Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Moving on
I vanished for a few, I know. I did some thinking, some knitting, some pondering, some glooming, and I've sawn this little guy. Artists' issues, I'll spare you. But now I can safely say that stuff is moving on.

I was thinking about my grandma today. I was looking for yarn for my SP7 lady, and came across some Debbie Bliss I wanted for making The Somewhat Cowl (it calls for another yarn, but I'm cheap and I don't think alpaca agrees with me). The color was the bigger problem, see - I love color to death, but I wear about three colors: black, black and black. I do have some other colors in my wardrobe, but I always end up wearing something dark or muted. So much so, that if I wear anything light people ask me if I'm going out somewhere. I kid you not. Makes my sock color choices seem quite funny now, right?
Anyway, I was looking at different colors of yarn, and also found black. Which I was thinking quite seriously about. And then I remembered how my grandma once refused to knit me a black sweater (I was a teen, and I was going through a phase). She said she couldn't see what she was doing. And now, when I'm knitting, especially after knitting my SP surprise present in dark purple - I agree. She knew what she was talking about. I wish I could call her and remind her of that, and laugh with her about it. I don't even think she knows I'm knitting. She's not "quite there" anymore. When I'll be knitting this guy (in teal, eventually), I'll be thinking about her. Knitting sweaters. Moving on.

Ant and I began looking a bit more seriously into apartments in the city. some parts of LA seem feasable, so I'm not all hung up on Santa Monica. In the end, wherever we can get a good 2 room in a reasonable area - will win. I'm already thinking about all the stuff I'm going to make for it. Moving on.

Friday, January 27, 2006

See? This is how you get better yarn.
And on Mozart's B-day too...

Thursday, January 26, 2006

I don't really feel like posting today. Here's my Illustration Friday thing instead.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Socks, socks, socks!
Anyone who thought I was getting addicted to sock knitting - you're right. I just finished the "Midnight Knitter" socks, and immidiately cast on for the "Aqua Melon" footsies I've been drooling about in my dreams (UFOs? What UFOs?). But first - "Midnight Knitter:
So they're OK. I'd give them a C+ for the effort. I wish I ribbbed the entire body for a nicer fit, and that I did the toes better. Also, did I mention that I can't kitchner? Next time, I promise...

See the sucky kitchenering?

And so I started the lovely footsies
I've been drooling just thinking about.Took me a bit to figure out the folded picot edge (thanks to Melinda and her excellent tutorial), then I made it for both socks in advance (because I'm senile and I'd screw the second sock up if I waited. I know I would have). I'm working the heel of the first one now. And I think I'm actually getting better at this. Shhh... Don't tell anyone...

Monday, January 23, 2006

Catching up
I guess I didn't write in quite a bit because my parents started wondering if I got kidnapped by aliens. The answer? No, thanks. I'm still around. Just busy.
Knitting update:
I knit Kate for my SP7 girl, but no pictures until March. Sorry. Can't ruin it to her. I hope she likes her. It was fun knit, but I worked at it too fast. Ouch, went my wrists.
I just relized I forgot to post the finished first vesper sock. It came out ok, too wide (sad), but cute nonetheless. Since I originally ordered a skein and a half worth of yarn, I'll probably have enough leftover yarn for one pair of footies. Really...

(Like my tatoo?)
And so now I'm almost done with the second sock, which will make me, officially, a "real" sock knitter (if I finish my first actual pair, I think that will count).
And final update: "scrap-and-crap needle case" is no more. I've had it. It's nice pretending that I'm ever going to finish it, because I won't. It was nice while it lasted. Now I need to shop for a nice case, and finally get a box for my stash.
I organized some of my crafts stuff in making-room-preparations for Gocco and I'm craving this artbin case on Joann's. I almost got it in blue, but I thought I was too broke for that. I will never stop being broke, isn't that sad? ; ) No complaints. Better be a starving artist than no artist.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Goccos and armadillos
Guess who's happy today? I finally managed to win a print gocco from ebay. Yeepee! I can't really afford it right now, but they're not going to make them anymore and can only be found on ebay. So I had to. I really did. Anyone who has those - stock up on screens, inks and bulbs, 'cause soon there'll be no more!
And speaking of stuff that's too awesome to be discontinued, but is: I just ordered this lovely armadillo necklace. Am I koo-koo? Quite possibly. But happy. Very.

Friday, January 13, 2006

FOs - finally!
Never thought I'd do it, right? Here we go (almost) from beginning to end:

Fuzzy scarf
That's the only novelty yarn I ever did and forever will use. It's actually pretty nice, it's Paton's Bohemian in Beatnik Blues. It's not super fuzzy, just about enough so you don't really see the stitches. It's very cozy and was very comfortable to wear when I was sick. I put the felt heart on because I needed some detail on it... And it stuck! Almost all of my knits do and will have the heart.

Ant's scarf
I made this uber long Burbery like scarf. It's acrylic, not of the nastiest types, don't remember which brand. The only think I'm pissed of is that I didn't know at the time how to prevent the rolling in, so it doesn't lie flat. It's k4, p2 rib, which I quite like. Shamefully, this winter has been a joke so far in the lovely So-Cal so not many scarving days this year...

Tubular scarf
I just wanted a medium width multi colored scarf, but it rolled, oh did it roll... It rolled so much I decided to saw it into a tube. Came out kind of cute, in the end. In retrospect, the color combo is a bit kiddish, but I've been known to be in a kiddish mood. Occasionally...

Alpaca scarf
This is my first taste of natural fibers (leading to the expected "yeach, acrylic!"), with No-No Kitty in fuchsia. Soooooo nice and soft. I made this pattern this time, with long stitches and stuff. Sadly, I listened to the "yarn doctor" at Michael's and tried some lining to prevent the rolling thing. Didn't work. And I think I made it a bit itchy when I washed it. I love it anyway.

...In the meantime
I knit a baby hat for my cousin's newborn son using a revised pattern from Alterknits. It was spooky because it was my first DPN work (and I only had 4!) plus, my mom thought the baby was due much earlier, so I had to knit fast. Which led to some major oops neatly covered with a felt ducky patch.
I also started the task I feel like finishing like I feel about root canals: the scrap-and-crap yarn needle case. It's my oldest UFO, and I swear - I'll finish it before I graduate. I swear.

Ant's Xmas hat
I made Ant this hat for Xmas. I kind of screwed up in two ways here - I made it a bit too short to wear this folded version, and I decreased a bit too fast. It sits a bit funky on the top. But Ant likes it. Notice the difference between Ant's color choices and mine? Oh, and the yarn in Valley Yarns Berkshire, which is nice. A bit too loose for my poor eyes, but it's cool, and cheap.

It's the lovely Wavy. With a row counter I managed to screw up the pattern anyway, but I just shortened the center. I like it anyway. My next UFO to finish by the end of the year. I swear.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Who's got the best boyfriend in the world?
Ah, me! Look what I got! It's the Pixar art show postcard set. Yeepee! If I lacked inspiration - now I don't. That's exactly what I love film work for. Yey! Happiness!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

I have a pal!
SP7 started yesterday night, and I'm pretty darn excited! It's the first time I'm doing this, and all I can think about is how to cranck out as much fun out of the budget (because I can't really get over it much, and I can't help but get overly excited. Ant might get jealous...) we have. And then, I got my very own pal writing to me this morning (yeepee!). Fun, fun, fun!
Speaking of fun, check out this cutie guy on the right: it's a Totoro I got at Japan Town in San Fran this summer. Note - he's all knit! Wanna try? In the tradition of Knitty, I'd say the difficulty level is Vindaloo. He he... (it's probably not that difficult, but I'm such a beginner who can't even graft...)
And another cute thing - my kitty Cleo, photographed by Sis (thank you!). She's been "my" kitty until I left for the States and now the silly cat can't even remember my name... She used to run to the telephone and meow at me when I'd talk to my mom. Cute and cuddly thing...

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Ain't it great to be a Mac!
why do Mac owners behave like they're in on some super secret uber special snobbish club? Because we deserve it! I've had my dear mac for about a year and a half, and I keep discovering new abilities and applications it has or can use. My latest discovery? CocoaBooklet. Even if you don't obsessively use the "Print to PDF" ability, like me - you can use it to make an automatic booklet out of any and every PDF file you have!
It even makes mini booklets out of documents that are 4 pages or less. Pretty nifty. I don't know you, but I use "Print to PDF" quite obsessively when it comes to patterns I find online. Now I can take them with me (when I get to knit them, that is) when I got out, printed neatly! Cool, ah?

Monday, January 09, 2006

SP7 - The answers!
A bit early, maybe, and avoiding having to write a whole lot about my FOs (but I finally have pictures!), but better than senile me forgetting about it altogether, right? Here we go:

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand?
I am somewhat of a snob, I admit, but I am super sensitive to itchiness. However, my eyes sometimes react funny to very fuzzy yarn that has loose hairs coming out. I do well with most wool/alpaca/merino, though. Picky, picky...

2. Do you spin? Crochet?
I don't, but I'd like to learn one day (mainly to crochet).

3. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
Ah... I'm kind of working on a needle case. Right now they're all in a plastic bag...

4. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
Since this past October. In most things I'm pretty intermediate.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Yes, on Amazon.

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
lavender, citrus, jasmin, orange blossom, tropical fruits and lemongrass. I generally like natural and gentle scents, not too sweet either. And I can't stand soapy or very obviously artificial scents. Did I mention that I'm picky?

7. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Oh, yeah... I confess. I'm experimental and will eat (almost) anything cocoa. Not Hershy's, though. Note that I'm a vegetarian, so no animal rennet, gelatin and such. Egg and dairy are fine (I'm not a vegan).

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?
I draw and as an animation student - I animate. I love films and am so glad I get to make them! I'd like to learn puppet making too, one day.

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I like jazz (bebop and onto modern and fusion), electronic and some classical rock. I have the ability to play MP3s.

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?
"My" color is tomato red, but I'm honestly in love with color - period. My favorites are bright, vibrant and in funky combinations (like the Julia Vesper incredible sock yarn and Sweet Georgia's Whedon inspired colorways). I don't like "old" color combos, muted, dark and pastel colors, unless they are combined to create a total of more colorful effect.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I am currently living with my partner, in our college dorms, about to move into our own apartment, in May. I have a guinea pig named Max. I grew up with cats, fish and one zebra finch.

12. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
I wear scarves and sometimes hats. & socks.

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
I'm enjoying my Vesper Sock yarn, but I don't really have a favorite yet.

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I HATE novelty yarns, eyelash and such. And no scratchy acrylic too, please.

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?
Socks, socks, socks. Self striping socks. And fun, long scarves.

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Right now - socks (he he... I'm lame). It's more the challenge than anything. And they look cute. Hey, how cool is that to knit your own socks?

17. What are you knitting right now?
A pair of socks, toe up simple socks.

18. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Yes, definitely!

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
No real preference.

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Bamboo for the look, but aluminum is just fine too.

21. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
Nope and I don't need any really.

22. How did you learn to knit?
I'm self educated. Which is probably why my grafting still sucks...

23. How old is your oldest UFO?
Probably a couple of months. But in comparison to the length of my knitting career it's like - forever...

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?
Asking an animator! Oh, dear... I'd say Kermit the frog and the cat in the hat. As for animals - my top 3 will be: armadillos, capibaras and guinea pigs. I have a thing for the bizarre looking, I admit. Oh, of course: cats glore.

25. What is your favorite holiday?

26. Is there anything that you collect?
Not really. Pretty and unique paper for inspiration, if that counts.

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

28. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on?
Oy, did you have to ask? Knitting Vintage Socks, Cozy Crochet (the book), Lorna's Laces, Socks that Rock, Koigu and Brown Sheep. That enough?

29. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

30. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Yep. I'm only a bigfoot because I'm a size 9-9.5 on a 5'4"=5'5" smallish frame. My measurements: 10" foot length, almost 9" circumference, 7.5" instep. Did I mention I love socks yet?

31. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)
May 2nd (1980)

Hope this helps!!!

Friday, January 06, 2006

Ok, so I was just about to finish a lovely and long entry... And Safari crashed. Grrr... I can't be bothered to re-write about my adventures yesterday. All I'll repeat is that I went to a real yarn store (got two skeins of Koigu and two Lana Grossa) for the first time, got a new ScaryGirl toy and fell completely in love wish sushi. Never though that a vegetarian who can't stand the smell of fish (AKA - me) would like sushi or be able to even sit in such a restaurant. But I do, very much. I had this strange sushi made with this sweet egg omelet. Wouldn't think that'd work, but it did. Yummm, sushi... Guess what I'm eating for dinner tonight... ; )
Oh, and I realized my vesper sock toe both had a screw up in it and was to big, so I frogged about 20 rounds and fixed it. Adventures, adventures...

I'm going to have sushi in an hour, can't wait...

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Lousy yesterday
I should really stop watching so much CNN. I get overly depressed way too quickly. So what went wrong yesterday... Let's see...
I woke up too late to go to the gym. I got a haircut (which was probably the highlight of the day, although my cut isn't anything spectacularly exciting). I got home just to hear that PM Sharon had another stroke, and this time it's bad (not that I love him that much, I just think that if Israel was in bad political shape before - it's nothing compared to what's to come), the poor miners' story was really depressing too, and the news coverage was even worse (I wish, I wish, I wish we had BBC here...). I wish I wasn't such a news addict, but I guess my military experience will never leave me in that aspect. Sigh...
So after I came home from some essentials shopping (the chocolate cache was emptied very quickly. Those Hannukah chocolate coins were too good. And if I was in Israel right now, I probably wont touch an Elite plain milk-chocolate), I went into beginning my Midnight Knitter socks. Oh, yeah, I finished one of my domestic socks just to realize that: a) it was really screwed up construction-wise. b) I really didn't want to work on it anymore. c) I didn't have enough yarn to finish it (did I mention that I'm a bigfoot yet?).
So I decided to start a toe up sock this time, so I can get a sock as tall as possible. Well... My lovely pattern calls for invisible cast on. That was frustration point #1. Two books and one video tutorial (and three hours) later I even learned how to knit off it. Phew. Warning - don't get near me when I have 5 disobedient DPNs in my hands. Even the piggies were hiding. So after I was like 8 rows into the increase, I decided that I didn't like the wedgy feel of the toe, and that I've seen somewhere a toe that's completely round that was knit toe up. Frustration point #2. Took me another two hours to realize I was wrong. Grrrrr....
By the time I got back to the original toe and finished increasing it, it was 3:30AM. Yep. #3.
Ho, and did I mention that Santino won the latest challenge? That obviously didn't help. Some days are just sucky.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Updates galore
Before I forget, don't forget to sign up to Secret Pal 7 - only two days left!
Let's start with the most exciting stuff - I actually finished a heel! Well, it's too short, but it's a real heel! It was quite a few rows after I finished it when I realized that I should have made more pairs than the pattern (which was for a size 8/8.5 foot, while mine is 9/9.5) called for. They were also meant to be way longer, but I really don't think I'll have enough yarn for that, especially considering that I'm such a bigfoot. They're going to be my cozy domestic socks anyway, so I'll just have to make the other sock screwy (on purpose) too. I tell you this much - I can already tell they're going to be cozy and comfy and warm. Which is good, because if you didn't watch the news yet - SoCal is pretending to be England these days (cold and raining, to Ant's delight...).

Yarn! I finally got to skein my kona superwash yarn (that got rained on while hanging outside to dry on New Year's Eve). I love the way the dip-dyed "Bird" (green, red and dark red) came out. The other (pink, red and purple) is called "Ella". Anyone who can guess what's the theme running through my naming will win one skein of sock yarn in the color of your choice. Comment away!
another update is Rudolfo: I won't disclose all the preceding events to it, but he was adopted yesterday by our dear friends N and C. He's going to have a great home and some wonderful new pair of owners. Yeepee!
My family sent me some photos of my cousins new (and first) baby boy. I have photos, but to preserve his privacy, I won't post them. Believe me, he's cute.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy new one!!!
...And so I ran out of all the excuses for not working out/not finishing projects/not writing people/fill in the blank. I'm evil, I admit. It's been an interesting year. I made some new friends, learned some new skills, spent way to much time being sick, started some new habits (and let's not forget some stinking habits I actually stopped, ha!), made myself feel both better and worse, made some other people feel better (even if just a bit). I almost started a garden, I kind of started a zoo, hey - I started this blog!
But mainly I learned too important lessons:
1) Life's too darn short to get an ulcer from anger and hatred. I now refuse to have a**holes ruin my day.
2) I need to stick to my own convictions as an artist and stop trying to aim at a job, a studio or a teacher's preferences. Integrity, integrity, integrity.

Happy new one, everybody.