Monday, August 27, 2007

Late Summer Special - Curves

Just in time for the end of summer (Chicago's summer is soo short), here's a pattern that I've been working on. It's already written up and will be available is now available over at the fantastic Swanky Knits! Trying to decide what to do with the neckline nearly drove me insane. I knew I didn't want it to be plain. I pretty much stumbled onto this shape and liked it, so I kept it. The sections of ribbing follow your curves, hence the name. I chose SWTC bamboo and it is a pleasure to knit with and wear. You must knit it tighter than the ball band or you're going to get lace, but a little goes a long way. This took less than 2 full balls for the 32" bust size. The largest sizes will not take more than 4. And the finished fabric is so slinky and feels so good against the skin.

Sexy! Ribbing lines start with a little fullness at the hips, decreases for the waist, and increase to maximum fullness for the bust. In fact this shaping simply follows the actual decreases and increases of the top, with a bit extra for more visual effect.

So I'm happy to have this off the needles and I've already worn it twice. The folks at work really like it. :-) So do I.

In other news I'm proud to report that I have been slowing down on the yarn buying. I'm not sure how much of this is due to simply being incredibly poor and how much has to do with having another burgeoning interest (the natural hair thing). I think the poverty has kept me from buying but the hair thing has kept me from being too upset about it.

However, I did get a gift certificate for Jimmy Beans Wool. I worked their booth at Stitches Midwest for a few hours. This Stitches was so different from my first. I had the last shift, so I got there 2 hours before the whole thing was over and helped them pack up. I didn't go around the market at all. I planned to at least look around, but in true Chicago fashion, the el had problems / was under construction, etc. (how many times did I take the subway in Seoul? Tons. How many times did it have problems? None.) so I was 5 minutes late instead of 30 minutes early and didn't have time to do anything but work. And I was starved, too, and was working off a couple handfuls of cashews and the lemon bars someone's mother brought for us. But still, Stitches was a good thing. My LYS, Loopy Yarns, had a party the Friday before and I met folk from out of town and there was cheese and wine, and y'all know how I love free alcohol. Don't they all look so happy?

And for my work at JBW's booth, with the gift certificate they gave me, I got these goodies. Like I said, I've cut back on yarn, so all I got yarn-wise was a couple balls of sock yarn from the new Kaffe Fasset Line, the Landscape line in Fog. Doesn't the yarn look absolutely nothing like the pic in the link above? I'm really hoping it magically turns into the pic.

I also got a French Girl Margaux, a pattern for a cape. We'll see if I can knit this for Halloween.

But coolest of all is this bag from Lantern Moon. I love their baskets and bags, and this is pretty cute in person, too.

I'm off to California tomorrow to visit the family and I'll take along my Split Neckline tee from Fitted Knits and a sock project. I'll bring the socks and a book in this bag.

Til later, Folks!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Beaded Pillow

Shhhh. It's a sekwet. This is for my first homestay family in South Africa. The son is the only one who knows my blog address, hopefully he's not reading this right now. It's a beaded pillow.

The yarn is Plymouth Encore in a cream color and a beige color. It was worked on size 7 needles. This makes the beige-ish beads hard to see in the photos, but they look very nice in real life. I prestrung the beads using dental floss threader. This works really well, so that I was able to get something like size 8 or 6 beads onto worsted weight with no problem. The pillow is a 14" form.

The back is a simple fair isle pattern I got in 200 Knitted Squares, which is where I also got the leaf pattern, and the edging is a crochet picot-type edging.

Closeup of pillow and beads

Whole pillow

Pillow back

Monday, August 20, 2007

A Letter to My Uterus

Now you know I don't like to post without knitting content, but I'd decided to separate my post topics out a bit more. So tomorrow I'll post the pillow, which has actually been done for about a week now. For today, I have a letter.

Continuing the fine tradition of writing letters to body parts (see here and here), today I have a letter for my uterus.

Dear Uterus,

F%$#@! you!

Hmm, will all of my letters start this way? Okay, once more.

Dear Uterus,

Okay, I get it. For many years I didn't pay attention. I thought you and me were just chillin. Sure, you had to cramp all up like a MF'er every month but thank heavens for modern medicine because bc calmed that down significantly. But over the years your tiny little sweet girly voice has slowly turned into a loud and, dare I say, obnoxious roar. Now I don't think it would be an understatement to say that you are damn near yelling at me for not giving you what you want. And yeah, I know what you want. A baby.

Never mind the fact that I don't actually like babies. Never mind that I am always the one holding a poopy smelling baby at arm's length running around in a panic like "what do I do with this?" And never mind the fact that any child left with me for more than a couple of hours only has a 50% chance of survival. It's not that I'm trying to kill them, it's that kids are stupid and will kill themselves if you don't watch out. Really, I think babies would just walk straight off a cliff if you didn't watch them. And I won't watch them. I'll forget about them for a second. And then it'll be all "hmm, oh shoot!, was I not supposed to leave Jr. in the bathtub with the hot water running?", or "dang, did I leave all the plastic bags from the grocery store on the floor where little Nene was crawling?" or "maybe I shouldn't have painted all the electrical sockets with clown faces" (okay, that last was a joke. But really, People, you do not want me watching your babies.)

But no, you don't care about any of this. You have no foresight at all. You don't care that, should I have a child, I'd inevitably be forced to listen to the same joke (and trust, it will not be a funny joke because it will be a simple-minded thing from a kindergartener) 20 times because kids think the same joke is unendingly funny. What, you don't remember this exchange:

Kid: And then he did it like this!!! hahahahaha
Me: Wow, that's funny.
Kid: And then he did it like this!!! hahahahaha
Me: Yeah, I know, it was kinda funny.
Kid: And then he did it like this!!! hahahahaha
Me: Um . . .

Nope, none of this is important to you. You just want a baby on you, and you have no qualms about letting me know. I see cute little knit baby things, and you yell "Make baby now!" and I'm like "I don't have a husband" and you yell "go make baby now!" and I remind you that I don't even have a boyfriend and you yell even louder "me want baby, baby in me now, make baby, baby!" (um, did I tell you all my uterus sounds like a caveman?)

Really, it's starting to get embarrassing. I'm afraid others can hear you, since you are doing it out in public now. I used to not really notice most men. Seriously, unless he was damn fine I didn't even pay attention. Now whenever a halfway decent looking one walks by, you growl at them! Got me out here faking like I didn't hear it, looking nonchalantly up in the sky when they turn around wondering what nearby animal was growling at them. I still remember the first time it happened, shocked me to death. There I was, walking down the street all innocent like, and a well-groomed fairly good-looking guy passed by and you yelled "sex!" Hmm, don't mince words, do you? Now your goals are more clear, and you sometimes bypass me altogether and yell commands directly at them: "You can make baby, yes?! You make baby in me now!"

So look, I'm just saying I understand where you're coming from. Next birthday marks three decades here and you're getting tired of waiting. I know you got all these hormones and what not, and societal pressures, and worries about the expiration date on the eggs (yeah, don't act like you and the ovaries aren't in this together; I know). But you're going to have to give me just a bit more time and maybe one day . . .

Until next time,

The Body You're In

Friday, August 03, 2007

And the Winners Are . . .

Okay, I don't usually have good ideas. In fact, my ideas are usually just plain bad. You know that person who's like, "yeah, I suppose we could just walk down the side of the mountain, but wouldn't it be better to go cascading off this waterfall? In a barrel? It's a barrel, so we wouldn't get hurt, see?" That's totally me. But this contest? This was a good idea. I got so many music suggestions. Thank you all so much! I have been able to add several new songs onto my Shuffle. Next music contest will be so you all can recommend some get crunk type music. Sometimes you just wanna break somebody off hard gangsta style, and you can't do that to no ultra mellow neo-soul. As it is, every time I hear some song and think "that beat is hard", almost before I can finish my thought somebody yells "ho" at me. I mean, I can take a little, but I have a 2 ho limit.

So I listened to all your suggestions, or at least tried to. Y'all were supposed to give me specific songs, not just artists. So if you didn't I just listened to the first song or two I came upon or ones whose titles I liked. Not all of them were the type of music I usually like, but actually I think they were all good. Like Jason Mraz. Not the music I like, but I had to find out what disintegrates Ms. Pixie's panties, and indeed, his voice is pretty damn appealing. Same thing for Chad Perron. He ain't no Johnny Gill, though. :) Van Hunt, too. He definitely has some panty melting powers. He had been recommended to me before, so I was glad to get some specific songs to listen to. Same for Lily Allen, though I had heard a song or two from her before. And Soko? Again, not my style, but that song is funny for real. Actually, there were lots of great songs that I couldn't make winners because I already knew them, like Chrisette Michelle's hit and also Corrine Bailey Rae's stuff, Robin Thick, Vivian Green too, among others. Hmm, what was I complaining about, I already had good music!

Anyway, with no further ado, the winners. Choosing between first and second place was hard, but first place has to go to:

Harlem Purl for Teedra Moses's - Rescue Me. I am really feeling this woman's music. All your music suggestions were great.

Second place goes to:

EmunaMoriah7 for Raheem DeVaughn - Believe. This dude's stuff, not just this song, is hot. In fact, while I was listening to it, I felt a breeze in my nether regions and looked down to discover that, in fact, I was no longer wearing panties. Looking around the room, it was obvious that my panties had simply exploded, the floor being littered with panty shrapnel. Even poor Enif the bunny got hit:

(You know he's going to get punked on the bunny playground for this picture. That crumb is a piece of cereal, the only way he'd let me take this photo)

There's something that reminds me a bit of D'Angelo with him. Emuna, I loved all your suggestions, too.

Third place goes to:

Aruni for Amel Larrieux - Beyond . This song was great, and it got me onto some of her other stuff, which is also great. Thank you.

And to mix it up a bit, fourth place goes to:

Ms. Pixie Riot for Jamie Cullum - "earlier stuff". That was real not specific, girlfriend. Even less specific than Melissa Knits "bonus tracks off the Japanese only CD". So since I didn't know what I was looking for, I just went to You Tube and typed in his name. The stuff that came up wasn't Japanese (sorry Melissa), but I kinda liked it. Different than what I would normally go for, but I did kinda like "Get Your Way".

Okay, winners, please email me so we can arrange your prizes. To everyone else, thank you so much for the suggestions, and conciliatory cookies will be making their way to your houses. I'm just joking, you're not going to get a cookie. :-( But I really do appreciate it.

So, back to knitting. My knitting has been dragging since I discovered this site for nappy-haired folk like myself. I love this site, so much info, and I have gotten over my hair rage. For now. I highly recommend this site to nappy folk, especially those struggling with their hair (you know who I'm talking to, and email me for the low-down if you want to know more). I even made a hair photo album. So yeah, knitting has been slow. But I am nearing completion on a pillow I'm making for my first homestay family in South Africa. I really wanted to knit stuff for each member of the family, but that will have to wait until next year, and that's if I start now.

The squares are for 200 Knitted Blocks or some such book. You know, the ones where they say they have 200 designs but really it's like 50 designs, each in 4 different color combos? Hello! Changing the color is not changing the design. So misleading. Anyway, it was my first time knitting with beads. Check out the results of my deflowering:

Isn't it pretty? Okay, I know you can't see the beads that well. They're a really light color, in the stockinette portions surrounded by the reverse stockinette. I pre-strung the beads using dental floss threader. I actually have no idea how you use dental floss threader when flossing your teeth, but they work really well for getting beads onto yarn. I did 4 squares like this for the front, and the back is a simple fair isle pattern that I did most of in the airport DFW while my plane was being delayed. People stare! They act like they've never seen a twentysomething with a fro knitting fair isle before.

The yarn is Plymouth Encore. I can't remember the brand or size of the beads. They are probably 8/0 or 6/0. I was really amazed they fit on worsted weight. Yay, dental floss threader!

Okay, time to wrap up. In my next post:
*the conclusion of the pillow
*a new top design and pattern
*a letter to my uterus

Thanks for reading, People!