Friday, February 29, 2008

Book bargain!

Today was a fun day. All the county libraries had one huge book sale. If you liked needlepoint or crochet you were set, but knitting books? I only found one. And holy crap did I find one.

I didn't know a single thing about this one, just thought it might be good. I went to Amazon just out of curiosity to see how much it would go for and what reviews were. Do you know what this is selling for there? $163.05!!! Wanna know what I paid for it? One whole dollar. Hubby is all for selling it. I don't think so, at least, not 'til I get all the goody out of it.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Slipper Design

I turned into a great big lump yesterday. One of those "24 hour" viruses caught up with me and I was running a fever in the late afternoon. I felt like 100% dog dirt.

But I'm up and back running today and feeling fine. Weird.

Slipper Design:

I have the slipper prototype mostly finished. There are a couple of changes that will be made to the slipper modeled in the pic below. First off, I hate the toe. I wanted this pattern to be really basic with no fiddly stuff, but I think I'm going to have to go for a tiny bit fiddly to get the toe to look right (and pretty.) Right this second, the toe's not pretty at all. I think that shifting the two circs. 180 degrees to where they are parallel to the toes and doing a three needle bind off would fix everything nicely.

Second, over socks this slipper feels fine, but on bare feet it likes to "slip" and move around a little too much. It could just be that i have really narrow feet and that this is cheap acrylic, but I don't want to take any chances. I'm going to add a rib edging to the top of the foot to make it grab the foot a little better. I also hate the back seam, but it's mainly because my mattress stitch sucks and needs practice.

It has been interesting to try and design this slipper. I've never designed anything before and it's harder than it looks. My first prototype looked nothing like I had planned, this one is much closer.

Another cool thing about this pattern? It can be used to make fingerless mittens! So it's a two for one pattern.

As soon as I get the pattern written up and my final slippers finished, I'll be posting it free for anyone who wants it. These are done in garter stitch which is amazingly stretchy and should fit a wide variety of sizes.

Here's how it looks at this minute (just remember that I'm going to be making the above changes to it):
Shea's Slipper Flats

I did not work on these today though. I was feeling guilty for putting down the Circular Shrug and got a few more inches done on it this afternoon.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

creative versus practicality war

I have tried tons of crafts over the years. I was searching for that one ultimately satisfying crafty hobby. I've driven my husband nuts by jumping from one project to another. I have crocheted off and on for about 30 years. God, that makes me sound old. I've done cross stitch off and on for about 15-20 years. I've avoided scrapbooking though, I knew I'd never stick with that one. I've quilted, I've painted (not very successfully I might add - I just don't have my Mom's flair for that), I've sewn, I've been all over the map with my hobbies. Everyone of them has been extremely useful in some form or other in my life. But I don't think any of them have been as fulfilling for me as knitting.

I'm a product knitter. I don't care about the d#mn process, just give me that sweater to wear! It feels so good to be able to slide that sweater on and say "Look what I did!" to anyone who pretends to listen.

My husband however, is the Anti-Hobbyist. If it doesn't come from a technical manual and there is not a need for something, it does not get learned or done. The man is not spontaneous. He can't even go poop without a list telling him it's okay too. He's gonna shoot me for sharing that one with the world.

When I've brought a new hobby home to learn, you wouldn't believe the comments and questions that I get. Does your new hobby have a practical application? Is it something you can use? Does it cost a much? (That just might be the most important, in his mind, question in the whole lot.) But what are you going to do with it when it's finished?

It's the creative versus practicality war. It's a constant thing at my house.

He wasn't real enthused when I brought knitting home and announced that I was going to teach myself to learn this craft. It's just another one of her crazy hobbies was his thought. That was two years ago. I'm still going at it full tilt.

It may be the first time that I've been able to answer most of the questions up above to his almost full satisfaction. The only real complaint that I get from him is that he has to compete with the yarn and needles for my attention. Practical? Can you get more practical than hand creating a garment to be worn for years?

The only question that I have to tiptoe over is the "but does it cost much?" question.

The "But Honey, It was on SALE" methodology has not been particularly successful. So instead I came up with my Knitter's Math to answer the question. It kind of goes like this:

Step 1. See yummy must have yarn at LYS.
Step 2. Check price tag of the one skein.
Step 3. Panic and then begin division. $40.00/2 = $20.00. Still too much to explain for a 100g. tiny hank. That doesn't mean I'm not going to buy it, just that I don't want to explain the price.
Step 4. Subtract $10.oo. That $10.00 becomes my so-called "lunch." (not really, that's just what I tell him.)
Step 5. Purchase Yarn.
Step 6. Decide that he still wouldn't understand and subtract $5.00 from that. That $5.00 becomes the "I needed a milk shake on the way home" piece of fiction.

See? It's simple really. Actual purchase price/2=first total. First total-$10.00=Second total. Second total-$5.00=Just right total.

It's okay. My Mother-In-Law told me to do this on my Wedding Day. I have full and total approval for lying to my husband about shopping expenditures. Have I told you how much I love my MIL?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Trying my hand at designing some slippers

Check out my new Meez on the side bar- She's knitting! She's also the closest thing that I could get to what I look like. I found the link to it through Lil' Knitter. This was fun to put together and I wasted some precious time that was supposed to be used for getting ready for a children's consignment sale.

To save my sanity I put the Circular Shrug down this weekend (it's about 50% complete) and tried my hand at some designing some slippers. The first one did not come out like I wanted and so I decided not to make the second one. This one was way too fiddly and I don't like the shape. Here's a side view:

Fiddly Slipper Sock

So I'm trying again. I've got the sketch:

consisting of some loose directions culled from another pattern that had a shape similar to what I wanted and some of the modifications I want to make to it. By the time I'm finished it won't even remotely resemble the other pattern instructions. That could be good or bad, we'll see. I'm going to try again tonight when I get the kids out of my hair. I tried to fiddle with it today during my carpool waiting time, but the acrylic yarn that I'm using for my prototype turned to yarn barf and I spent the whole time untangling and making it into a ball.

And to end today's post here's something just for the sake of complete cuteness or cute completeness:

Kickin' back Youngest Style
And not to be outdone by the above pic:
The Youngest doing Balloon Yoga on a messy couch