Fulfilling Your Pattern Needs
Published by Shana | Filed under Knitting
In the age of instant gratification, knitting is a terrible form of self-expression.
It can be a 6 month process to turn a moment of inspiration into a final, ready-for-the-spotlight pattern. And even then, the idea that sparked the creation is so layered over with practicality and functionality that it is almost entirely abstracted away. All those sharp emotions and raw edges smoothed out over hours of fingers mindlessly stitching.
It’s probably better for those of us with tear ducts that kick into action at the slightest prodding that our efforts aren’t delivered until after all the emotions have been buffed out.
Many moons ago, I designed these socks to process through a parting of ways. They were my first published pattern. I was really excited. See!
I’m dusting them off again. The pattern has been reworked, retested, and reformatted to mark a new divergence in my life – the fella and I are in the process of packing up our lives to follow the American itch to head out West.
A poem, “two roads diverged in the woods.. and I took the road less traveled..” And it hurt, man! Really bad! Rocks! Thorns! and Glass! my… broke! waahh! Not cool, Robert Frost!
Why would two people with leave all the good they’ve created for themselves to show up tired and unwanted on the doorstep of Seattle? Well…. we can. And maybe it’ll lead to our Space Jam?
That’s really the best answer I have. But while I’m selling my life on Craigslist at get-it-now rates, I am offering this pattern for free. Once I make it out West, it will be $3.99. As with all my life at the moment, the specific timing is TBD, so grab it now.
I consider myself a recovering cynic (of the art school variety, not the philosophical school), so I had no delusions that caring for a 4 year old and a 6 month old would be a week of snuggles and hugs. I was not prepared to dedicate a full day to discovering all the different ways you can get covered in bodily fluids (I stopped counting at 8. What creativity they have!). Children should have a warning label. Warning: Disgusting – cuddle at your own risk.
Foolishly, I thought I would have time to indoctrinate the next generation with the greatest things of the ’80s – My Little Ponies, Rainbow Brite, Lisa Frank. Sparkly, rainbow colored awesomeness. Step one: Rainbow Brite inspired socks for each kiddo. Step two: well… step two got de-prioritized real quick.
My plans to get action shots dissolved pretty quickly, too. I didn’t even get a not-on-kid shot of the larger pair and the even the completely immobile child wouldn’t sit still.
But, whatever, these socks are awesome.
My four year old niece and 6-month nephew will staying with me and the fella for a week or so starting Friday. I have been stocking up on ideas to make me the best stay at home aunt ever. I have enough to last through day 2. After that: television. Aunts can get away with that.
I’d designed this blanket to use up some yarn I’ve had laying around since 2009, and decided to name it after the impending invasion. Seven days running around a city and then shouting loud enough to knock down city walls? That sounds about right.
These socks were born out of laziness. I started these years ago (2? 3?) and despite how fast they actually knit up, I’ve mostly spent the last few years moving them out of my way. This is only fair, since the whole concept behind these socks was “meh, whatever” – afterthought heel, 1×1 ribbing so fit doesn’t have to be right, design that is forgiving to an extra row here or there. They’re even made of yarn I was wanting to get rid of.
They’ll keep their original name, though. My Malbec socks are the color of my favorite wine and have a cable that’s a little wobbly from having a bit too much.
Published by Shana | Filed under Home
I have a small house. A very small house by the standards of the Midwest, where land is cheap and families are large. But let’s be real, in the 1950′s when my chateau was built, it was an average four person home. I’d think a lady, a fella and a small, yet fat dog could manage to make it work. And we totally could, if only we had more space.
There are two ways to space – a larger house or less crap. I strongly prefer the latter – a larger house just results in more crap, thus recreating the struggle on a greater scale with the added bonus of a heftier mortgage and more things to clean and repair. I am too cheap and lazy for that noise.
“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful”
-William Morris, a man after my own heart
I recently discovered that Canadians call hoodies “bunny hugs”. As in, newspapers could read “Roving bands of teenagers, dressed in sagging pants and bunny hugs, broke into the local gas station”. O, Canada. I’ve never met you, but I love you.
This hat is uber girly. It’s made from 100% alpaca and is a baby pink. Softest yarn and the softest color. So what else could I do than put it on my baby nephew?
I think this hat would be super cute in brighter, funner colors. But, maybe the world needs a few more super soft, baby pink hats.
Once the wheels touched down from our honeymoon, it apparently made it officially okay to ask when kids will come. Not for a long time, people. Until we decide that sleep is for the weak and disposable income is for the shallow, other people’s kids will do just fine.
A lot of living can be done vicariously. I highly recommend it as a time management technique. Scratch the baby itch by snuggling with a nephew or listening to the sleepless horror stories of a new mom. Travel with no threat of food poisoning by flipping through your high school nemesis’ Facebook pics. Enjoy an amazing career with none of the late hours by watching any of the new entrepreneur reality shows.
Vicarious living is all upside without all that pesky hard work and failure.
So, here’s a new quilt to welcome a new little one to one of the cutest families I know. May he bring joy and delight to your lives, and to the lives of all those living vicariously through you. And, uh, please don’t hold it against me that I posted this on the internet before giving it to you. I have no patience.
I am excited to have a new scarf/stole pattern to offer for sale. I wanted to create a pattern especially for the alpaca yarn I bought at an adorable yarn shop in Sheridan Wyoming on the trip where the fella proposed. I’m a overly sentimental, people. Just deal with it.
Since the yarn I designed in would be difficult to get widely, it has been tested in Knitpick’s new blend Galileo. I selected this yarn because it’s widely available, has a nice drape and sheen, and has enough wool in it to hold blocking well. You could easily substitute a fingering or sport weight wool or wool blend, as long as you are able to get gauge. Or, you know, forget gauge, because it’s a shawl and life is short.
All proceeds from the sale of this pattern go to charity.
In fact, all proceeds from any of my patterns and from clicks on my ads go to charity, as I promised years ago. Since then, I’ve been moving any funds into an account, and occasionally I’d make a donation here and there from the fund, emptying it out each December. It was never anything worth getting worked up about, but this year, we’ve actually made an impact.
Published by Shana | Filed under Knitting
In my last post about all the fibery goodness to be found in Peru, I promised to bring home photos of my spoils. And I am indeed quite spoiled.
The little guys in the front are two status of vicunas, a Peruvian wild camelid. It’s the wilder and softer cousin of alpacas and llamas, and back in the day, their yarn could exclusively be used by royalty. Since it costs about $1.40 a yard, I don’t know if that has actually changed. Ounce for ounce, still cheaper than gold and cocaine though. Obscenely expensive yarn purchase = justified.
The yarn in the back is a variety pack of natural colored llama wool. It’s fingering weight, and I think it’s going to be turned into many colorwork socks and mittens. I picked the yarn up at the market in Pisac for a song from very nice lady that at least pretended to understand my poorly conjugated, heavily accented Spanish.