So, when I entered the world of knitblogs, I noticed that every now and then little “about me” surveys on specific topics — known as “memes’ — would get passed from blogger to blogger. They’re kind of silly but also kind of fun and give you a way to learn about your regular bloggers beyond their love of alpaca and hatred of the cable cast-on.
Well, I must admit that when Amylovie tagged me — for the first time ever — with one of these, I felt rather as though the cool kids had asked me to sit at their table in the lunch room. Unfortunately, the subject is one that will probably result in the cool kids reconsidering the wisdom of this move.
n. pl. id·i·o·syn·cra·sies
A structural or behavioral characteristic peculiar to an individual or group.
Write down five of your own personal idiosyncracies. Then, if you wish, tag five people from your live gerbil or friendslist to do the same.
Okay, here we go:
1) When I’m nervous, I crave cottage cheese. My mom always used to have it on hand for me for the first day of school.
2) I rotate my ankles continuously as I fall asleep or when I am relaxing. My mom does too, so I guess I got it from her. I don’t know why my calves aren’t more shapely.
3) I don’t like hugging. In general, unless you are one of my closest friends or relatives and I haven’t seen you in five or more years, I do not feel a particular need to hug. I mean, I’ll do it without complaint because a lot of people expect greeting/farewell hugs as a matter of course, but I’m usually fairly stiff and awkward about it. I’m also not into platonic backrubs or general hugginess or cuddliness with anyone at all except my husband. I know I sound cold and emotionally unavailable, but I’m not! My mom says I didn’t even really like to cuddle as a baby. So please, when I see you and give you a warm smile and a friendly wave from across the room, don’t feel slighted.
4) I really like the smell of (unfinished) basements. When I was a kid I used to breathe in really deeply when I would go down to the basement because I just loved the damp, musty smell.
5) When I concentrate, I make a fish face, with my cheeks sucked in and my lips puckered out. It is particularly exaggerated when I’m driving in an unfamiliar place. When driving I also tend to tilt my head way back and look at the road down over my nose (all while making a fish face). It’s a sight to behold.
Okay, I’m tagging PurlJew (if she ever resurfaces in Israel), Whispering Pine, Geeky Knitter, Peatbogfaery, and Knit-Wit. Can you out-weird me?
I whipped this hat out on Friday night as a small gift to my husband’s cousin’s son Aryeh, who is perhaps the cutest baby I’ve ever seen — in the top three at least.
It’s knit in good old Mission Falls 1824 Cotton. (The last time I was at my mom’s LYS, the owner indicated that she had heard rumors that a new distributor was going to pick the line up and save it from its misguided discontinuation. I’m trying not to get my hopes up.)
I have made this hat countless times, but this was the first time I’d used multiple colors and the first time I’d ever made a pompom. I think it came out pretty cute. Parents and baby were both very indulgent in letting me take some photos in spite of the high 80s heat.
I finished the Tivoli t-shirt on Sunday — what an easy, fun, flattering pattern! I’m very happy with it and know I will actually wear it.
I used the paired decreases from the Honeymoon Cami, which I think made for a little extra symmetry. Other than that, I followed the pattern exactly. Thanks to Grumperina for the great design and to my peerless secret pal for the yarn (Rowan Cotton Glace)!
The first cat mat I made was for my sister after she told me she was planning to get two kittens soon. Well, the kittens have arrived, and she just sent me a bunch of photos of the little darlings. I was very excited to see that the cat mat appeared in two of them. Here is one:
I am sorry I am absolutely cramming this blog full of pictures of cats on mats.
I quickly whipped out my third cat mat this weekend, this one for my mom and stepfather (well, for their cats, presumably, though they’re welcome to use it as they see fit). I really loved the yarn colors, and it was fun to make…however, it didn’t look as good felted as I’d anticipated. I may have overfelted it a bit. Also, the eyelash yarn around the edge is a little less perky than some I’ve used in the past for this project, and it makes a slightly ragged effect. I probably shouldn’t say negative things about it since my mom, who reads this blog, hasn’t seen it yet; I hope she’ll wind up liking it well enough anyway. Willow certainly does not share any of my concerns:
After my knitting-filled Fourth of July weekend, I was forced to scale back my knitting time this past week and weekend to attend to, you know, everything else in my life. Still, I managed to crank out a substantial amount of the Tivoli T-shirt:
I am most of the way done with the decreases. I tried it on just before the decreases and it actually looks as though it will fit pretty well. Cute and easy pattern! Note the final ball of yarn that my fantastic Secret Pal sent at my request so that I could have all the yarn from the same dye lot. Isn’t she great?
Also, one of the things that has made it so much fun to knit is that I’ve gotten to use the wonderful Red Sox accessories that my Secret Pal sent! Adorable, no?
In other knitting news, my two replacement Denise needle cords arrived today. I lost one and broke one, and for $4.50 (including shipping), they sent me new ones. Also, I have been working hard to figure out what I will do with all the yarn in my stash. As I was violently cramming said stash into its designated container last weekend, I finally realized that I have gone a little yarn crazy over the past six months and that I will NOT purchase any more yarn until I’ve worked my way through at least half of what’s in that bin. So I’ve been looking for patterns to match what I have, and I think I have some good projects lined up for the next few months. And this is not like all those other times I went on a “yarn freeze” that lasted for about three quarters of a week — this is the real thing. I hope.
I know they walk a very fine line between cool and way cheesy, but I have sort of been wanting some custom labels to sew into my knitted items for a while now. Part of this is that I want to be able to include washing instructions, particularly on those items that are gifts. Part of it is just, well, the aforementioned cool/cheesy appeal. After searching online without much luck for a custom tag-making service that inspired confidence, I decided to find a way to make them myself. Here are my results:
To make them, I purchased iron-on transfer paper that goes through the printer. I made my design (48 labels per sheet, with a few different washing instruction variations) on the computer, printed it out, and ironed it onto a plain white t-shirt. (I chose a t-shirt because t-shirt material is soft and is more resistant to fraying than many other fabrics. I got three Hanes t-shirts at Target for $5).
Then I cut them out. I used my old quilting supplies (neglected hobby guilt kicked right in), but scissors would have been more than fine.
I am fairly happy with the results! Cheap, cute, relatively easy, and totally customizable.
(I am totally enamored of the way Blossom over at Whispering Pine photographs her knitting projects, and I am going to blatantly attempt to emulate her. Thanks for the inspiration!)
I whipped out the Cotton Baby Hat from Last Minute Knitted Gifts yesterday, and aside from the fact that my i-cord looks like I made it when I was fall-down drunk, I think it came out pretty cute:
Sorry that the white is all blown out — not sure why my camera had trouble with that. Anyway, the project is listed in the book as an “under two hour” item, but I’d say it took me about four hours, which is in line with what I’ve heard from others (double the estimated time). Here it is with the sweater it was made to match:
Not bad, eh?
I am using the lovely Rowan Cotton Glace that my secret pal sent me to make Grumperina‘s Tivoli t-shirt. I have swatched for it and my gauge is running just the tiniest bit small. I am going to wash it to make sure it doesn’t shrink any; if it does, I will probably go up a needle size. If not…well, skin tight never goes out of style, right? Right?? Anyway, I am very excited about this pattern and this lovely yarn, which is a little more purplish than is showing up on my monitor.
You’ll note the Addi Turbo needles — my first pair ever! So far I do like them a lot, though I remain loyal to my Denises.
Matt is away this weekend, so I plan to knit an obscene amount. I should finish up the baby hat in the 1824 cotton tonight, and I’m also making good progress on the baby sweater in Knitpicks Crayon. Expect many more progress posts!
P.S. One other exciting thing — for the first time ever today I am wearing something I knit myself. It’s the honeymoon cami, and I finally took it out of the closet this morning. I am going to machine wash and dry it to see if I can shrink it a little bit, but in case that ruins it, I wanted to make sure I’d gotten at least one wearing out of it! Keep your fingers crossed for me.