Saturday, December 27, 2008

It's Only Slightly Cheaper than Therapy

Sometimes you just need a one-skein scarflette to get you through the day.

After tumultous times during Christmas (grandma in hospital, stressed out parents, took out my stress on my best friend/former dating partner now he's not talking to me, had a heckuvah time getting back to Atlanta and then getting back into my own home) I needed something to get me out of my distinct funk.

Enter the Fourteen pattern from Yarnballboogie. I knit it in a k1,p1 rib rather than the brioche, and after making one in green, I decided to try it in a pleasing grape color this evening. My only regret is that it knitted up almost TOO quickly. I can feel an addiction coming on... it's such a quick and easy high-- I may need an intervention for knitting so many of these things.

The only thing I can find to get me away from these adorable little scarves is a nagging thought about (among the other things mentioned above) this giant skein of Thick and Quick Chenille in a lovely chardonnay color that's just taking up stash space. I have no idea what to do with this stuff. I checked out Ravelry for some quick fixes, but nothing particularly grabbed me.

Any ideas? I really am open to just about anything- preferably a project that will allow me to use up the entire skein.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

My Prayers and Tears Wrapped in a Shawl

Sometimes knitting can get you through the toughest times.

I'm currently in Arkansas visiting my family for the holidays, and my grandparents are staying with us at my mum and dad's place. This was supposed to be a lovely, loving period of relaxation and goodnatured bickering that would take us well into 2009 with a smile on our faces. However, real life doesn't follow a calendar- thus the reason my grandmother (on mum's side) was rushed to the hospital a few days ago. As I type this, she's resting comfortably, but still not strong enough to endure a much needed operation. So things aren't so happy in the WarmandHappy house, but we're trying to keep it together.

My way of coping is through prayer, and knitting a shawl for Grandma Ruth. She's the person who taught me the basics of crochet when I was a kid. I've never met anyone who is as creative as she is with yarn and a hook. She can quite literally make ANYTHING, and she never uses patterns. It all comes out of her unique and sharp mind. I took up knitting because I remembered the good times of holding skeins of yarn while gasping over Days of Our Lives or cheering while watching Wrestlemania! with Grandma Ruth. Soap operas, crochet, and wrestling. Grandma is so much more than those three things, but I think they're good examples of her eclectic tastes and great sense of humour.

So I sit here now and knit. The first night I came into town, I dropped by the Wal Mart and picked up a skein of Lion Brand Homespun, but found it completely unsuitable for any projects. Turns out, it's perfect for a prayer shawl. Click for the pattern.

I've been quite literally crying and praying over this shawl everyday, but it's a comfort to me, and when it's finished, it will be a comfort to her as well.

I love you Grandma! We're going to start knittin' and hookin' together again soon.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Yarn Taketh Over

I have been quite literally knitting up a storm during my holiday break. I'd take a picture of the mess that is my room right now, but I'm actually embarrassed by the level of clutter I created within just a few days.

In any case, some good things have come out of this- I have finished four scarflettes, one cigarette/lighter holder, and started a prayer shawl over the past 6 days. The story of the prayer shawl and its eventual recipient is kind of sad, so I won't get into it now... maybe when it's completed.

Happily, tonight I soldiered through the "Wham, bam, thank you Lamb" cowl. It started out as really fun, but the never ending garter stitch got old pretty quickly. I ended up jazzing it up a little by changing the pattern and adding in a few YO's. It came out nicely, and I slapped it on Etsy.


Next time, I'll do it in a brighter color to keep myself interested- even if it may not sell. I'm new to this "making cool stuff for money" thing, but from conversations with current and future customers have pointed to a strong love of neutral colors and squishy fabric during the winter time. Am I really the only person who loves to rock powerful reds and even the occasional pink during the cold weather months?

Oh well.

I'd like to whip up something quick for my mom before Christmas Day, but seeing as I have less than three days left and I still need to finish the shawl- it's not looking likely. But... I want to. But... but... Enough whingeing!

I'm off to hunt down quickie/pretty patterns for Thick and Quick. If that doesn't work, I'm going back to the mall!!

(just wanted to note, I *did* already buy my mom a gift, but I happen to enjoy giving lots of gifts during the holidays. I just love giving someone something they will always like)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I Like 'em Thick!

I have to admit, I'm a total Size Queen. I know, I know, it shouldn't matter how big it is as long as you know what to do with it, but "experienced" ladies and men know you have to know your own limits when it comes to the big ones.

I mean seriously, take a look at this:

Um, of course I was referring to knitting needles. ANYWAY- these are advertised as being functional needles. How often are you really going to use those? And for what?? Wouldn't your shoulders start to hurt after a bit? I know my MUCH SHORTER size 50's give my deltoids a workout whenever I'm knitting up a big ol' blanket.

In any case, I'm going through a pretty intense period of lovin' on some chunky yarns and needles (size US 13 and up only, please). I'm a big fan of instant gratification and ultra soft, ultra warm scarflettes and hats that are so sensuous and comforting that you may forget you have a boyfriend.

So don't be surprised to see some extra chunky works of knitted art around here for a couple of months. I'll get over this once Spring comes around, but for now- this kind of knitting just keeps my little hands warm.

Yarns I'm Using:
Wool-Ease Thick and Quick: I know, I know, it has kind of a weird texture, but pure wool makes my skin break out if I handle it too much, so I have to use these blends. Also, it comes in some lovely colors, it's readily available at the local craft store and it's under $5.

Bernat Softee Chunky Ombre: It has the same characteristics as the Thick and Quick, but it's not quite as chunky, and is a touch softer. Also, it's easy to wash, which is always a plus for me.

Indulge Wool: I stumbled across this on an idle Ebay search, and have been fantasizing about it for a couple of days now. I can just see a incredibly comfy tam and wrap combo coming out of the two skeins on auction. I promised myself I wouldn't add to my stash until 2009, but I already broke that promise when I bought some Thick and Quick to occupy me during the holidays in Arkansas.

I'll progress to higher end yards soon, but I'm just in the beginning stages of my "Chunky Chaser" phase.

Pattern Attack:
Wham, Bam, Thank You Lamb- It's currently on the needles, worked in a nice mixed grey.
Life is Uneven- I really love this, and will probably make this for myself or someone else.
Loom Hat- Um, is this cute? I can't tell.
200- Everything from John Brienger automatically goes on the list. This scarf is just beyond belief!

Why... Fancy seeing YOU here!

Welcome! Come on in. If you couldn't tell, I just moved in here- so things are kind of a mess.

Ah, yes... Introductions... My name is Kim, and being a woman in my mid 20's I've had a blog presence for a rather long time. This is my first blog dedicated entirely to craftiness, though undoubtedly other aspects of my life will bleed into my posts from time to time.

This space will mainly be used to moan, complain, and roar in triumph over my latest crafty conquest. For those who want to know, I'm a fan of knitting, I'm slowly learning to crochet, and I can't draw or paint worth a damn- but that doesn't stop me from trying.

Feel like joining me on a handmade journey? Feel free to comment when the mood strikes, or subscribe to my feed. Have your own crafty blog? I'm prone to hero-worship, so if you're good at what you do I will probably get really excited and blog about you. At the very least, I'll drop a link in here.

Finally, if you see a project you like on here, you can probably buy it for yourself or others in my store, Warm and Happy.

Hm, I think I've covered all of my bases and introduced myself as well as I can. Now- back to that giant shawl I started earlier this evening... oh dear.