Category Archives: Knitting

Knitting in the workplace…

See this pretty thing?

Danse macabre
The darkest dark, the reddest red, the sparkliest sparkly!!

It started it’s dark and sparkly life in a basement of a museum, surrounded by coffee and polyester sweaters and noise.  Lots and lots of noise…

Breaktime Knitting
Not pictured: a handheld radio, a cup of tea, gurgling pipes overhead and my frowny little face as I try to concentrate…

I usually bring knitting to my job, to help me unwind between breaks and to sneak a little time into my various projects. More often than not it’s something I spun up myself that demands to be made into something right this minute. Yarn can be pushy like that. So very pushy. This yarn was a dark black, red and white spiral-ply I spun up from one of the beautiful batts at Butterflygirl Designs on Etsy. I’ve bought from her for years, and her goods are always so good. One of the nice things about handspun yarn is that you can keep your stitches pretty simple and let the yarn do all the work of being pretty…

Workplace knitting has it’s own challenges. It’s noisier than home, of course. There’s lots of traffic, and the possibility of spills, crumbs, overcurious coworkers poking at your project, moving it or distracting you enough to drop a stitch or two. I’ve lost count of the times on a break where I answer a workplace question while my hands are moving, and when I look down…I messed up that yarn over. Again. Drat it all. And I mutter quietly to myself when I think nobody can hear me. (But of course my coworkers can totally hear me. I can tell by the snickering)

Then there are the usual jokes.  Requests to knit whole sweaters for 20 bucks, or nothing. Various eyerolls, “only grandmas knit” or “knitting nerd” comments. The occasional vampire-slayer remarks. (I actually like these remarks because I get to brandish a knitting needle in a mildly threatening fashion.) But sometimes there are the people who sidle over and gently pet the yarn, or ask if I have time to crank out some wristwarmers for them, or can I make a goofy gutmonster for a birthday or something. I love these people.They get extra guts in their knitted gutmonsters.

Mostly I just like the peace. After I get into the groove a little bit, I can float right off into a nice soft realm of stitches and fluffy textures and away from the workaday life for a little while. I feel a little more rested on a break where I’m working on something. And when I’m finished, I just glow with a little well-earned pride. A moment in a gloomy basement redolent with the smell of burned coffee and old pizza can be the brightest part of my day when I bind off that last stitch…

 

 

If it’s not Scottish, it’s crap!

It’s been a little while since I posted here. Life just got a little more hectic recently, with projects and and whatnot. I also…heh…got engaged. I’m very happy about it all. Of course, now I’m thinking about things I’d never really considered before. Are there registries that aren’t specifically full of beige-colored towels? (Apparently there are. I still have to go digging around for them, though.) What will I do about a dress?  How much cake? What kind of cake? And how many Gothly decorations can I bust out at the reception? (Quite a few, actually.) Do I change my name, and to what? Sadly, even though it would be perfectly legal, my sweetie put his foot down at being called Mr. and Mrs. Dracula.  *sigh* Another dream shot down…

Meanwhile, a dear friend of mine brought me a very interesting bag. Cornelia had been traveling through Scotland recently, and spent some time happily wandering around the sheep-filled heather, plucking bits of wool off the fences here and there. People used to do this sort of thing all the time to get a little wool to spin up; it’s the original meaning of the term, “woolgathering.”  When she came home, she presented me with a nice fully Ziplock full of soft plushy wool…

Scottish fluff!
A wonderful bag full of Scottish fluff!

The wool smelled wonderful, all heathery and peaty. I kept inhaling the scent while Cornelia told me with a grin, “That, my dear, is what Scotland smells like!” Scotland smells this good? Wowwwww… I gleefully showed off my bag to my boss at work, who is very pro-Scotland. After happily squishing the wool and huffing it, he asked if he could keep a pinch, for the innate Scottishness. Of course I let him.  How often do you get to snort another country at work and have it be legal?

So now I’ve been spinning it all up. I hand-carded the wool that very night, and chose my nice heavy Ashford spindle to do my spinning. For some reason spindle spinning just seemed right with something like this. The sort of thing someone would do while walking a hedgerow, woolgathering…

Scottish yarn
A spindle full of Scotland! Well, maybe not full, not yet…

What will I do with the yarn once I’m done spinning? Hard to say. I’m guessing once plied up there will be enough for maybe a couple of sachet bags or some cool cabled bracelets. If I need more, I’ll have to talk Cornelia into going back to Scotland to gather some more wool for me. I may have to go with her, for ummm…quality control. Yeah. That’s it…

 

 

Steampunk made easy…

I finished up the pendants I wanted to play with last week. Here’s what I ended up with:

Purple eye pendant
I have a few leftover taxidermy eyes from a haul I made at Axeman, years ago. I hoard them like treasure. But this turned out nicely!
Steampunk pendant
Polymer clay plus watch gears equals rainy-day fun!

It’s been great goofing off this way. It kind of helped me get back into knitting things again after a short break. I thought of this pendant, and then though how cool stitch markers with gears would be, then thought about various projects that needed stitch markers…and before you know it, bam! A scarflette finished!

Of course, a lot of my knitting has been on breaks at my work. I also do a little sketching here and there to help with stress. I’ve had this look on my face pretty much the entire week…

Gothic Side-eye
Just a tiny little dollop of side-eye and annoyance…

So there you are…

 

Holiday Knitting DangerZone…

Ah, the holiday season…where everybody, including me, starts to panic about presents for the loved ones in their life. Like anybody who knits, I get loads of requests for last minute speed-knitting of pretty, warming things. Some of them are very doable. Many are too time-crunching. A few are jaw-droppingly ludicrous. Sweaters. Elaborate socks. Entire blankets. Union suits. Alien face-hugger masks with bendable leggies. Huge Dwarf helmet-hats with horns and braided beards. While it’s extremely flattering to hear that people think I have magical knitterly skills, I have to turn the big projects down. I also start getting that hunted look on my face, where I’m expecting to sprint down the corridors at work with my coworkers chasing me, yelling, “No, wait, it’s just a last-minute thing, I know you can do it by Christmas!! Come Baaaack!”

But that said, I’ve cranked out a few pretty things, here and there…

Mochi marshmallow wristwarmers
Mochi Marshmallow wristwarmers, with mohair,merino and handspun angora…
Silver angora
A skein of silver angora I plied with a soft silk thread for extra strength and shine…

Both of these lovely things have already been claimed. I should make more. When can I make more? So many things to make!! So many! Do I have enough yarn? The right kind? Do I have to make some? Why did I make this fussy, time-consuming thing that everybody wants now? I Must Make Many Many THIIIIIIIINGS!!

And then possibly ask Santa for a Time-Turner, or manybe a Margarita machine. It’s medicinal, I tellya…

The post-Halloween doldrums…

Ah, Halloween…it was lovely, everything I hoped for, and now it’s just a happy memory.

But I did get a fun photo of Shamu the Bunny in a jaunty Steampunk hat…

Shamu  in a jaunty hat
Shamu is a dapper little fellow when I put hats on his tiny, rabbity head…

And now it’s the season where everybody realizes they’ve lost their mitts or something’s eaten their scarf and they come running to me. I’ve been plotting and planning new mitts and hats to make, and today I’m just playing with colors, to see what seems to click. So far I’ve got a rose and caramel mix of mohair yarns I like a lot, as well as some black and deep purple sari silk for a Gothly scarf. I have to remind myself to play sometimes; it’s good to make custom stuff to order, but it’s even better to come up with something new…