Saturday, 29 December 2007

Christmas-related Stress

Stress seems to make me knit more. Mhm, hm. Yup, that must be it.

I haven't had time to post, because I've been -

Finishing the Moss Stitch Baby Set. I decided I probably had just enough wool left to make a scarf to go with the hat. And I did! I was half-way through it when I decided to rip it. I knew I wouldn't have enough wool to go the distance, so I reduced the width from 11 stitches to 7 and eked a bit more. Was a pain in the arse at first, but then I got into the rythym, and it was done in no a little bit of time. Here they are:

Modelled by Janie

I bought a baby doll and a barbie from the Salvos to model my baby and doll clothes on. I'm sure you'll see Plastic-Panties-Petunia in a future post.

[If you think that's strange, I named my new fridge Matilda :P ]

Starting a Series of Barbie Clothes. I've had the idea in my mind for a while to make some doll's clothes. After some research on Etsy, I've decided to make some Barbie clothes. I'm not cool enough to make Blythe clothes, let alone afford to buy a Blythe doll to model them on. P. P. Petunia, on the other hand, was only a buck-seventy-five.

Barbie is tolerably kitschy, so I thought, who gives a flying fuck what anyone thinks? (So I was a bit drunk at the time, ok?) I had an idea to make a series of Barbie outfits - skirts, pants, party dresses, with accessories of course! And if I could get my hands on some barbie shoes, then I could offer them for free with the outfits. Then they could be complete. And that's essential for a well-dressed fashion icon, oui? (Ok, so I'm a bit drunk now, wanna make something of it?)

I started with a jumper from the book Knitting in the Round that I had borrowed from the library:

Rather clinical in the plastic bag, no?

I couldn't be bothered getting it out of the bag, let alone taking more than one photo, so you get to see the grey Preppy Skirt behind it. It's mostly finished, except for weaving in the ends (to which I'm slowly becoming reconciled). I'd like to decorate it with a white felt and sequinned flower, circa 1954. I'm also making a mohair scarf, which you can see in the foreground of the pic. I'm making it using I-cord, and I'm not 100% happy with the way it's turning out. I'd rather it was more flat and less tube-y, but I can't be bothered ripping it out. Not after the Baby Scarf. What is it with scarf issues at the moment? Perhaps it's the fact that it's thirty-fucking-seven degrees out there. Those of you who know it will excuse the language.

Yet this morning, just when I had decided that yarn-based crafts where done with for the summer (not to mention moving at all), I was inspired by - and I'm pretty embarrassed by this - a Scooby Doo cartoon. The original was purple and taller than a man, but in response I created my own ... Left-Handed Monster:

The Makings of Another Nightmare

And, no, that safety pin on the front is not to mark where his penis goes! :P He had shorts on in the cartoon! The main gist of it is that the monster has both arms on the same side. I'm also using it as a chance to experiment with making the limbs bent (the left leg in the picture has a slight 'knee') and eventually different forms of decoration. I plan to poke it with sharp needles, folks! I ordered a needle-felting kit on Ebay and I'm just itching for it to come (damned public holidays!). Basically, it's a way to felt wool and attach it to things by poking it over and over with a really sharp needle. It's easy to do at home, with no boiling soapy water, no mess and no fuss. Just a slight risk that you might pierce yourself with an extremely sharp, barbed needle. I have not told my boyfriend yet. Wait, he reads this.... D'oh!

Ah well, real blood is more authentic, right?

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Moving right along

In the past few days I finished the Baby Tunic:

I'm quite proud of this one! Because - A) I designed it myself. B) It helped me get over my fear of Moss Stitch (I'm still scared of doing it on impossibly small needles though a la the Bootee nightmare. C) The sleeves are attached so it seemed like less of a massive undertaking to make it (only two pieces instead of four, or even a spine-chilling six!). D) I kind of fuggered-up and made the back longer than the front, but when I sewed it up I managed to do a bit of bunching and stretching and covered it up quite well. E) I just started it one day as if it wasn't a big deal, and then I just finished it in much the same frame of mind. As if it wasn't going to be a huge effort and take 6 months. Bear in mind we're talking about a GARMENT here, people!!

Then today I finished one that'd been hanging around cause I couldn't find the other ball of wool for it - the Skinny Nature Scarf:

It goes (or not) with the hat I made a few weeks ago. Gosh-durnit, I love working with this wool! It's so luffly and eksotic, dahling. I'll be sad when it's all used up. (Just four-fifths of a ball to go, but I'm thinking of another scarf already.)

I found the wool when I was transferring all my wool from the wardrobe (and the shelf and the floor in front of the wardrobe!) to my new cupboards in the hobby room. Well, some of it, anyway. Ahem. (And yes, that was cupboards).

No more wool-buying for me. Really. Seriously, now. I don't care how cheap it is. You've gotta draw the line somewhere. I haven't even started pulling my fabric out of the wardrobe yet. Now there's another kettle of fish entirely....

What else? My copy of Drunk, Divorced and Covered in Cat Hair arrived the other day. Yessss!!!! I just finished it earlier this afternoon. (Hence no posts in the last few days ;) ) It's the story of Crazy Aunt Purl, who's had a knitting (and everything else!) blog for a few years now, which I've enjoyed reading immensely. The book isn't as spontaneous as the blog, but why would you expect it to be? It still made me laugh out loud many a time, causing my boyfriend to give me paranoid looks every five minutes. Basically, the subtitle of the book sums it all up: "the True Misadventures of a 30-Something who learned to Knit after he Split". It's not all about knitting, though. It's also about moping, eating, dating, having lots of cats, drinking copious amounts of wine and how fantastic friends are. I loved it!
There are also some knitting patterns at the back, some designed by Crazy Aunt Purl, and some by her friends (most of whom are famous in the knitting world). They're more of an additional bonus to the story, not the focus of the book. Most of them are accompanied by a suggested drink. I like her style! This is one book I'll definitely pick up again in a year or two.

[Impromptu book review over]

I added the Skinny Nature Scarf to my shop today. Since the first heady rash of selling fever, I've been checking my email every half an hour (literally, actually) to see if I've sold anything else. Not to be. (Yet??)
However, today I was listed in a Treasury! The Treasury is a slightly strange concept where users of Etsy make up lists of items that they like on themes (or completely randomly if they wish). The catch is that there can be only 222 lists at a time, and they last on the site for a random amount of time between 1 and 3 days. Then they expire to make way for more lists. The only way to make a list is to wait patiently until the number of lists drops below 222 and the "make a list" button appears, and then click on it as fast as your hot little fingers possibly can! So not only is it a hard-worked-for privilege to make a list, but just as much to have one of your items listed on one! And one of mine was!! Eeeeeeeeeeee!

Here is the link, even though it'll only last until sometime on Tuesday 11th December.

I'm sure I've done other stuff, but I can't remember right now. Oh well, I'm sure it'll come back to me while I'm knitting away compulsively....

*wanders off*

Monday, 3 December 2007

What a big week!

Just a quick update - of the things I vowed to finish in my last post, I did manage to finish the Bootees and Mittens:


the Firey Scarf:

Nicely trimmed

and the Deformedest Little Monster:


But just in case I didn't have enough to work on, I started two other projects! A baby tunic:

I made it up myself

and another toy, Frankenstein's Toyster:

He'll be even uglier when I'm done!

I'm planning to sew the pieces together with really red, chunky, gory wool, with large stitches, and make his arms and legs from different yarns, and make him look as cobbled together as possible. In a really cool and artistically valid way, of course!

I haven't done much knitting because it's been too hot, and my hands get all sweaty and I feel like drawing instead. Here's an example of the type of theme I seem to return to a lot, a kind of half-abstract swirling design:

I bought a really cool book online called Altered Books Workshop. Basically, you take an old book, and you rip out half the pages, and paint all over the rest and stick shit all over it and basically bugger it up completely. I was horrified yet fascinated at the same time. Even if the book is about parliamentary process in 19th century Albania, surely some one, somewhere might want to read it?
I managed to find a children's board book with such ugly pictures and useless text that I could bear to ruin it. (It's called Colours and the complete text is: "pink orange green red purple". I think I could cope.) Anyway.


My online shop is finally open, as of 28th November!!! Wooohooooo!! I'm really excited, and really scared at the same time. The capitalist money-grubbing side of me wants to sell lots of things and make lots of money, and surprisingly I'm having no pangs at the thought of letting the things I've made go. On the other hand, for every photo that I posted, a voice in my head went, "gee, that's shit. Everything else on this website is beautiful art, and that's a pile of amateur crap."

Damned voice!

But then somebody bought something!! And it wasn't even what I considered to be one of my best things, I have to admit. I really hope she likes it and isn't disappointed when she opens the package. I sent her a free bookmark that I painted. What I considered to be my best bookmark of the batch I made. Shoulda scanned it first. Durnit. I guess it's even more of a gift if it can't be reproduced and sold to someone else. ;)

It's funny, making stuff for myself has become completely boring and useless all of a sudden. I keep having ideas, but not for myself. I had an idea for a crocheted scarf today. I want to try them out, and then do something useful with them instead of having them languish in my bedroom. This really is a good thing for me. It's not really about making money. I've spent a lot more than I've made so far, and I probably will for some time to come! But knowing that what I make is (hopefully) going to be transferred to someone else and will be of some use to them is inspiring my urge to create.

*yawns* all this philosophical rambling is making me sleepy