31 March 2006

Birthday Set Progress

Birthday Bag, all done!, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

Birthday Bag is all blocked, all dry, all strapped! ALL DONE! The straps are from the same yarn, but you can see why I am wondering about alternate yarn options. I might still swap out handles, but we'll see.

Birthday Bag in semi-action, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

I do like short handles, and you can see that this works just fine. I think overall I did great for only having 260 yards of this Araucania nature wool chunky yarn.

Birthday Bag's Closeup, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

I am still loving the variegation in the colors!

Birthday Set! Without Flash, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

I'm really happy with how the hat, scarf, and bag work together texturewise and colorwise. This picture was without flash.

Birthday Set With Flash, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

And this one was with the flash. The real color is somewhere between these two pictures, but this one is closer to the real thing.

Birthday Texture, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

Here you can see the three projects close up! I think Birthday Hat's Odessa pattern is knitting up in a lovely manner. And the variegation is really gorgeous! It's Jade Sapphire 4 ply 100% cashmere yarn. And 100% yum, lemmetellya.

So that's what I've been up to this week. Odessa obviously sort of really needs to be knit up and finished by Sunday night, and I think I should manage that without a problem. The scarf is now long enough that I can knit at it and whatever length it is Monday morning is the length it'll be. And I'll just be walking around all day Monday with the purple Birthday Bag. Awesome.

30 March 2006

This Thursday is for Wish Lists

The Happy Hooker, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

I didn't get the Happy Hooker book just for Debbie Stoller to sign it! I got it also because there were a few projects I wanted to try to do in it. I'm not looking for crochet to replace the knitting obsession, but there are some things knitting can't do easily that crochet can. The biggie is flowers. I love little touches that make the outfit, as you can tell by my flourishing bag, shoes, hat, scarf, whatever collection. And This book has a few flowers I'd like to learn how to do, plus a scarf and a shrug and a hat that are wide open and are just amazing looking.

Here's a few of the projects I would love to try:

Garden Scarf, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

The Garden Scarf, which takes three balls of Karabella Aurora 8. I think that one of those flower motifs on its own would be great for an applique on a felted bag, too, or maybe even several! I think it'd be a great look, since it's simple and yet would allow an opportunity to add a contrast color.

One Skein Scarf, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

This is an amazing looking scarf if you ask me! The pattern calls for Patons Classic Merino Wool which I've never seen, but it'd be an easily subsitutable yarn. I'm thinking Cascade 220 in a pink. I could stand to have ONE serious pink scarf. Or maybe blue. I don't know. Or apple green.

Ferris Wheel Flower, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

I think this is a really cute flower, and is a great way to use up all those random little balls of leftovers.

Six Petal Flower, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

Here's another flower. There's a lot of different flower-type motifs in this book, which I was really glad to see, because hello random flowers! I've always wanted to make you! You know.

Short n sweet, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

Here's a simple and (I think quick) cardigan that would be great in warmer weather. I think it's classic and elegant. The only concern I have is the sizing, which gave options for a 32" or a 45" chest. What the?! I'm a 40, so I don't know how that's going to work.

29 March 2006

Felting is Fun

Birthday Bag, pre-felting, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

Felting is still fun. It's like MAGIC where a scary floppy mess somehow acquires shape! Heft! Strength! And all you had to do was throw it in the washing machine. But first: Pre-felting, Birthday Bag had a really pretty texture, didn't it? I love those colors.

Birthday Bag's blob, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

Pre-felting, it was definitely crazy wide and blobbular.

Birthday Bag Blocks!, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

Post-felting! I'm using the box my mother sent me last month when I was sick. I understand that this wasn't what the box was intended for, but it was the only thing I had that would fit the bag's size. And? WATERPROOF! Bonus. I want only eleventy squintillion more of those really cool boxes that make blocking so easy. Isn't the bag pretty and textured? And perfectly rectangular and nonblobbular!

This picture shows the colors of the bag better. Quite variegated isn't it? I love it. One thing down, two more to go, for Birthday. Which is Monday next. Eep. The Birthday Scarf is halfway done at minimum and Birthday Hat isn't even begun. But I have plenty of time! Right?

28 March 2006

Tuesdays are for Self Portraits

Debbie Stoller and the Fraro, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

I admit it, I was holding out on you. Of course I had a picture with the Debbie Stoller! It'd be insane not to have.

In other news, I finished Birthday Bag completely last night, except for the icord which I'm working on at work and hopefully it'll all be idone so I can felt the whole thing tonight! Ooo. Exciting.

27 March 2006

Project Spectrum

I've had a lot of fun with the color theme of Project Spectrum this month, which are pink and red. I have no trouble finding these colors in my life and in my knitting!

Still life: scarves in a bowl, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

I have just a few neckscarves and am certainly not well known for wearing a scarf every single day. Certainly not! But if I did, these are the pinks and reds I found. Just a couple scarves, right?

Knitted Pinkly Goodness, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

These are the pink stuff I've knitted. Kindly avert your eyes from the glaring Second Legwarmer Syndrome. Currently I'm really loving the Manos bag and I definitely am excited to see how Birthday Bag turns out when I finish it which should be tonight or tomorrow, ooo the excitement.

Fraro has taste. Honest., originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

Here's Birthday Yarn, in Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted, and I don't remember right now the name exactly but look at it! Pretty!

Pink! Eyelash! Chenille!, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

This yarn is still frightening, isn't it?

Picasso Bowls, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

In the apartment, I don't have a lot of red things, but one of them is the bigass red bowl that Matisse and Picasso like to nap in.

red!, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

And here's my RED bathroom. Whee! What do you mean, it's not a complete view of the bathroom? Heh.

26 March 2006

Look! It's Debbie Stoller!

Stitch n Bitch, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

I managed to drag myself out of the apartment long enough to take the metro to Knit Happens where Debbie Stoller was signing books and whatnot.

Stitch n Bitch Nation, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

And I even managed to have a conversation with her!

Stitch n Bitch: Happy Hooker, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

It's always weird to talk to people in person. Especially if it's an author, never mind the author of the first knittage book you ever read.

Hey! It's Debbie Stoller!, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

But it was nice! And lovely! And I have signed books! And I feel like I brushed with fame. Knittage fame.

25 March 2006

Saturdays are (still not) for Sockapaloooza

But! I have it on good authority I will be spending all day next Saturday at Knit Happens knitting my socks!

I hope so! My sock yarn balls, my needles, and my SmarTrip card are all super-ready.

24 March 2006

E is for Europe

I know I'm behind in the whole ABC Along thing. It's not that I didn't remember to do it, or that I didn't know what to talk about, but frankly it was because it was hard, is hard, to ecapsulate the whole Europe thing into one small thing.

I could put up trite postcards and paste pictures of my travels that I think were pretty darn cool, or tell you stories of how it was to walk down the Kurfurstendamm in Berlin, through Zlata Ulica in Prague, sit in Rynek Glowny in Krakow, walk along the train tracks at Auschwitz, or to look down at the flat terrain of Pest while standing on the castle hill of Buda in Budapest.

I could show you my glass ball, swirled with teal, cobalt blue, and white color within the clear glass, bought in Prague and still holding a place of pride right in front of my monitor, six years later. I could tell you about the massage I got at the Turkish bath in Budapest. I could, I could, I could.

But I can't. None of it gives you the sense that I wish I could give you, that I need to give you. Of all of what I saw, of everything I got, of each piece that I brought back to America to me, those scarves mean the most to me. They don't mean anything to most people, of course, but every time I wear one of these scarves I am transported back to the sights I saw, where I bought the scarf, how I felt wearing it. And it is magical, and it is Europe, for that moment that I smile within and remember.

And that, in its own way, is enough.

23 March 2006

Caution: Purple Ahead

What's in your bag? I apparently like knitting a little tiny bit. If you for some strange reason want a description of every single item in the bag, I have notes on the picture on my flickr page. You can see that my Birthday Scarf has grown quite a bit, though I'd really like it to be at least twice as long in... gulp... ten days.

Isn't this fabric neat looking? I love the way it pools and flashes and whatever, it's great visual texture and right about now I imagine Scout is eating it all up.

Doesn't Birthday Bag look great? It's in Araucania Nature Wool Chunky.

By the time I'd done 5,200 stitches, I realized the horrible truth, however. At some point I'd lost one of the four stitch markers and I'd been decreasing at three corners not four... #(**$#&$(*#&$(*##*(. So I took the whole thing to Stitch DC and asked the nice lady to help me frog it with the ball winder. Even with the ball winder and the two of us, it took us a full hour... stupid stubborn stubborn tangly yarn. .

I'll work on it this weekend and it'll be PERFECT because I said so.

22 March 2006

Wednesdays are for Wish Lists







Manos del Uruguay.

21 March 2006

Tuesdays are for Self Portraits

Now isn't this a wicked cool tshirt? My mother got it for me for my birthday, we found it at Needleworks which is the biggest yarntopia I've seen yet!

19 March 2006

Yarn that I Sold My Soul for

Yarn that I Sold My Soul for, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

I really should be ashamed of myself. Buying, on purpose, for myself, yarn that has not a wisp of naturality or nature or you know, handdyed handspun handANYTHING goodness attached to it.

And yarn on clearance at that.

And? Yarn from a store I can't bring myself to admit I procured anything from, except to say that it is a store heavily prevalent in the midwest. And did I say it was on clearance?

George's companion, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

I have this Lion Brand scarf named George. Yours is not to understand, yours is to know, love, and accept. In any case, George is about as far from wool as possible. So when I saw this fuzzy soft variegated color yarn for $1 per in a colorway compatiable with George, I said SQUEE and put it in the cart. It's pretty fuzzy though, so I don't know if a ribbed hat would work, or even be advisable. It will just be a simple pull on cap, one day to bang out, when I feel like it. Which is not right now.

Pink! Eyelash! Chenille!, originally uploaded by Frarochvia.

I have three skeins of this hot pink yarn that manages to be eyelashy and chenilley at the same time. Definitely a WHAT THE?!?! moment. And I wonder: is this enough for a hat and a scarf, or should I be asking my mother to get more? Mmmm. I suppose an eyelash hat is just too ridiculous to contemplate, though.

This most definitely will be a fuzzy scarf, probably in just a plain garter stitch to let the, er, colors speak for themselves. Pretty loud and bordering on tastelessness isn't it? And it's SO SOFT and goofy and I will laugh and laugh when I wear it. Which is a good enough reason to own the yarn, I think.

18 March 2006

Saturdays are (supposed to be) for Sockapaloooza

HI! Did you miss me? I know I missed me. Or at least the blog. But I had a great time reading what Mary and Matt got up to every day, and I appreciate their pitching in! Life with nothing but Benkei is both wonderful and annoying. My mother wishes to share that she is amused that I described her location as "nowhere". I did a lot knitwise and acquired a lot knitwise, but you'll have to wait for all that, I'm afraid.

Notice a theme in the title up there? I'm serious. This time I went across two state lines in order to go to my class at Knit Happens at the ung-dly hour of 1030 AM to... learn that class was postponed. Sigh. Socks on circulars will theoretically happen but not this week. At least I have 2 needles, 2 balls of yarn, a SmarTrip card, and with these three things I can learn how to knit socks. Someday.

It's just as well, I guess, because I have Birthday Knitting to do. Birthday Scarf: in progress. I don't love knitting thin mohair-y yarns on thick needles on an constant basis and this seems to be a recurrent theme with me. Interesting. But I'll knit enough of it by April 2nd to call it Good Enough, it's Long Enough To Wear, if nothing else.

Birthday Bag: began it this morning on the way to the metro, and finished the base today, plus 10 rows or 1160 stitches on top of the 1521 in the base. Go me. Design of the bag? Um, I'm still working on that while I'm knitting it but I digress. Modified Sophie. But I want different handles and I made the base slightly larger. Birthday Hat? Let's just say that I'm still dithering on whether I even want to make it in the Rebecca style. I'm currently thinking of using it instead in the Odessa pattern. I figure, the original was in a cashmere-y yarn, and I have 100% cashmere, how bad could it be? And it's pretty. And theoretically more confidence-inducing. And I know how to YO, SSK, and PSSO. Mom, I know you liked the Loud Multicolored Hat I made last Sunday better than the green shop sample at Needleworks, but did you like the basic design at least? It's for looks, not for brrrrr brrrrrr I hate the wind weather.

17 March 2006

Fridays are for Farewell

At least for me.

Fraro is currently winging her way home, so this will be the last entry from me. I hope you've enjoyed the fill ins I've done.

Took Dante to the vet for a followup visit because his eyes were still a little goopy. More lovely medicine has been issued to force down his throat. Life for the next few days will likely be filled with much sulking from him.

I don't know if I'll keep Kammat the Odd up. I only created it while diagnosing some problems with Fraro's layout, and I'm not one for a lot of talking anyway. I duno, we'll see.

Fraro asked me to give you the list of her yarn conquests while away that she was trying to get on the plane:

7 balls of crap yarn
2 skeins of dead muppet yarn
1 tshirt
7 skeins of unwound yarn
13 yarncakes of wound yarn
1 Singer seam ripper
2 unknit yarncakes I brought from DC to nowhere back to DC aka
Frarochvia has Birthday Hat Anxiety
1 crystal vase
1 felted bag pattern
1 hat
3 Lily Sugar and Cream skeins for Sockapaloooza Pal
1 scarf
2 cascade 220 sophie purses
20 emery boards
1 manos booga bag
1 bartlettyarns bag
1 alterknits bag
1 sweater shaver
1 felted hat pattern
15 pairs of metal needles
2 pairs of bamboo needles I brought
1 skein of Rowan Kidsilk Haze that is (way too slowly) being turned
into Birthday Scarf

Where she's putting the Patridge in a Pear Tree I have no clue whatsoever.

Take care everyone.

16 March 2006

Thursdays are for Blah

Not a whole lot going on. Can't think of much to say today, as I've been running on short sleep and the brain's running on empty. Fraro would say that's its natural state, but I digress.

She'll be back late tomorrow, so I may put in one more update before she gets back.

15 March 2006

Wednesdays are for Wish Lists

Star light
Star bright
First star I see tonight
I wish I may
I wish I might
Have the wish I make tonight
- Traditional childern's rhyme

When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you
- Jiminy Cricket, from Pinocchio

If wishes were horses,
Beggars would ride.
If turnips were watches,
I would wear one by my side.
- Traditional Rhyme

Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.
- Proverb

"And did you really have the three wishes granted?" asked Mrs. White.
"I did," said the seargent-major, and his glass tapped against his strong teeth.
"And has anybody else wished?" persisted the old lady.
"The first man had his three wishes. Yes, " was the reply, "I don't know what the first two were, but the third was for death. That's how I got the paw."
- The Monkey's Paw, by W. W. Jacobs

Wish is the mightiest spell a wizard or sorcerer can cast. By simply speaking aloud, you can alter reality to better suit you. Even wish, however, has its limits.
- Dungeons and Dragons, 3rd Edition Player's Handbook

Willy Wonka: But Charlie, don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he he always wanted.
Charlie Bucket: What happened?
Willy Wonka: He lived happily ever after.

- Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Arthur Dent: You know, it's at times like this, when I'm stuck in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse, about to die of asphyxiation in deep space, that I really wish I'd listened to what my mother told me when I was young.
Ford Prefect: Why? What did she tell you?
Arthur Dent: I don't know! I didn't listen!

- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, 1981 miniseries

14 March 2006

Self Portrait Tuesday: Evil Fraro!

Today, for Self Portrait Tuesday, I present to you one of Fraro's deep dark secrets. You see, she's not all sweetness and light and knitting. Every once in awhile, she gets in one of those deep dark moods and needs to go out and kick ass. When she does, she brings along her Secret Deadly Ninja cats as her sidekicks.

Evil Fraro

Yes, it's Evil Fraro. With her Secret Deadly Ninja cats, she stalks the night bringing misery and sorrow to those who do not follow the IKEA Way

Evil Fraro and Ninja

Here is one of her Secret Deadly Ninja Cats. Yes, it doesn't look very cattish. Of course it does. It's a ninja who will flip out, rip out your spine, and show it to you as you go, "Hey, is that my spine?" as you collapse into a tidy pile of flesh. When hidden, they appear to be simple sleeping cats. Really.

Fraro Shoots

Here, we see the Fraro in action against the forces of the Unbelievers of IKEA. While her Secret Deadly Ninja Cat holds their attention by ripping out their spines, she attacks from afar with a bow and arrow. During some downtime, the arrows make handy knitting needles to make new tabi (boots) for her feline ninja squad.

Fraro in the muck

Occasionally, her hunts for the Unbelievers of IKEA take her into the sewers. While she doesn't mind the muck very much, it's heck on her clothes. Fortunately, she has a deal with her cleaners that passes the bill on to her good side. Also? Reinforces her dislike of earthtones yet again.

Fortunately, in better times, her catchen do some heroics hoping to offset the ruin they wreak as Secret Deadly Ninja Cats

Heroic Matisse

Matisse stands in front of his favorite perching tree. When in hero mode, he acts as the tank, wading in to combat first to absorb the damage as his friends take down the bad guys.

Flaming Matisse

Those who know Matisse well will understand exactly why he's on fire in this picture. It's just his built in shield. Really.

Hero Picasso

Picasso remains a happy chap in his hero guise. Scampering around with his fellow heroes, he keeps a force field around them to help reduce the beating they take. When he's not fighting, he can usually be found snoozing in some sunny spot on some warm masonry.

Picasso in a ball

He also likes rolling around in his hamster ball of a force field. Remember Violet from The Incredibles? Just like that.

All screenshots come from City of Heroes, one very fun MMORPG. You can either play a good hero or devious villain (You need the seperate City of Villains expansion for bad guys), and the costume creator can make you look like almost anything you can imagine. If you play, I'm normally on the Protector server under a few characters, you can find me with the global handle @Kammat. Hope you come on by!