crafts · knitting · Thrifting · yarn

Friday is for shopping…

Today it is anyway.  This afternoon I hit my favorite thrift store and the LYS.  I may have mentioned how much I love thrifting before… I think it’s the thrill of the hunt, plus you meet the most interesting people at thrift stores.  I’m usually shy, but thrift store people just start talking (ok, sometimes to invisible people, but still…)  It was a pretty good day, I managed to dig up a few cute tops, some summery skirts, and a purse I love, all for under $20 (there are a few items I didn’t take photos of too)

The bag is made of felt, and is precisely the sort of thing I would make if I made bags (which I don’t… my lone bag (The Fat Bottom bag) lies unlined and unloved because I fear sewing.)  My wardrobe is ridiculously huge, in spite of the fact that I regularly give things away or sell them at the consignment store, and I blame my thrifting habit.  I try not to let myself buy sweaters anymore though, unless it’s to recycle the yarn.

I went the Knit Nook and bought 2 back issues of Vogue Knitting (there are some really nice sweaters in the winter issue) and some pretty blue mercerized cotton to make Orangina (I decided I didn’t have enough Jaeger Siena to make it with, and I really don’t think Siena is a true fingering weight.)  I can’t figure out from the label what the brand is… umm, something German?  But it’s pretty, it’s the right weight, and it was cheap, so I’m happy.

And… I got the Sea silk I purchased off of Ebay.  I totally get why people rave about this yarn – it’s so lovely, luminous, and crunchy!  I was worried about the smell, because I can be sensitive to silk smells, but it is not overwhelming at all.  And the color… oh, it’s so pretty!  This one is lighter than the others in the Glacier colorway I have seen, which is why I bought it.  I’m going to make the Montego Bay scarf from the current issue of Knitty, just as soon as I finish the Boteh Scarf (almost there!) and I have an open slot for a small item.

And so it goes… I sell yarn, and then I buy yarn.  It keeps me from feeling as though I’m hoarding, and it makes me happy!

Tonight we’re having sushi out with friends.  I love Sushi so much that Marc has had to limit me on how often we go, or I would want to go every time we went out.  Fortunately, we have friends who love it as much as I do!  Now I’m going to go read my new knitting magazines.

crafts · Crochet · knitting · Thrifting · yarn


Last night, filled with ripple fever, I went to Michael’s crafts and actually bought yarn.  I haven’t bought yarn there in forever, but I want my ripple to be machine washable!  Here’s what I came up with for a color scheme (and I know the idea is to use up yarn, but honestly I don’t have many leftovers.)

And here’s an idea of how I want them laid out:

I think I might place an additional light blue stripe between the black and navy.  I’m considering another color instead, but I’m not sure what to chose there… any suggestions?  I chose these colors because they’re fairly neutral, they match the living room rug, and they are as far removed from the orange/rust/avocado ripple monstrosities of my childhood as possible.

I went looking for a good free ripple pattern online, but I couldn’t find one that I liked, so I made up my own.

It looks similar to the”soft waves” pattern everyone is using, and it doesn’t require me buying another book.  I’m also crocheting into the back loop in order to give more texture to the pattern.   And yes, the only other simply soft I had was hot pink… you see why I don’t want to use leftover stash yarns here?

This morning also marked the beginning of yarn sale season for me.  I know that I’ve waxed poetic about tag sales before, but I really do love them!  This morning I bought a cute (very fake) Kate Spade bag for 50 cents, and also this guy:

The wrinkling is actually the plastic it’s covered in… the print is perfect.  Isn’t it adorable?  I love his sad little face.  Also 50 cents!  and I continued my quest to own only green coffee cups.

These were a quarter.  You know, when we have to move it’s going to be because the place is overrun with yarn and random thrift finds.  That’s ok, right?

crafts · Crochet · decorating · knitting · Thrifting

Now I know why my Mom fears the granny square

Why am I awake at 2 am? Ok, maybe that’s not a surprise; I suffer from a combination of insomnia combined with working nights, so I’m often up at 2 am… but tonight I’m awake for a special reason. I’m attempting to avoid the “second sleeve” curse on my hourglass sweater. So I’ve knitted my way through 2 episodes of Deep Space Nine and half of Star Trek IV. I’m at 10 inches on the sleeve, as you can see here

Last night I put the body onto waste yarn and tried it on. It’s going to be too big. Don’t get me wrong; it’s the size it’s supposed to be (the smallest one) it’s just that I’m apparently exceptionally teeny. The body is slightly short too. I got scared that it was going to be too long (my stitch gauge is spot on but my row gauge is off) so I somehow in my delusional state thought I had achieved 15″ and stopped. It’s actually around 14″, but I’ve decided not to fret. This sweater is made of yarn that’s mostly cotton, and I have every confidence that it will be highly blockable into a slightly longer state. Plus I’m extremely short waisted, so it’s no biggie. Most sweaters are too long for me anyway. As for the body… well, I’ll try to reserve judgement. I think it’s big, but I’ve been fooled before. I was convinced my green gable was like linebacker huge until I finished it. We’ll see… and if it turns out to big I’ll just give it to someone slightly larger than me for Christmas.

I’m taking a break from my night of endless stockinette. Remember those magazines I found from my step-grandma? I decided to read them. It’s funny – women’s magazines today never contain much in the way of actual sewing and knitting patterns. Sure, maybe the occasional craft, but these are crazy involved. And also just plain crazy.

These are from Family Circle in 1974… and yes, that is a yarn ponytail. Sure, it isn’t described that way, but it’s definitely acrylic yarn hair.

Patterns for the men in your life. This is the reason I avoided brown my entire life – memories of being dressed in coordinating poop brown and beige as a child.

I swear that poor child is wearing an afghan.

There are groovy decorating spreads too (from Woman’s day)

I would like to own every single thing in this room. Ok, maybe not the teal shag carpeting. And certainly not all in the same place. But I like the individual pieces. I wish we’d had this sort of home growing up… but our shag carpet was orange. Nothing this exciting.

Bet you didn’t know you need a special product to clean your wood paneling. I personally cannot imagine there was a time when people said things like “How can I preserve the natural beauty of my wood paneling?” I myself have been known to walk straight out of an open house the minute I saw paneling. I cannot and will not deal with its removal, and I also can’t deal with looking at it every day… and this is coming from the person who loves the color avocado in the kitchen.

Ok, enough time wasting… back to sleeve knitting with me. I’m off tomorrow, so I can rest up from the marathon then.

cats · cooking · crafts · decorating · knitting · Life · Thrifting


I have knit 2 more increase sections on the hourglass sweater, but I can’t show you.  The cat would be upset.

Poor Dionne… left here alone with me all day.  She doesn’t like me much.  She likes Marc.

Yesterday (Sunday) was insane for me.  I had to play/sing three masses, and in between we went to finish cleaning out my Step-Grandma’s house.  She died a year and a half ago, but due to family legal issues (don’t ask) we’re only now allowed to get rid of the junk.  I went through it all and found some things I could use.

I love these bowls, even though I’m not sure what their purpose is.  They have little handles, but surely you aren’t supposed to cook in them.  Ah well, I’ll just use them for decoration, in case they have like lethal amounts of mercury in them or something.  They look cute stacked on my sideboard.

Next to them are the 4 brown cornholders I found.  Didn’t everyone’s family have a set of these in the 70s? Marc is thrilled, so even though I will never in a million years make corn on the cob (I hate corn) I’ll try to find a creative use for them.
I also found out that Dorothy (my step grandma) must have been a dedicated sewer before marrying my grandpa.  Check out the collection of patterns from the 60s and 70s.

The little book is also full of patterns.  Too bad I’m not a sewer – I just adore some of these patterns, like the blue “Valentino original” on the right.  Maybe I could bust out my sewing machine… but no.  This would only lead to disaster.  These are probably destined for ebay (although I am keeping that jar of buttons.)

There were a ton of old crafting magazines.  I took them all, but I won’t be keeping most.   There are a few knitter’s magazines from the 80s that I want for the retro patterns, but most of the rest are of the “country craft” variety.  I remember the 80s, and if I never see another goose dressed up for holidays it will be too soon.
There were a few  old  women’s magazines.  I love these – and the family circle has granny square projects from 1975!

And I found the corn husk angel I made for them in the girlscouts.  See?  Always crafty!

Leon cared not a whit about any of this, but he says I’d better not take away his new magazine holder!

He was totally stuck and wedged in, but he didn’t complain!  In fact, he seemed sort of upset when we freed him.

I also got a few other things, like a bundt pan, a new avocado blender, and some cookbooks.  I was going through the extra saved recipes in one of the cookbooks when I realized they smelled exactly the way my grandparents’ house used to.  It’s funny – you wouldn’t think I would even know that smell anymore, as it’s been years since I’d been in the house.  It made me kind of sad.  Dorothy was the coolest step grandma imaginable – she wore makeup and fashionable clothes, and always was obsessed with weight, wanting my tips (this explains all the mid-70s Weight Watcher magazines I found.)   She was my grandpa’s second wife, after an unhappy first marriage.  He bought her a fur coat and diamonds, and showered her with trips to Branson.  It was the first time I remember him seeming happy.
After my grandpa died she stayed a member of the family, coming to holiday dinners and writing me birthday checks.  Her own son was, I think, somewhat lacking.  By keeping and using some of her things, it makes her feel more like my real grandma… which I suppose in a way she was.  I don’t feel a connection to my actual grandma, who was mentally ill and died when I was seven.  Dorothy was always special to me, and today I miss her.

I’m making Rosemary bread  in the breadmaker right now.  If you’re ever looking for a bread recipe to go with italian food, I can’t recommend this one enough.  It makes a bread that is almost like foccacia, and is perfect for dipping in olive oil.

I’ll be making Lasagna soup tonight to go along with it.  This is a new recipe to me, so we’ll see how it goes.  I’m off from work until Wednesday, so I’m getting in some quality cooking time.  I love to cook, but my nighttime working schedule can make it difficult sometimes.  Tomorrow I plan to make Rachel Ray’s Ginger flank steak with Wasabi Mashed Potatoes.  It’s in the “Express lane meals” cookbook, which I’ve borrowed from my Mom.  I also have some Broccoli Rabe to cook with it… I’m still searching for a good recipe there.  I love Rachel Ray’s recipes… I just can’t stand to listen to her voice.  I think that counts me as a fan.

crafts · knitting · Life · Thrifting · Uncategorized

Supposedly we had a flood around here on Friday night, although I personally didn’t observe any crazy amounts of water.  Some of our friends got flooded basements, which is unusal since we live in the Highlands (get it?  High-lands, as in on a big giant hill and not supposed to flood.)

I was in Cincinnati, Marc’s hometown, visiting with his family.  I think Cincinnati is a very nice city, but for me it doesn’t hold a candle to Louisville.  Fortunately for me, Marc feels the same way.  He even moved back here after grad school in Wisconsin, rather than returning to his hometown.  Cincinnati is going to have an IKEA though, and I’m so jealous that I could die.  I see many “family visits” in my future.

Rusted root is nearly finished.  I’ve completed everything except the neck edging, and that should take less than an hour once I feel like finishing.  Pictures soon, I promise!  I tried it on, and I’m really pleased with it.  It fits perfectly, and my sleeves have retained their puffiness.  My only problem is a gap in the join at the bottom of the sleeve cuffs.  I’ll just sew it up when I weave in the ends, but I do wonder why it gapped so badly.

I restarted my Multidirectional scarf tonight for the third time.  I’m confused about how to SSK.  Some directions say to slip both purlwise, and the video on shows slipping one knit and one purl.  I’ve been doing that, but my seam was all bumpy, and I was unhappy.  I looked at the directions, and lo and behold I’m supposed to slip both as if to knit.  I tried that, and instantly the bumps went away.  So I ripped and restarted, because I knew I wasn’t going to be happy with it the way that it was.  I also made the scarf more narrow – 4 inches wide instead of 5, because I dislike wide scarves.  So it should at least be faster.  And I’ve now learned that frogging silk garden is no fun, because it sticks to itself – but it does soften up with handling.

I had a disappointing Goodwill trip today.  I got a few shirts and a purse, plus a few shirts for Marc, but it was really crowded and picked over.  I went to Barnes and Noble to cheer myself up, and looked at the new Tracey Ullman knitting book.  I love the projects in this book – I want to do all the sweaters, plus the bathmats and tablerunner.  I’m definitely asking for this book for Christmas.  It’s so pricey – 27 dollars.  No way would I get it for myself.  18 on Amazon isn’t bad, but I’ll have to wait til after we go to Santa Fe to buy anymore books.  I want  the new Romantic Knits  (retail 29.95!) as well, but I might get a few Rowan Magazines instead (many of the patterns are from Rowan books.)

I need to decide on my next big project, now that Rusted root is nearly done.  And I really want to make the “Peas in a pod” cardigan from the Tracey Ullman book.  I should make an Hourglass sweater, but alas I am easily tempted by pretty new things.

books · Life · Star Trek · Thrifting

I *heart* Goodwill

Obviously I must have some way to finance my yarn hobby. I achieve this by shopping for almost everything else at my local Goodwills and thrifts. I shop at Goodwill so often that the employees know Marc and I by name. I have managed to procure a very nice (and really huge) wardrobe for myself by rifling through the racks like a hawk and giving the evil eye to anyone who approaches my cart. I would save more money, however, if I could manage to avoid the temptation to buy the absurd. For instance:

Why yes, that book is titled “Psychic Discoveries behind the iron curtain”. And it’s every bit as awful as that title would suggest, being filled with overly long physical descriptions of “strapping, vodka loving Commie psychics” and how our government is foolishly unconcerned about the “Psychic Gap.” God I adore this sort of thing.


I must confess to being a big giagantic Star Trek fan. It’s entirely possible that I currently have “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock” in the DVD player. It’s even possible that I may, at one time, have attended a convention. I’m not saying.
But even if you aren’t a fan, how awesome is this book? It’s teenage Worf, complete with a pretty unrealistic narrative voice and a little wispy moustache in the picture on the cover. And this one, unlike the psychic book, I actually finished. It wasn’t bad – a little rough in the characterization, and in randomly throwing in a meeting with Geordi that changes Worf’s life, but whatever. If I had had this book at 12 I would have been awfully happy.

When I haven’t been thrifting in awhile I start to actively worry about all the cool things I’m missing out on. What if there were a cookbook called “Making the most of meat” (no, I already have that one…) What if I could have added to my collection of souveneir piggy banks from unlikely places?  Someone else has my pig from the Leaning tower of Pisa, darnit!
I haven’t been this week. Hopefully this weekend will afford some opportunities.  Tomorrow we go to Cincy.  Perhaps thrifts there?  Or at least the giant store at the Gap company distribution center. I have more than once bought brand new Banana Republic leather coats there for 20 dollars.