged parents put it in the case for the OLD digital camera, which uses floppy disks and, therefore, doesn't need a cable. But I got blamed for it, as I am for all mishaps involving anything that was invented after 1950. ::throws hands in air:: This despite the fact that I am the only one who actually knows what I'm doing when I use this stuff.

Thw point of this is to say that I now have pictures. Yay! So, here goes...

This is that teddy bear I was talking about. Isn't it sweet? I'm going to give it Karl, instead of making another one, because when I tried making one out of the Rowan I have the guage was off and it just looked weird. And his surgery is in three days, so I don't have a whole lot of time to tinker with needle size and such. Oh, and I got the pattern here, although I just made the scarf up as I went along, since I didn't have the pattern with me at that point.

And here's the first thing I've ever felted! It was so cool to take it out of the washer and have it actually turn out the way it was supposed to. (Felting has always freaked me out.) The handles are a little off, but I figure it's not bad for a first shot. I'm going to wash it one more time (I've done two so far, and I think it's a bit big) and sew some buttons on where the handles meet the bag, and then I'll be done! It's going to be a present for Wendy, who taught me to knit. For Christmas or when she moves out, whichever comes first.

The last FO(s) I have to post about are the armwarmers I made. They were my first project after a really long time of not knitting much, so I'm a bit attached to them. As you can kind of tell from the picture, the cabling on the left one is more on the side of the arm than the top, since I don't think I flipped the pattern right. But other than that, they come out pretty well. Unfortuneatly (sp?) they're waaaay to itchy for me. So I gave them to mom, for mother's day, since she was bugging me to make her a pair anyway. I think I'll make some for myself in a softer yarn at some point. When I don't have any other projects to do. Ha, ha.

My Letter Have It bag is coming along much more slowly than I had hoped, mostly because of knitter's ADD. I did purchase a zipper for it at the same time I got buttons for the red purse, though, so maybe that will get me more motivated.

Remember when I was talking about Nora and the 'sad boy in snow' armwarmers? Well, she was getting very annoying about them, so I strangled her with a circular needle and buried her under the Brooklyn Bridge.

I'm thinking about making a blanket for Knit 4 Paws this summer. I wanted to do a Big Bad Baby Blanket from SnB, which I've done once before, but I think it comes out to 36" and they want 24". Hmm...I think I'd be able to figure that out...I'm really bad at math, though, even in knittin.g x_x

I'm just kidding about Nora, by the way. Really, she and our friend Britanny took me to see a yarn store by our school called Knit-A-Way of Brooklyn. Corny name, good store. Possibly better than Pins & Needles. Possibly. Nora got some nice yarn and icky metal needles, I reminded her how to knit, and she started to make her own armwarmers, which are looking very pretty. Maybe I'll post a pic of her with them, if she'll let me.

All done. Phew.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

So, I dunno what happened to my camera's wire, so I can't upload pictures. This makes me very sad, because I have been in super-duper-homemaker mode and knitting up a storm lately. (Also baking, cleaning, doing yard work…my friends think I'm a freak. They're probably right. I'm the only girl I know who doesn't think being a soccer mom would be so bad.) I finished the center panel for the 'letter have it' bag (finally) and will probably assemble it tomorrow, if I can do all the I-cord stuff. I'm also just about done with the felted purse from Knit It. I'm working on the handles now; my first I-cord, whoo! And I stuffed and embroidered a little teddy bear that's been sitting at the bottom of my project bin for months. I even made a little scarf for it. It's so cute! (I'm definitely going to post a pic once I can find that wire.) My mom's 'going out with a bag' has been wait listed, since I gave her my newly-finished armwarmers for Mother's Day. They were a bit too itchy for me, and while I was trying them on she was on the other side of the room and I could see her putting on the exact same Gwen-you-know-I-love-you-please-knit-this-for-me face that my friends do. (My friend Nora is continually bugging me to make her a pair of 'sad boy in snow' armwarmers. Story behind this: anime/manga always has pictures of hot girls, because most readers are guys. Particular favorites of anime nerds are shirts with large pictures of curvy anime girls in sexy nurse outfits on the back and anything with sad girls in snow. So I decided I was going to make a sad BOY in snow answer to this blanket. Maybe a bit too ambitious, yes? But armwarmers I can do, so...yeah. Wow, rambling.)

Anyway I think my first priority is to make a teddy about twice the size of the one I just finished out of some nice fuzzy white Rowan I have. For Karl, the only other person on the East Coast with Crouzon Syndrome. He's having major surgery sometime this month (not exactly sure when, although you can bet your ass I'll be there) and I want him to have something fuzzy to cuddle up with. Admittedly, his mom is an extremely accomplished knitter and could probably make him a much nicer bear than I could, but I still want him to have something from me. He's…three, I guess. About old enough to start remembering me and knowing that we have something in common. I can't wait to see him, it’s been nearly a year. He's uber-cute, a real flirt. I'm picturing a smiling white bear with a little blue vest for him. Or maybe green. White and blue seems a bit too Hanukah. Yeah, green. Or red? Oooh, Pins & Needles has that beautiful worsted Lobster Pot Yarn in stock...Yarn store, here I come! Muahahaha!

I recently found - get this - a scholarship for knitters. Hopefully no one who reads this is going to be entering college anytime soon, and won't apply for it, cause I want to win it. Still, I'll post it, because I just think it's the coolest thing ever and everybody should know about it. Of course, there's practically no one who reads this blog, but hey, whatever.

National Make It Yourself with Wool CompetitionThe National Make It Yourself with Wool (NMIYWW) competition awards $2,000 and $1,000 scholarships for knitting wool garments. Winners are selected based on the appropriateness to the contestant's lifestyle, coordination of fabric/yarn with garment style and design, contestant's presentation, and creativity. For more information send a self-addressed stamped envelope to: National Make It Yourself with Wool Competition Box 175 Lavina, MT 59046

The only thing is that I think it's for kids who really need the aid. Which is totally
fair, of course, but my parents would probably be able to pay for my entire college education if they really needed to. Actually, I know they'd be able to, but I'd still like to rack up a couple little scholarships, maybe pay for some of it myself - God knows I owe them enough already. Either way, time to start designing!

Okay, I think that's it. Wow, long entry.

Oh! Before I go - you know that blanket pic I posted? It's in an online store for the coolest webcomic (and second coolest manga) ever, Megatokyo. Go read it. Now!