Zigs and Zags

The Zigamorph pattern is one that incites comments regularly.  The Madeline Tosh Merino is soft and shiny, and the long strands of yarn that hang lusciously invite people to reach over and touch the squishy fiber.

My roommate, since the design was released, has asked me to knit her no less than 3 of these scarves.  One was a combined present for a friend from that friend’s family – and I hear she has gotten many compliments from it, although I have not seen the scarf on said friend yet.

The other two were knit in two weeks, back to back, to be ready for travel to Seattle with my roommate tomorrow.

 

 

The pattern is enchanting, and deceptively simple.  It works up quickly on size 10 needles.  The dropped stitches add inches in a single row.

However, two scarves in two weeks turned out to be a little mind numbing.  I was glad to have finally finished.  I blocked the two scarves yesterday and remembered that the magic is in the blocking.

The lines and the drape all resurfaced dramatically, and I have been swaying them and wrapping them and touching them ever since they were dry.  The darker is a single skein of Madeline Tosh Merino Chunky and the lighter is a Sweet Georgia color.  Both ball bands have been discarded somewhere or I would tell you the names of the color.  I love the subtleties in the skeines – the shifting of color and the hidden hues.  I love how the lines and dropped stitches bring out the variation.

Both scarves have been carefully folded and wrapped and await their travel to Seattle tomorrow.  I hope the recipients enjoy them!

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The Fairy’s Lair

Some time ago, I started showing you pictures of how I was revamping the fairy’s bedroom.  She has a queen-sized loft, which was one of the major pros to getting this apartment over something slightly less expensive (it was that and the ridiculously spacious awesome attic).  After a year of telling her repeatedly to clean up her room, because besides the loft, the room is tiny, and therefore always messy, I decided the best course of action would be to swap the “play area” with the “sleep area” and set to work.

Well, after a couple months of work, it is just about complete.  I am waiting on a storage bench in which to pile her dress up clothes and I picked up her bed frame on Saturday.  Then, it is stay clean or drive your mother insane.

These curtains were actually a bed sheet from when I was a teenager.  I know, crazy.  I had pastels in my room. (I shudder to admit).  I pulled them out to make Ellette’s bed one day and noticed a giant tear at one end.  Mourning the loss of otherwise perfect bed sheets and wondering how to salvage what remained, I climbed into her loft and did my favorite – eyeball measuring (do NOT try this at home!!  Measuring tape is your friend).

The purple lace at the bottom is something left from my grandmother’s craft room and went wonderfully with the butterflies in the fabric.  Ellette saw them after I got them situated and squeeled in delight (and I came to sudden realization that the squeeling will only get progressively worse as she gets older and I regretted making anything for her, for the sake of my eardrums.)

I was finally able to hang up the squat fairy tent a neighbor gave us as they moved out (and Ellette has been bugging me relentlessly about hanging up).  There is a purple beanbag tucked inside of the tent to allow comfort for her retreat.  She likes to lay up there reading.  It took two small carpets from Target to cover the floor.  We tried going with one, but it was too small and awkward for the space, so a second one was procured.  We moved her bookshelf up there along with some bins of toys and Ellette loves it!

Last weekend, Ellette had a friend over and the two of them spent the entire time hiding in her loft playing.  I would say it has been a success.

And now I get to tell her incessently to pick up her dirty clothes from the floor.

(PS: I realize I promised patterns for the Tetris afghan and the gauntlets, but remember that the charger for my laptop is broken and the battery is dead.  It has been a sad week.  The only way I have been able to update is by hogging the family computer.  All of my information for those two projects – notes, charts, photos – is on my laptop.  We tried to pick up a generic charger from the store, but the plug was too big.  I had to order one special – it should be arriving soon.  I appreciate your patience!)

There is a Fairy in my House

 

 

 

 

Some time ago, I started making a pair of slippers to warm Ellette’s feet.  They were such a fast knit.  I put them through the wash to felt, did a little hand felting, and then abandoned them.  What had happened, I suppose, is that I realized the heel was a bit tight while I was hand felting and tried to stretch it out a bit before it could dry.  I pulled to hard, and the seam, which I had read was a very important seam to reinforce (but, obviously, didn’t reinforce) split.  Discouraged, I dried the slippers and threw them in my UFO pile.

Well, while reading a book on fairies with Ellette, I realize these slippers would make fantastic Tinkerbell shoes.  So, I sucked it up, got out the thread and pompom maker, and fixed them up.  She loves them.  Wears them whenever she is in the house.  She loves dressing up and has quite a collection of clothes with which to do so (and a mother who keeps adding to the collection with every thrift store run), these slippers are perfect.  She wants me to make them in every color!

I must say I do enjoy watching her prance around the house in them.

The Pattern: French Press Felted Slippers by French Press .  I used the helpful notes from sarahlauren to turn the adult sized slippers into a child’s size 1.  Instead of putting the band and button across the top, I made two large pompoms to sew down.  Yarn was Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Evergreen (I don’t remember what I used for the poms).

Radio Silence

(***TO BE READ IN A SEDUCTIVE MOVIE ANNOUNCER TENOR***)

At some point over the past few days two cataclysmic events occured.  The first was the loss of battery power in Pixie’s beloved netbook.  The second, and more catastrophic, was the discovery of a broken power cord.  Now, your dear Pixie faces the black as ideas bombard her and projects are completed.

Steps are being taken as we speak to rectify this tragic situation.  A new power strip is being located from the jungle of Chicago shopping complexes and a dark screen is frantically being supplicated and seduced in hopes of revival.

Will the power be found in time?  Or will Pixie’s inspiration flee her as quickly as it arrived?

And who stepped on the power cord?

Tune in tomorrow for the answers.

Thar Be Dragons Afoot

Yesterday, I completed a special commission.  This was a difficult assignment for a number of reasons.  One, it utilized a material I hadn’t previously considered knitting with, and two, there was a rather serious discussion revolving around “fair” pricing.

Roughly 16 hours and 600 aluminum scales went into the making of these custom fit, knuckle to elbow gauntlets.  Several curses escaped my lips as each scale had to be put on it’s designated stitch just so to ensure it would sit properly.  I ask you, what is “fair pricing” when it comes to services rendered?  Why is it expected to pay minimum wage to a bus boy but not to an artist?  We pay more hourly to special services like maid services!  How is an artist different?  Special skill sets require special compensation.  Knitting is a special skill.  If it weren’t, I would not have been hired to make these.  They almost ended up homeless as a result.  I worried an agreement could not be reached.

I am a Knitter.  This is a significant portion of my income.  I knit for hire, I design, and I make things for wholesale and consignment.  This is a job for me, just like teaching, building, and accounting are jobs for others.  I require a roof over my head and food in my belly, just as much as they do, and this is how I choose to make the money needed.

Perhaps it still has me a little frazzled how many people undervalue this .

I took note of everything I did and yes, a pattern will be following shortly, complete with a picture tutorial on adding the scales.

Randy the Pirate had so much fun modeling these for me.  Thanks!

Games in Q Basic

I have discovered that if I take my UFOs to knit night – the ones that only need the ends woven in, or something sewn on – I have a much higher chance of actually finishing.  For instance, the Tetris afghan has been lounging around my house for a solid two weeks, waiting patiently for the loose ends to be woven in.  I would make feeble attempts here and there, but could never bring myself to just get it over with.

After two hours and one beer at knit night, it is finished.  I was so happy, I had to show everyone as they walked by.

 

This morning, I took it to work with me, where I was able to package and meter it without leaving the office.  It is now on it’s journey to California to warm a friend of mine.

The construction is fairly simple – mitered squares that are worked together as you go along.  It makes for quick knitting, and the color changes keep it interesting.  It is almost fully reversible.  I would be interested in seeing the picked up stitches done in black, so that every square has a border.

And it is finished with an I-Cord edging which nearly made me strangle myself from frustration.

There have been several requests for a pattern, which will be out next week if everything goes right.  There may be another pattern coming out before March as well.

In the meantime, I rewarded myself with more yarn and have begun mapping out the next project in my head, although it is not so much a Spring project.  Some of the others are, so I may have to get through this one real quick to get on to the others.

I would damn the inspiration, but you never know when it will decide to leave you.  So I will offer it a humble thanks.

Because I’m Tired

In no particular order:

  • The arrival of an out of print game – Civilization – has prompted the neglect of sleep this past week.  We tell ourselves that we will only play a few rounds, and pretty soon the game is almost over and a bottle of wine has gone missing.
  • Also neglected have been the scale mail gauntlets and the Tetris afghan.
  • To get me through the tedium of weaving in ends, I began watching Dance Academy.
  • And I wonder to myself why Australian TV is so much better than ours.
  • Their soap operas are pretty cool too.
  • Watching a show about a teenage dance school has given me quite the itch to dance.
  • As part of reconciliation for allowing our lives to become routinous and kind of boring (I know), Odin independently arranged a night out.
  • I don’t have a choice.
  • We’re going Salsa dancing at Alhambra.
  • Even though I”m wicked tired and slightly hung over.
  • Apparently, the missing bottle of wine was consumed mostly by me.
  • I plead the fifth.
  • Alhambra is 1.5 hrs on the CTA.  1.5 hrs that I should be knitting the projects I have been neglecting.  But the scale maille is not good travel knitting.  And the afghan is far to big for the train.  And the snarky cardi needs blocking.
  • So I suppose this means I get to start something new?

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