Monday, November 19, 2012

They Say a Picture is Worth a Thousand Words...

So here's 1,000 off the bat:


There's nothing like a disgruntled "designer" sending her henchmen to bombard your humble little corner of cyberspace. Really. 

I stand by my segment, and I stand by featuring Ms. Tinsley's hat (for the back story and all the drama llama, you can read the original post here). If any of her henchmen friends bothered to read my original mission statement, there wouldn't have been such a backlash from so called (woebegone! Pearl clutching!!) "designers".

Speaking of, I must say thanks Ms. Tinsley, or shall we call you Anonymous? I do appreciate all the extra views I've gotten in the past week or so! :D

Note the number of views for the post featuring her hat, and also the first shortened URL on the right... which leads to said post. Coincidence?

But I digress. I'll say it again.

To quote my above linked mission statement:

"My aim in doing this is to let y'all know that there are people who will not stand for being charged for something that can be easily reverse engineered. I am not saying designers shouldn't be compensated for their hard work. (extra emphasis added) Quite the contrary, actually. There are many designs (i.e sweaters, lace, and colorwork) that have to be extensively tested, charted, etc.-----I don't mind paying for these things. As a matter of fact, I am proud to support these amazing designers and am happy they decided to share these things with us at reasonable cost."

As an addendum to my original statement I am adding the following: any paid pattern which requires nothing beyond basic knitting/crochet fundamentals will be featured in YRSTS. No exceptions. As I find offending patterns, and as my loyal readers send them to me, I will post them. Ohhh yes. With much gusto.

Your hat doesn't deserve to be $5.50. It's too simple. Anyone armed with the basic fundamentals of knitting in the round can do this without a pattern. One of your pals asked me why didn't/don't I reverse engineer it.... It wasn't interesting enough for me to have done so when I posted the original entry, but challenge accepted! Look forward to a stripey awesome FREE "knockoff" hat pattern from yours truly after the new year <3

To quote someone who finds this whole situation as ridiculous as I do (we knitters on Google + had a good laugh about this....), "there ain't no way in hell I'm ever going to pay $5.50 for a HAT pattern where the self-striping yarn is doing all the heavy lifting. Pffft!"

AND a good evening to you, madam! *bows*

Monday, August 20, 2012

Naughty, Naughty Me (An Update of Sorts)

Jeeeeez, it's been exactly two months since my last post!

And what excuse do I have?? NONE.

I'm unemployed atm, and have had nothing but time. But time is a tricky mistress. When you think you have more than enough... You don't.

I've done soooo much since my last crafty post. Which was in April XD

I suck, I knowwww D:

First, let's revisit my Knitolutions, shall we?

Knitolutions 2012



  • Knit at least one lace shawl - I made TWO!
  • Knit a project with beads  - Check!
  • Learn how to read lace knitting charts - Check!
  • Do more advanced Colorwork - still working on those mittens from October LOL
  • Make at least one sweater this year - I am almost done with one, and going to finish up another one that had been luring around since last year....
  • Make at least 6 pairs of socks - two down, working on another pair right now...
  • Use up my worsted/chunky yarn stash - hasn't happened yet. I have been working on my fingering wt. stash though... :P
  • Finish at least two projects a month, or 24 total for the year - Finished 19 projects so far! Yayyy :D
  • Replace inferior accouterments with better ones - well....not having a job puts a damper on this one. I need a new ball winder, yarn swift, and I want a set of Knitter's Pride 16" interchangeables. *le sigh*
  • Crochet more -check! I have crocheted more so far this year than I did last year... amigurumi not included lol
  • Make an Afghan or blanket with all the crappy red heart I still guiltily hoard. - I'm still working on my blanket. I decided to just finish up the colors I started and be done with it. Ugh.
In other news, I have also been on a baby knit kick! I have a nephew due in October, and I have been making things for him. 

Tell me these aren't the cutest lil socks you ever seen??!?? :D

I thought I would make the critter something with colorwork :P
I am also working on a blanket, this pattern to be specific. I will show you my progress to date, but I won't say anymore about this shitty ass waste of my life blood pattern. I plan on making a whole post about it when I finish it this week.

Progress... was slow and steady, now erratic and frantic as FUCK. It's to be done by Friday 8/24 D:
So yeah. I have a shitton of progress to report, but I don't want this post to become more epic than it already is, so later this week I'll share more of what I was doing instead of blogging I've been working on in the past few months *ahem*, or you can check out my FOs on Ravelry if you have an account and just cannot wait :P

I have a bunch of all new YRSTS's in store for you (yes, I haven;t forgotten about it! I have been keeping tabs on offensive patterns lol), as well as some super especial crochet-centric posts coming up soon! I'll make more of an effort to post more, I promise!! :P

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

An Open Letter to the U.S Olympic Committe


That's right, I have a picture infringing upon your name Gonna sue me too?? Good luck, I ain't got shit.
Dear douchebags:

So. I hear tell you guys want to sue Ravelry....the whole Crafty Interwebs is all abuzz with the bullshit news.

You really have a lot of nerve... most people don't give a flying shit about the Olympics, and here us crafters are not only drumming up viewership and support for our respective countries' participants, but we're creating awareness about the games! I never watched the Olympics until I joined my first Ravelympics a couple of years ago! Most people I know don't watch it, anyway.... that shit is boring (knitting along made it 100000x more fun, however). Instead of getting all up in our faces, perhaps you need to spend some time in house, y'know, doing shit relevant to the upcoming games: cleaning up evidence of steroid use, that sort of thing.

Do you really wanna piss off a bunch of people with sharp objects (and keyboards!!!) within reach??!?? I don't think you know what you're dealing with, here. You probably think of all knitters and crocheters as a bunch of old ladies, or weak women barefoot and preggers. Well, you're wrong. You don't know how wrong; not yet at least :)

WE crafters are a force to be reckoned with! You will rue the day you decided to get all in our shit. We don't take kindly to being told that the Ravelympics is devaluing your precious event...we weren't hurting anyone, NO ONE is or was making any sort of profit off of it.... where is the harm?

Oh right, there isn't any.

None.

No drawbacks to it...only benefits for you and your sponsors (!!!)

Instead of taking legal action, you should have looked at it as an opportunity for FREE ADVERTISING. But yet and still you want to be a bunch of shitty Big Corporate Musclemen.... bullshit and fuckery, I say. I am calling shenanigans on this.

Fuck this noise...the Olympics fucking suck anyway. You know what? I would rather watch a whole marathon of Everyone Loves Raymond the two weeks your shitty show of "sportsmanship" will take up! And I will not be cheering for the US Team now or ever again.

So, in conclusion? FUCK YOU. I ain't watching the games this year, or any other year hereon after. I think you all can choke on a rancid, STI infested cock and die.

I hope the US comes in last for every category (except Curling).

Love,

Me <3

Monday, May 7, 2012

Y U No Pay? Or, Designer Wank

So. I've been doing a little series on here called You're Really Selling This Shit? for awhile now (new ones coming soon!)

I got my first loving comment from a "designer"!

In reply to this post, they said:


Indeed.

If you would have read the post that introduced the series, you would have understood that I am not against paid patterns, or designers getting compensated for their work.

 I don't usually quote myself, but in this case it's necessary:

I will say this before I start: I understand I am gonna piss a lot of people off with this. My aim in doing this is to let y'all know that there are people who will not stand for being charged for something that can be easily reverse engineered. I am not saying designers shouldn't be compensated for their hard work. Quite the contrary, actually. There are many designs (i.e sweaters, lace, and colorwork) that have to be extensively tested, charted, etc.-----I don't mind paying for these things. As a matter of fact, I am proud to support these amazing designers and am happy they decided to share these things with us at reasonable cost.

The bold was added in the quote for posterity's sake.

Again, one of the reasons I decided to start this series was to prevent people from buying patterns that can be easily reverse engineered or don;t require extensive instructions. I don't think your design was innovative enough to warrant a $5 charge, my dear. It did catch my eye, as I did admit in the post, but not enough for me (or anyone else I can alert) to pay $5. You tout the pattern as a great beginner colorwork pattern, and that much is true. BUT, being a novice of colorwork, I can make a hat that looks like that without referring to instructions...and I am sure a lot of people can too. Or they can follow the suggestions I left to get on the road to doing so. Either way... no, you don't deserve the money.

Thanks for letting me know it wasn't corrugated ribbing... on closer inspection, it's just alternating 2x2 stockinette with the two colorways. I will be sure to add that as a note :)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

NatCroMo FAIL?

Well, yes and no. 

While I didn't do everything I said i would (>___>), I still got a lot done. 

Behold my Blanket of Assum!

This blanket is so mindless. I have been listening to the Stuff You Missed in History Class podcast while I crochet it. When I was crocheting it.... haven't touched it in like two weeks. BUT I am 50% done! I am already at 3' long.


Craptastic Red Heart....I've had some of these for years and years....

I like the way grey and pink looks together. Must make something with these colors together...

It's 6' wide and (here) it's a lil less than a foot.

Got about a foot length done here...

This is with about 3 feet done.

I plan to make a 6'x6' square; figured it should be big enough for a full size bedspread. I also had to end up buying more yarn, as the quantity pictured above won't be enough to finish the whole thing. I took the liberty of buying a whole new set of colors to do it because a) I was too lazy to look for the exact color ways and 2) it'll look so badass :D Mind you, I did pick pout similar colors, but added one that was missing... green. I fell in love with certain shades of green recently; up until a few years ago, I never bought green yarn if I could help it. I bought a nice spring leafy green and teal. I love teal <3 

I have to say, though I didn't do all I wanted for NatCroMo, it *did* get me to start this blanket, which is the most ambitious crafty project I have ever attempted. In two weeks' time, I managed to get half of it done! I am pretty quick. It's not boring per se; it's just really heavy right now and it gets to be a pain in the ass when working with it, even on my lap. I'll try to finish it before the summertime. 

Knitolution 2012 Progress and Other Updates

Well, it is the beginning of April. The end of  Q1 2012 has gone.

Time to review my knitolution progress!


My knitolutions were:
  • Knit at least one lace shawl 
  • Knit a project with beads 
  • Learn how to read lace knitting charts
  • Do more advanced Colorwork - still working on this LOL
  • Make at least one sweater this year - about to CO tonight yayyyy
  • Make at least 6 pairs of socks - made 1 3/4 pairs so far :P
  • Use up my worsted/chunky yarn stash 
  • Finish at least two projects a month, or 24 total for the year - Finished 8 projects so far
  • Replace inferior accouterments With better ones 
  • Crochet more -check!
  • Make an Afghan or blanket with all the crappy red heart I still guiltily hoard. - I am halfway done with my blanket of awesome! Woot!
So not too shabby.

I plan on killing the first three on my list in one... going to make a lace shawl with beads, using a chart only pattern--this one to be exact.  I have the yarn and beads already. I plan on starting it sometime next month, but we will see how it goes.

I am on a shawl/scarf craze atm.

The colors were a bit odd, but I like the finished product. I plan to block the garter st section aggressively.


I just finished another TGV (above) and cast on a Pogona this morning in the nummiest awesomes yarn EVAH. (Dancing Leaf Hip Hop)

I am loving this pattern so far! Not surprising, it is a Stephen West pattern after all <3

I have been a very good girl so far this year. So much, in fact, I bought myself a little treat because, why the fuck not?

Squee!
MrYarn.com is one of the best places I have ever ordered yarn from. I placed the order on Thursday evening, and it shipped out (FREE!!) Priority Mail on Friday, and I got it at work yesterday. I wasn't expecting it until tomorrow at the earliest. The owner even hand wrote a thanks on my invoice and I got a free bumper sticker :D [it's on my laptop, since I no haz car]. The yarn, in case you're wondering, is Handmaiden's Mini Maiden in Cezanne. I realized this is the second skein of yarn I have bought with an artist's name as the colorway :P It is like Malabrigo Silky, but fingering weight. It will be a shawl; I would never make socks from something so fine.

Better yarn picture :P

I have much more to speak of. This has already become sort of a mishmash of shit, so I think I will continue with another post later. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

YRSTS #7 East Coast Mittens

You can find the offending pattern here, just, y'know, don't spend any money on it.

A few weeks ago, it was colder than a witches' tit here in NYC. As such, I realized my awesome nummy Fetching fingerless gloves weren't gonna cut it... I needed a set of full mittens.

Sure, there were the colorwork mittens I have started back in October, but they would take me too long to finish in the time I needed them (I do need to finish those one day...) So, industrious me decided to look for some mitten patterns.
Ravelry has a lot (I mean, a LOT) of knitted mitten patterns.... overwhelming ain't even the word. So I tried narrowing down the results to adult fit, and started lurking. I found the above pattern in the midst of this search... and thought, wait, didn't I see a similar glove pattern for free somewhere (I thought it was Knitty...)?

Damn straight I did. There were several

Alternatives

Well, a search for free thrummed mitten patterns turned up 27 patterns! Lookit that.

This one is my favorite :) It looks exactly like the one above! Can you believe it??

Heh.

The only positive thing I will say about the above pattern is they seem to provide some customization options.

It still doesn't justify the $7 price tag.

The houndstooth pattern can be easily adjusted to thrums, like this pattern incorporated it into some colorwork. Thrumming as a concept isn't hard, and I really don't think it's nice or fair to charge for something that's not only simple to do, but something you can find numerous FREE tutorials for on the web.

You're welcome.

Happy Knitting!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Pineapple Obsession

Not just an awesome fruit... or cake, or juice, or candy....*nom nom nom*

I can't stop thinking about them. When they are used in a design, they're so throwback, but still relevant and classy. And they're a breeze to make! What is there not to love about them??

You realize I'm going to eventually make my own pineapple shawl pattern, right?? Yesssssss.... it will be my first major pattern. Should be an interesting journey in any case.

I need to do some research and study pineapple formations. I think I have a grasp on how to start a top down or a bottom up shawl with pineapples; just gotta look into how different pineapples are formed and such.

Luckily I have quite a bit of research material at hand; more than I thought I'd be able to find, actually :P

Friday, March 9, 2012

YRSTS #6 The Weekender Slouchy Hat

You can find the "pattern" here. God this pattern annoys the hell out of me. Ugh.
This pattern pissed me off more than these YRSTS usually does.

I can't with these so called designers! What the everloving FUCK?? There is nothing about this that warrants the $5 price----NOTHING. It's a simple ass crocheted hat. I guarantee if you were learning how to crochet, this could be your first attempted pattern. To quote from the Rav page:

It is crocheted in the round, in a spiral, omitting any chaining from round to round (coz I’m a rebel like that)

*eyeroll* That's all the fuck this pattern is.

It uses dc for the majority (top and crown) and sc for the brim.... I think I see hdc before you switch to sc (not really necessary IMHO).

Wow.

Whatthefuck. The

Alternatives

are so many, I feel I am dumbing you down by sharing them, but it's part of my schtick so...

If you've ever made amigurumi, you'd be familiar with this way of crocheting. The default for making most hats in the round is joining rounds--sl st to the last st, ch x to start the new round. In this instance, you just crochet round and round without joining---all increases and decreases are done exactly the same way. This blogger came up with a clever way of differentiating the two;
1: Round = Slip Stitch to join at the beginning of each round.
2: Spiral = No Slip Stitch

Works for me.

A Rav search for Free Crochet Slouchy Hat turned up 100 results. You can work most of them in a spiral. Honestly though, it doesn't matter much. In the end, it all depends on personal preference and how anal (*snickers*) you are about symmetry and having a visible seam in your hat. There are ways to hide your joins (Expected a link? I was gonna put one, but you can do it yourself if you really care enough to find out. Just saying).

For a hat like the one listed, I would use worsted wt, and a H or I hook. Start with a magic circle, 10 dc, then your normal rate of inc in the round (inc all, dc 1 inc, etc) until you hit 80-100, then crochet without increases for however long you want your slouch to be. Then, you might dec down to about 60, and start sc for a couple of inches (for a "normal" sized head, that should be sufficient. Adjust to your dome for best results :P).

A handy tip: use a locking stitch marker when spiraling. Even when working on amis (avg. stitch count 20 stitches) I use a marker to keep my place. Since there is no definitive beginning to the round, you need to know where you are, especially when doing inc/dec. After that, it really doesn't matter so much :P

You're welcome.

Happy Crocheting.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

YRSTS #5 GOA Shawl

You can find the pattern on Ravelry here...just don't buy it. I got you, homes!

Firstly, some attribution: a reader submitted this one to me. We'll call them NaughtyKnitter XD  When she sent this to me, my initial reaction was Ugh, really? Fucking people. This deserves a YRSTS entry.

This is one of the worst offenders I have seen so far. Why? Well, this is the most basic triangle shawl design EVAH. It shouldn't cost a fucking dime when there are so many

Alternatives

Man, I don't know where to start with the alternatives.

You could just do a Ravelry search for Free Triangle Shawls/Scarves (1,108 of them!!!) A lot of them are more complicated lace shawls, but here are some good ones that are identical or better than the one for $6 above:

  1. 3s Shawl
  2. Boneyard Shawl
  3. The Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief
  4. LaLa's Simple Shawl
  5. Azzu's Shawl 
  6. Simple Yet Effective Shawl
  7. Gabriel's Wings
  8. Painted Desert Kerchief 
  9. Esker Scarf
  10. Be Sweet Kerchief

All free... some of these are by famous designers and they didn't even charge.

Or you can make your own. I know of one way on the top of my head:

Easy-As-Pie Shawl Formula

Two different ways to start:

  1. CO 3 st, knit six rows, then turn 90 degrees, pick up three stitches, turn another 90 degrees and pick up 3 more from the cast on edge.  OR
  2. CO 7 stitches. Knit two rows, then k2, m1, k1, yo, k1, yo, k1, m1, k2

Now ya have 9 stitches.

RS: *k2, yo, (pm if desired) k 2, yo, k1, yo, k2, (pm), yo, k2
WS: k the first and last two stitches, and purl the remaining stitches.

The next and all remaining RS rows, you'll maintain the k2 yo at beginning and end, while also yo before and after the center stitch. You can get fancy and insert eyelet rows if you like (yo, k2tgther or ssk) every so often. Repeat until you get sick of it, or you reach the desired size. I would use a stretchy bind of of some sort (either a lace BO or Jenny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off). Voila.

I have made two of these off the top of my own head. Not hard at all to do. use self striping yarn if you're too lazy to switch colors to make stripes. I may write up the "pattern" for the sensational shawlette, but it basically follows the above instructions with the addition of eyelet rows.

You're welcome.

Happy Knitting!

NaCroMo, Bitches!

In case ya didn't already know, March is officially National Crochet Month!

Did you also know I have designed three different amigurumi patterns? You can find them here on the blog; just click on the tag for Patterns or Amigurumi (too lazy to link them here lol) :P  

To celebrate, I started another shawl featuring the pineapple stitch! I'm working it in lace weight with a size E hook. It's probably going to take me most of the month to finish it, as I've only been hooking at home. *smirks*

My progress as of Monday night. In case you're wondering, the yarn is Fleece Artist Saldanha in "Blush". I bought it online back in '10 on sale at Little Knits. As an aside, I used to shop there a lot, but they dicked me on shipping the last time I did + held up my order for a week. Not too pleased with them anymore.   

The Golden Pineapple shawl, as it was named by the blogger, is an easy pattern. It's chart only, so if you don't know how to read a crochet chart you'll have a hard time with it. If I feel ambitious enough (>__>) I may write the pattern out and/or rechart it. I can see how some might be intimidated by it, and there are some slight errors with it. Also, I made a couple of slight tweaks that made sense. I think I may do it, in the spirit of NatCroMo! I bought some knitting and crochet fonts on sale on a typography site; I thought they might have come in handy one day! We will see how well they work, and if I can even make a chart with them... if not, I might have to, um, procure some sort of software to do it.

Charting fascinates me.  What I like about crochet charts is this: most of the time, the symbols used look like the stitches required, which makes it automatic (almost mindless!) to follow. They also flow organically, and repeats are easier to follow as a result. Most knitting charts mystify the hell outta me. Straight row charts I can read, but I have to put some serious thought into it. Lace charts scare the bejesus out of me, and is honestly the one thing holding me back from starting my lace knitting odyssey...but that is a post for another day, I suppose.

I want to finish at least one more crochet project (probably another shawl...) and start a blanket to get rid of the Red Heart I have lurking around my room this month (I have a 30 gal storage tub full...).

More NatCroMo updates soon (hopefully :P)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Shit Knitters Say

In case you've been living under a rock, there is an explosion of videos titled "Shit ______ Say" all over the interweb. We knitters have one too! 

The folks at WEBS (besides having America's largest yarn store) are sooo badass for making this.

I thought it was clever and mostly accurate, but I think they missed some things:
  • Have you seen the newest Knitty? ZOMG I want to make all the things!
  • Ugh, the new Knitty has some crappy patterns... who approved these patterns?
  • I spend so much time on Ravelry I never get enough knitting done!
  • *browses Ravelry forums for five hours* All this fighting. Tsk tsk. These people need to STFU and knit more.
  • Ravelry is better than Facebook.
  • Ravelry isn't anything LIKE Facebook! How dare you say such a thing??!??
  • I follow 208458966 different knitting blogs! They are all so innovative!
  • *after looking at 25 or so knitting blogs* No one makes anything original anymore...
  • Malabrigo/Madelinetosh/[insert fave yarn brand here] has a new yarn line out! I am so gonna buy some.
  • Wollmeise is going up for sale online at 3am! I know I have to be up for work/school, but I'll die if I don't get a skein, even if it's in a shitty color I know I won't like and will never use.
  • What? That yarn is $65 a skein...??!?? Is it made from the fine ass hairs of a yak or what?
  • 100% Cashmere for $65 a skein?? What a bargain!
  • I think I might not eat lunch for a few days. I need that yarn in my stash so I can not use it for two years.
  • I am waiting for a sale at [insert fave yarn shop here] before I buy anymore yarn.
  • OK, so I totally just bought $100 worth of yarn online... there was a free shipping promotion! :D
  • I went on Knit Picks to get one skein of $10 sock yarn... I end up with $56 worth of stuff. It's a conspiracy, I tell ya.
  • *looks at stash* I don't even know what the fuck I have anymore.
  • *looks at stash* I think I should destash some of this....but I might need it one day!
  • *looks at stash* I think I can squeeze a few more skeins in here after all! :D
  • *looks at stash* I think I need a new apartment/house/storage unit.
  • Lace knitting? Oh fuck no, that shit looks hard.
  • Did you see the new Vogue Knitting? That lace shawl featured is so gorgeous, I am totally gonna make it.
  • What? You BOUGHT that hat?!??? I could have totally made that. In a better color and better yarn.
  • Why do you non knitters keep bugging me to make you shit?? Go away.
  • Can I use you as a model for my FO?
  • Um, no, this is for me.  I'll make you one for *mumbles*....
  • *gets acrylic yarn as a gift from a non knitter* Gee, thanks for the yarn....>___>
  • Acrylic yarn? Charity knitting!
  • *adds 38475 things to Ravelry queue on 1/1* I am so gonna make all of these this year!
  • (On 12/30) I only made 3 things this year *hangs head*
  • I am gonna make a sweater this year!
  • That sweater I was making? I put it down weeks ago... I got bored of it and made some socks instead.
  • Socks are so portable and easy. Sock knitting rocks!
  • *attempts to make socks and fails miserably* Sock knitting sucks balls -__-
That's all I got for now XD

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Blocked, Beginning, and Frogging

I blocked the shawl.
It's 24” at center and the wingspan is roughly 52”. 

It grew a bit and really opened up the lace. I had to soak it in hair conditioner, then rinse it out with Soak. It's not Malabrigo soft, but there is a marked improvement on texture. I am wearing it as I type this actually XD

I started a colorwork hat (this pattern), and I am debating frogging and restarting my mitten---my gauge has changed with the aid of the yarn guide, and I don't want the second mitten to be a different size :/

Progress so far:


I'm actually a little farther than this... I think I have ~25 rows to finish.... but I want to use one of the snazzy new yarn guides I bought. They make colorwork knitting go exponentially faster. I made a makeshift one out of jewelry wire and it worked, mostly :P

I'm a genius, I know.

But it totally threw off my established tension and gauge....and since the wire is so bendy, it caused all sorts of problems, hence me buying some real ones to help me out. I got a Norwegian wire one, and a plastic one with four channels for yarn (a knock off of the Clover one XD). A fellow G+er posted a really helpful video for the plastic one:

This method works best for continental knitters.

I guess I will just look the other way while I frog. It took me two weeks to get this far and will only take a few minutes to undo T___T 

Also, I think I may just give them to my sister for her birthday. I don't think I'll be able to finish a sweater in two weeks, even for a skinny bitch like her. I have lots of Knit Picks Palette and another ball of Mini Mochi, so I can always make myself a pair. Or just make myself the matching hat. Hmm....

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Miami Yarn :D

I know, I know.

I said I wouldn't arbitrarily buy yarn.

But---but--- I was on vacation! And I just so happened to bump into a yarn shop while I was wandering through Coral Gables and.... before I knew it, a half hour passed by and I had three new skeins of yarn D:

This is all I bought! I could have bought more, but I didn't! So there!

Zauberball Crazy. In Rainbow. How could I say no???

Colinette Jitterbug...in such fun colors. They remind me of Cuban restaurants' usual decor/scheme >__>

Madelinetosh Tosh merino light in Neon Rose. I'm a sucker for pink, and merino fingering wt yarn *le sigh* 

I got these at The Knitting Garden, a nice cozy shop in Coral Gables, FL. The yarns were neatly shelved by weight, and they had a respectable collection of fine yarns, as they say on their site. The prices are reasonable and about average for everything I looked at that I knew offhand (Malabrigo, Madelinetosh, Cherry Tree Hill, etc). 

The woman who rang me up was charming and helpful; turns out she has a daughter who lives in NYC. I noticed they had a lot of sweater samples.

Me: WOW. SO many nice sweater samples.... you guys actually wear sweaters here??!??
Shop Lady: *laughs* yes, we do!
Me: but why??
SL: Well, we have really cold AC's.
Me: *thinks of nipple numbing hotel room I had left behnd and nods* good point.

I am such a dork sometimes XD

So if you're even in or near Miami, definitely check them out! If I ever go back, I know I will shop there again. 

Curaçao do Arco-Iris Shawl

I am currently obsessed with shawls. Again.

I noticed something. After a break-up, I always get obsessed with scarves and shawls. I guess it makes sense, in a way. Something to warm my cold, lonely heart or some shit right? :/

Well, lemme back track a bit.

In the past three weeks I:
  • sprained my knee on my way to work (long story...)
  • missed three weeks of work, 1.5 because of said knee (*sadface* no tengo moneh...)
  • dumped the boyfriend (boo, hiss)
  • got a promotion (oh fuck yeah!)
  • got a fully paid 4 night, five day vacation to Miami (yayyyyyy wooo hooo!)
Busy? Oh yeah. Drama llama and I are close friends, if you couldn't tell *eyeroll* 

Knitting has been sporadic, to say the least. I couldn't concentrate enough to work on my Mitts of Awesome (aka my fair isle mittens, which I am contemplating frogging :/), and totally flaked on a KAL (*sighs*). I started a shawl the week I was home for my knee (this one) but it's tedious as fuck. I am still working on the fucking ruffle -___- I will attempt to finish it this weekend >___> but I may just start a sweater for my sister. Her birthday is coming up, and I promised her a sweater ages ago...she's pretty skinny, so I should be able to finish it in two weeks (right? Maybe? It's worsted wt on #8's... I think I can swing it :P)

So. The promotion.... no more customer service for me! I am now the head of Marketing and Social Media.... and other assorted things that don't fit into the title. I am overjoyed! No more dumb ass customers to ruin my day yayyyyyy! To celebrate this, I was given a vacation, so I can go into my new position "refreshed with a new outlook on blahblablah".

Worked for me.

But as these things always go for me, the weather was abysmal in Miami. I only did maybe 1 1/2 days of actual sightseeing, The rest of the time, I was holed up in my room crocheting, or wandering around South Miami looking for a new place to eat :P Luckily I packed a project I knew would be time consuming. I didn't expect to finish it there, but I basically did XD

This is the Blue Curacao shawl by Doris Chan, a famous designer in the crochet world. I greatly admire her patterns.... though this one was written kinda shittily. I will forgive her... though the written directions had me ripping out my hair -___- Good thing I know how to read crochet charts or I would have been kinda fucked and SOL. I actually bought the book just for this pattern. I never do that…but its so awesome. I bought the book a couple of years ago, but I never could find the right yarn or have the quantity on hand to make this. Also, I have been looking for an awesome shawl pattern for the yarn used. How funny that I should come across this pattern and see people have used Kauni to make it? I will admit I was originally going to knit a shawl using the yarn >__>

OK, great. Picture time!

The beginning. Ugly right?

Looking better...

Halfway into the second pineapple repeat.

starting the third repeat.

Voila! I still need to block it though.
Isn't it gorgeous??!?? Squeeee ^_____^

It's the most awesome thing I've ever made, hands down. I fucking love it, and I plan on living in it ^___^

It took me about 3 days to finish it, as I stared it Monday evening, and finished it Friday, I didn't work on it on Wednesday :P

I used Kauni Wool 8/2 Effektgarn in the EQ / Rainbow colorway. I used all but 8g of the skein, and I was 4 rows away from finishing. I added an extra pineapple repeat because I feared it wouldn't be as long as I'd like. I thought I would have had enough to finish, but alas! I was wrong. Good thing this is crocheted, and not knitted... at least I can always go back and finish it if I want to one day.... though it looks pretty swell as is. I have to block it this weekend.... and soak it in hair conditioner, as this yarn is not very soft. I am now officially obsessed with crocheted shawls and PINEAPPLES! Yeah! :D Must find another pineapple shawl pattern to do :P

I have a new ami in the works as well! I think I will make a new pattern out of it. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

RROU #3 Dyeing Adventures


I almost forgot about this last update XD

I didn't do much dyeing last year... I did a skein or two earlier in the year, and for the holiday season, I had a grab bag for my local knitty group's holiday party, so I initially was going to dye just one skein.... turned into three :P


My dyeing supplies :P

Setting up to dye

I don't reveal my sekret dyeing application..... not yet anyway. Mayhap I will make a video of it someday.... Onwards....

In the dye bath


Hanging to dry...


Crappy picture of dried skein! :P

I dyed this for Petrina's birthday. She said it looks like Socks That Rock, and it kinda does. 

This is the skein I dyed for the grab bag

After the overwhelmingly positive reception of my yarn at the holiday party, I have been toying with the idea of becoming a dyer for profit. I think my shit is great... even non knitters have said they like my yarns.

Guess we'll see what happens this year.

Monday, January 23, 2012

YRSTS #4: Sidewinder Hat

This is the cable stitch pattern used in the pattern. Isn't it sweet? Ha ha ha XD

You know what? I will admit it... I was tempted to buy this pattern.

It's a nice pattern... and I loooove cabled hats. I have yet to make myself a hat with cables, would you believe it?!?? The only thing that initially stopped me was the $4.50 price tag, honestly.

Doing this series of YRSTS has taught me to look for alternative patterns before buying something that looks kinda simple, so I searched....and found out this is considered a "beginner cable" that is easy to execute.... and there are loads of free patterns that use this cable stitch pattern.

Fancy that.

Alternatives

...There were 11 hat patterns that featured the Honeycomb Cable. Out of these, only three of them were worthy of comparison:

  1. Honey Hat
  2. Ullstund Hat
  3. Honeycomb Hat
The only thing that makes the Sidewinder remarkable is the way the cables decrease into the crown. 

Doesn't make it worth the money though.

I suggest picking one of the three and messing with the decreases to get it to look similar. I remember reading in another pattern to dec the k sts that form the cables to slim them down while they snake into the top of the hat. 

You're welcome.

Happy Knitting!

Friday, January 20, 2012

YRSTS #3: Phoncible Hat

Corrugated ribbing is a staple in Stranded knitting... and a bit of a pain to work, but it looks awesome!
This pattern caught my eye as I was searching Ravelry for some colorwork hat patterns. But of course... it wasn't free.

Oh no.

5.5 smackeroos.

Read it and weep, colorwork amateurs.

Alternatives


It's so disappointing that such a simple hat should cost $5.50. All it is is corrugated ribbing and stripes.

Well, at first I was going to attempt to reverse engineer it (because its cool) but I haz the Lazies (the L from this point forward) and decided to search on Ravelry for something similar.

I found one... Portable Rainbow Hat - almost exactly the same... but free. Just reduce the length of the ribbing, do it all in stockinette, and make it slouchier than the pattern calls for. It even uses a bigger needle so you'll finish it faster! I plan on making one myself :)

Alternatively, if you want to play around and made something that looks like a more exact facsimile, Here's a good guide on corrugated ribbing for the uninitiated. Play around with needle sizes and # of stitches CO, work two rows of stripes per color,  and pick a nice crown decrease.

UPDATE 5/12: apparently it wasn't corrugated ribbing... on closer inspection, it's just alternating 2x2 stockinette with the two colorways. [This also more than ever makes it not worth paying for IMO]. But I think this hat would be fabulous with the addition of corrugated ribbing, so do either one.

You're welcome.

Happy Knitting!


(That is a picture of one of my WIPs btw)


Thursday, January 19, 2012

YRSTS #2: Mallory Cowl

This is 2x2 ribbing. This is all the pattern consists of.  Nothing more. So NOT worth $2.02 -__- 

This pattern puzzles me for a few reasons.

  1. The designer made a child sized version and offered it for free...which s EXACTLY THE SAME PATTERN [besides # of stitches cast on], but then charged for the adult size. 
  2. How long do you reckon it took this "designer" to make a pattern consisting of 2x2 rib?
  3. How can you "copyright" and label "for personal use only" a fucking 2x2 ribbed pattern??!??
  4. Four suckers actually bought the pattern (!)
*smh*

Alternatives


They made this one way too easy for me.... download the child's version and quadruple the amount of stitches at CO. As an added bonus, I suggest using a bulky yarn in lieu of doubling worsted like originally suggested. It'll probably be cheaper that way *eyeroll*

You're welcome.

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

You're Really Selling This Shit? #1


(Ravelry link above and more ahead... if you don't have an account and you knit/crochet... you need one, like yesterday. Awesome site!! You'll see why in a bit...)

I don't wanna stir the pot too much, so I used this pic of tea and cookies in lieu of the pattern's FO. Mmm.

I saw this pattern as an ad in my Ravelry Notebook. I though, oh it looks cute, I'm gonna check it out. Looks cute.... WTF $2??? O__o 

No no no.

It is simply reverse stockinette (purl all rows in the round or RS p, WS k flat) stripes with 2x2 ribbing at the wrist and top. Nothing remotely difficult, or out of the ordinary about this pattern that warrants the $2 price tag. 

Want a comparable pattern? It took me all of one minute using Ravelry's advanced search function to find 47 free striped fingerless mitt patterns using DK or worsted yarn (really! You're welcome). This pattern looks the most similar...but really, you can choose any one and just do reverse st st and change colors every two rows and add ribbing to the cuff, top, and the thumbs.

Voila! I just saved you $2.

Happy Knitting :)

*pops some popcorn and waits for angry "designers" to flood her comments*

RANT: Y U Charge For This Pattern??!?? -__-

Time and time again, I come across a nice little pattern for something simple as fuck... and the designer wants to charge for it.

I'm sick and tired of this shit.

Don't get me wrong, as someone who makes up their own shit, I know a lot of work can go into making a pattern. BUT there is some shit I see on Ravelry and online and I scratch my head and say really? You're really charging for this shit?

So! I decided to make this a regular topic here at Pancraftuality. Why not? I want people to be aware of these offending patterns and avoid them like the plague. I will only post things that I feel can be reverse engineered by any n00b with a hook/needles just by looking at it, or have sufficient know-how about the main techniques used. I know I can't speak for everyone in the Ravelry world, but what I love about our community is:

  • the willingness of people to help complete strangers
  • the depth and breadth of available FREE information and resources
  • the free flow of said information and resources
  • the support and empathy of the community at large

Charging for a pattern to make a fucking 2x2 ribbed hat destroys all of this for me.

Why? Why be so fucking greedy? If you make a 2x2 ribbed hat with snaking cables and bobbles and all sorts of madness? Fine---you worked hard on it, and I wouldn't give a second glance to your selling the pattern (although I will bitch about you charging $10 for the pattern, but I digress. That is another topic for another day...).

I will say this before I start: I understand I am gonna piss a lot of people off with this. My aim in doing this is to let y'all know that there are people who will not stand for being charged for something that can be easily reverse engineered. I am not saying designers shouldn't be compensated for their hard work. Quite the contrary, actually. There are many designs (i.e sweaters, lace, and colorwork) that have to be extensively tested, charted, etc.-----I don't mind paying for these things. As a matter of fact, I am proud to support these amazing designers and am happy they decided to share these things with us at reasonable cost. However, the designers who

  • make a  blah blah blah that someone can make in their first attempt at knitting/crochet EVER
  • take a stitch from a book or website and make it into something without any modifications whatsoever
  • blatantly rip off a FREELY AVAILABLE PATTERN and make one (if any) changes
should be ashamed of themselves. I will call you out on your shit. Fuck that noise! XD 

There are so many designers who put in real time and effort on shit way more advanced, intricate, and gorgeous...and they offer their patterns FOR FREE. So who are you to charge me for a pattern of striped reverse stockinette mittens??!?? -____-

Not only will I post offending patterns; if I can, I will either attempt to reverse engineer it myself, find a corresponding free pattern, or tell you how it is most likely done. I'll do the pattern that set me off today in a separate post.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

My Knitolutions 2012

My friend Petrina coined the word, I think XD

We belong to a local knitting group that meets up every third Saturday. Miss Trina (our founder) is uuber organized, and keeps us whelps in line. She sends out email reminders, facilitates extra activities (Rhinebeck!!!), and occasionally sends out miscellaneous knitty-related information and such.

This week, she sent us an email asking what our knitting ambitions were for the year.

Umm, so full of WIN!!

I decided to share them as a blog post because... why the fuck not? XD

My knitolutions are as follows:
  • Knit at least one lace shawl
  • Knit a project with beads I bought the beads and tiny ass crochet hook already. Even have a pattern picked out
  • Learn how to read lace knitting charts I can read Colorwork charts, but they're different
  • Do more advanced Colorwork working on this now
  • Make at least one sweater this year have the yarn and pattern
  • Make at least 6 pairs of socks started a pair already lol
  • Use up my worsted/chunky yarn stash making room for more sock yarn! hehe
  • Finish at least two projects a month, or 24 total for the year
  • Replace inferior accouterments With better ones purchased a set of Knitter's Pride Dreamz needles so far [will do a review of these soon!!]. Need to get the chunky set to complete it. I need a new swift and winder, and a full set of DPNs
  • Crochet more I only really use crochet for making toys and I haven't been doing it as much as I used to
  • Make an Afghan or blanket with all the crappy red heart I still guiltily hoard. Too damned selfish to give it away, and I wouldn't suffer anyone I know to make them anything from it XD
I plan on tagging related projects with "Knitolution2012" both here and on Ravelry so y'all can track my progress :D

Friday, January 6, 2012

RANT: Yarn Weight Classification System

I was all gung-ho to write another RROU, but...I need to vent.

These fucking yarn companies need to get it together.

I am soooooo sick and tired of buying yarn and having to guesstimate what fucking weight they are.

So you're thinking, "but--but---they have labels from the Yarn Council that say what they are!", and you're right, they do for the most part. I will get to that in a moment.

This is the widely accepted weight guide (for yarns >__>) from The Craft Yarn Council:

(click on it to see it better. OKTHX) Although... where the hell is super bulky on here?? O__o
OK, Great. 

So this is from a credited source. If you have ever bought (or seen, for the non-yarnies...) a label on commercially available yarn, you will have seen one of the above icons on a yarn label. 

The main problem is this: these guidelines are not strictly enforced by the manufacturers.

You may or may not know this, but I have a large stash of sock/fingering weight yarns (~70+ individual skeins :P). From brand to brand (hell, even from THE SAME GODDAMNED MANUFACTURER) the width (let's call it density) of the yarn strand is different... sometimes a negligible difference, but most often enough to make you wonder how they could even be in the same category. When I made my nummy Clockwork, I used Knit Picks bare merino, and Crazy Zauberball... both listed as fingering. However, CZ's strands are less dense than KPs... and I had to tighten my CZ sections as a result. 

Some patterns will even acknowledge differences in fingering yarns' density and tell you to use yarns with the same SPI (stitches per inch). Even that good piece of advice doesn't help.I have yarns that are listed to have the same SPI and still there was a difference in density, which of course is ZOMGWTF inducing. 

I am waiting for someone to say "well, Deena, you could use a different needle size to get the same SPI for those yarns!" Think about this following statement: It is impossible for two yarns of different densities to both get the same SPI when worked on the same sized needles. I don't give a shit what anyone says to the contrary. 

This discrepancy is across the board for yarn weights. 

The worst offenders, however, are yarns listed as DK-Aran weight. 

What makes (say) Cascade 220 a worsted?? It gets the same SPI as a DK. Matter of fact, the strands of Malabrigo Silky (listed as DK) are comparable to 220. It's usually just referred to as a worsted....but I have seen it called a "light worsted"....where do you see "light worsted on the goddamned chart??? UNDER DK. Don't call it light worsted; it's confusing as fuck. 

What makes Malabrigo worsted an Aran weight yarn? And if it *is* Aran weight (or "heavy worsted"... dizzy yet??) why the fuck is it named worsted?? In the above chart, they lump worsted and Aran together, which I do not agree with. Aran wt yarns are the perfect medium between worsted and chunky, IMHO. Malabrigo isn't a Aran to me... not dense enough. It is the epitome of worsted weight: it knits up nicely on the listed needle sizes and #7-#8 needles are usually used with them in most patterns with few issues. 

I can go on and on and on... about how my Madelinetosh lace has the same strand width of my Malabrigo sock yarn, but is lighter in terms of overall skein weight...I test knit both on #1 1/2 needles ... got the same SPI for both. Or! What about the time I bought yarn from an indie dyer who got an attitude when I expressed extreme disappointment in getting (what I thought at the time was) DK instead of worsted yarn... she was all like "it is a worsted similar to 220!" It wasn't. It was more of a sport weight, I now know. Matter of fact, it gets the same SPI as Socks that Rocks Mediumweight, knit on #3's.

Adding insult to injury..... to avoid angry bitches like me from assigning blame to them, the Yarn Council has the following disclaimer:

* GUIDELINES ONLY: The above reflect the most commonly used gauges and needle or hook sizes for specific yarn categories.

Seriously??!?? ARRRGGHHHHH >____<

This is madness and it needs to stop. It is so annoying and inconvenient. The Yarn council need to step their shit up and help fix these discrepancies, or else why the fuck are they a counsel, and why bother to publish the damned chart in the first place??. Stay tuned for a (professional and polished) letter to the council regarding this.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

RROU #2: Expanding My Knitting Repertoire

(if you hadn't guessed what the acronym in the title means....Really, Really Overdue Update, like my last post's title. You will see this again, I almost guarantee it :P)

So your girl branched out and tried new things last year.

I didn't set lofty goals last year (well, ok I kinda did). I wanted to do the following:
  • learn fair isle/stranded knitting
  • make a pair of knitted socks
  • do at least one project a month
I did all of the above and then some! I made two pairs of knitted socks, I learned stranded knitting, and I did over 20 projects last year! Woot! I am a fucking machine! As a bonus, I also learned double knitting. I have been busy as a beaver since October with my newly acquired skills ^___^ 

Petrina thought since I got a boyfriend my knitting frenzy would taper off... WRONG! I have been knitting pretty much every day (if not every other day) since getting into my current relationship. He likes the fact I'm so crafty (especially since he has and will continue to benefit from my obsession haha). 

Actually, I have him to thank for my learning both stranded knitting and DK. I started a scarf for him using the method (I have to finish it, so I won't be showing that off until it's done... sorry Adam XD), and I attempted a hat that came out wayyy too small, so I frogged it.

It came out great, though.

And thus another obsession was born...

As a person, I go through phrases of manic obsession with things, and then I jump like a flea in a kennel to other things, and other things... it's the reason I am so well rounded knit-wise I think. I never forget what I learn, since I'll spend weeks doing one skill set or set of things. 

Yayyyy me! :D

Of course, you had to know there would be pictures right? I am a show-offy hoar. There will be many pictures:
Jeck Socks # 1
Jeck #2
Just a simple ass hat knit with Noro Kureyon sock.... modeled by my bf. I'm just showing him off, really XD
My first stranded knitting attempt. Not too shabby, right? :P
Made this for Adam. Looks awesome right?? It came out too long for him though :(
I used one of the fair isle charts from the first failed attempt hat above to do this one. It came out so awesomely <3

And yes, I did all of these in the time since I last posted... with another 5 or 6 projects in between XD

I hope you appreciate all the pictures... Blogger's back end was being really cunty and I was frustrated trying to make them line up 2x2. Fuck it, I gave up.

I've done more projects than these... but these pertain to shit I wanted to get done this year, so I didn't wanna pic SPAM too much XD. If you're on Ravelry, you can check out my WIPs, FO, and my semi-massive stash! My username is (surprise) DeelishDiscordia :)

I have one more RROU  for you before we get back to our regularly scheduled blah blah blah :P