Traveling To PA: Thursday Summarized

Seen Scribbled In All Different Handwriting On The Inside Of A Women’s Bathroom Stall

“I love Gary.”

“Me, too!”

“I do, too.”

“So do I!”

“We all do!”

 

 

“Gary is gay.”

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July 31, 2008. Uncategorized. 9 comments.

$90 Wollmeise?

Or $91 dollar Wollmeise, to be precise.

Well, that’s what we call demand, children, although I certainly wouldn’t have paid $91 for that particular color myself. There’s an interesting dilemma in this, because Claudia, the woman who dyes the Wollmeise sock yarn, has specifically asked that people do not charge more for the yarn than they paid for it. (Here’s a link to her shop)

 Now, in this case, I can see that this person didn’t have control over how much it sold for—after all, it is an auction and Ebay auctions can get crazy. But apparently, some people made a habit of buying Wollmeise and turning around and reselling it for much more on Ebay. Claudia has apparently said that she won’t sell to people that do that.

 Here’s my opinion: she needs to raise her prices.

 Seriously. There is a huge demand for this yarn. The yardage is great (over 500 yards, I believe) and maybe it would slow down the frenzy. Otherwise, I am unsure of why it is so offensive to have your yarn resold on Ebay. Honestly. I mean, I would have thought that it would be flattering to have people who are willing to pay more than retail for your yarn.

 I guess that this is part of a personal shtick with this mentality that I’ve seen that it is mean to make money when you destash yarn or trade or swap. That somehow, this evil knitter is rubbing their skinny villain hands as they bilk fellow knitters out of an extra $5 for a discontinued Socks that Rock color.

 Let’s put it this way: if someone willing buys something without someone else holding a gun to their head—then I don’t care if you pay $200 for a skein of Caron Simply Soft. Yarn is not a life-giving essential. You do not need yarn to live. (Ow, I felt a twinge just writing that!)

 Raising the prices, at least by a buck or two (or I should say, euro, since Wollmeise is a German-based company) could maybe help stem some of the demand, thus automatically lessening the chance of $90 skeins of Wollmeise.

 Whaddya think? You can comment here and check out the original thread at Ravelry about the uber-expensive Wollmeise)

July 29, 2008. Snark Editorial, Uncategorized. 8 comments.

Knitting For Peace

 Fact One: My camera cord has disappeared.

 Fact Two: I have a brand-new finished object to show you, but without the camera cord, all pictures are trapped inside the magic box. (If you really want some eye candy right now, check out Jen’s yarn porn, it is really good.)

 Fact Three: I’ve been reading some fascinating books that I want to talk about, so I hope you’ll enjoy reading anyway until the little bugger turns up!

 Let’s put it this way, my family is a book family. I can’t remember a time when we didn’t have shelves stuffed with books. A hard day of yard sales almost always resulted in another box. A good percent of our books are library discards; our local library/s hold biannual sales to raise money.

 Courtesy of the latest raid, I’ve been reading Blossoms On The Olive Tree: Israeli And Palestinian Women Working For Peace.

 It’s difficult to describe a book that feels like a great big box, stuffed full with tidbits of this and tiny treasures but I’ll try. The author talked to many women on both sides, all working to try to bring peace between two peoples caught in politics and war. Some were Holocaust survivors that fled to Israel. Others were hardcore politicians, working to bring a female voice to a typically male political scene—and on that score, dear readers, I fear that we fare little better!—but all of them are working towards the same thing: peace. Peace for their nations, peace for their families, for themselves.

 I read stories about soldiers destroying belongings and homes—not for gain, but just because they could. One particularly gripping story told about a family in Bethlehem that had been commandeered by Israeli soldiers that broke down the back door and stayed there–for 21 days. (Apparently their house offered an excellent view from its roof during the stand-off in which a Palestinian gunman hid himself in the Church of the Nativity.)  2 family members died when they stormed their house, randomly firing guns through the door. The bodies weren’t picked up for two days; no one would come. The soldiers stole what they wanted, destroyed what they didn’t and finally left…

 Just before I picked this book up, I’d also been reading Knitting for Peace: Make the World a Better Place One Stitch at a Time.  As you can imagine, my adolescent heart is aflame with peace-making desire…and virtually helpless to do much about it. One fact in Knitting For Peace that caught my attention was that the Afghans for Afghans (I believe) recommended the color green, because it is a color beloved to Islam. This tiny humane detail has somehow stuck itself into my brain, niggling at me, as if it is somehow important.

 So, yes, there are many charity knitting organizations. I’m organizing a knit-a-long for premature and needy babies in a Ravelry group and I’ll also be handling the other knit-a-longs that the group does, at least the next few, anyway. The next time, we will be knitting for rape survivors—shawls or blankets, something to show caring and respect.

 But somehow, I feel restless, unsettled. I know there are people knitting helmet liners for soldiers. Socks for soldiers. Knitting For Peace shares amazing stories about many great organizations that knit for civilians as well. It’s not that I have not read these stories before, known about these organizations before, but I am seriously doubting whether I am doing all that I can…or that there aren’t quiet stretches of people, unreached, that still need help.

 Naturally, I’m speaking from a privileged point of view. I don’t want to poke myself, to prod myself, to recognize that I am, in many ways, speaking down from my own self-created pedestal. I don’t want to be insufferable, somehow looking down like the great Western white saviour, reaching out my sainted hand to the great unwashed of the world that need my help. I have no illusions that my picture of need or conflict is faint and cloudy compared to what it is to live, day to day, in a life that is a war-zone, or simply a struggle to survive.

 All that I can do is realize that I need to help…and that there is probably somewhere or something that I can. Please, if you have a charity or project that is especially close to your heart, share with me in the comments. Anything about your charity work or others would be appreciated. I’m asking, hoping for answers, because last time I asked for a response, about random acts of kindness, the response was touching and amazing. If you haven’t read everyone’s stories, please go here and read them, just scroll down to the comments—they’re beautiful, sometimes funny.)

 Again, if you have a charity close to you, or a story that you want to share, please, tell me about it. I have two hands that want to work.

July 28, 2008. Tags: . Uncategorized. 6 comments.

The Contest Winner!

 Using a random number generator…

 (drums, please)

 a winner for the STR Thraven yarn has been selected…

 (more drums…)

 and it is…

 (oh, come on already)

 Mary Ellen, at her blog, ilikestring!]

 Congrats, Mary Ellen, I will get in touch today to get your address to ship the yarn out Monday!

 A big thank-you to everybody that shared their stories of random kindness. Everyone was such a joy to read. It’s great to know that people can just be kind because they want to be, not expecting anything in return.

July 26, 2008. The Lumpy Sweater News. 2 comments.

Seaming Makes Me Sleepy: Cardigan Update

For a couple weeks, my basic black cardigan has been completed—but not quite. I needed to seam it together and I have never seamed a sweater before. Let’s put it this way: I have taught myself to purl, knit socks, cable, fair isle (a little) and a lot of other things. I’m not afraid to learn. But no matter how I looked at it, I could not understand seaming.

 In yesterday’s post I showed off my latest yarn purchase, some Dulce sock yarn. This Sunday, I bought that—and I sat down on the couch with Pat and learned how to seam. Business was slow that afternoon so I had a long stretch of afternoon in which Pat showed me the different seams on the in-store sweaters and I could practice making ugly seams. After many, many, many false starts, I finally found something that looked pretty good, one that she showed me how to use.

 Fortunately, this tedious but not very engaging work meant that we could chat about random things and I found out something gratifying: we’re both Alexander Hamilton fans. (Me and another friend have an on-going rivalry: I’m for Hamilton and she’s for Jefferson. A cursory look at history reveals that neither Alex or Jeff got along very well!)

 After a few hours, I was sweating, my back complained and my eyes started to flunk out on me. But I persevered. I want this damn’d sweater finished! (I figure damn’d must be a Shakespearean term, so it doesn’t count as swearing. Like, when you say, John the Bastard, in Much Ado About Nothing. Or, damn’d spirits all, in Midsummer’s Night Dream.)

 And because I’ve always heard from people that the inside should look just as good as the outside, here’s the sweater, inside-out.

 I’ve finished seaming the underside of the sleeve and the side, so I’m moving on to the right sleeve. After that, it will just be the ribbing and any other loose ends to weave in! I started this cardigan in January. If I can finish it in August, then it will be 8 months, start to finish.

 Damn’d seams!

July 24, 2008. Tags: . works-in-progress. 6 comments.

Professional Yarn Modeling: Photography Tips For Yarn And Handknits

Hey, honey. Want me to show you a few tips about how to make your yarn porn…yarn porn? Wanna know what makes a yarnie’s heart race?  Well, guess what. Today’s your lucky day. I’m going to share just a few tips about you, too, can make your yarn look fabulous.

Today’s Photography Subject: Sock Yarn

Brand: Purled Llama Dulce

Colorway: Hummingbird

  •  Getting Personal–The Close-Up

Look for a little flower button on your camera—I’m assuming that you have a digital camera—and you should always use this if you want really sharp pictures of your yarn. Just press it down and a little flower symbol will appear on your screen. You can hold your camera much closer and get much better focus that way.

 

This is 440 yards of pure merino softness. The moment I saw this in my LYS, it was like I walked into a dream…a beautiful dream, that I never wanted to leave…

  • Keep It Natural

 This reminds me of one of my pet peeves; knitters that use flash when they take pictures. Natural light is almost always better! You don’t have to pose it outside, though. If you have a window that the light comes through in say, the afternoon, you can use that indirect sunlight to make some lovely pictures. (Note: this picture is slightly bleached because my lighting was too strong; I’m not perfect yet either!)

 If you don’t know how to turn the flash off, look again at your camera. There should be a little lightning bolt button. Press that until the symbol *on-screen* turns into a lightning bolt within an X. This will turn it off and it will stop bleaching out your pictures!

  • Be Original!

 

Me: pantomiming Speak No Evil.

 I’ll be perfectly frank here: I love the Yarn Harlot’s traveling sock. It’s cute and fun to see it in various settings. But it’s been done. Why not have a traveling hat and display it on lamp-posts or famous busts in museums? Maybe a manikan in a department store! One blog that I really enjoy is Turtle Girl’s blog, and many of her pictures figure one of her many turtle statues and possessions. It’s her own and very cute.

  • Take Two–Or A Hundred

 Always, always take more pictures than you think that you will need or use. It is always better to have more options than to have less, especially if your photography skills are still a little shaky. I’m working on mine. For example:

That’s a lame version of the picture at the start of this post.  More option and more pictures to choose from are always better! You’d be surprised at the weird flaws that can ruin what might have been a good picture and it is always a relief to have another to choose from.

  • More Pixels! Give Me More!!!

 No clever picture for this one, but I’m serious. Set your camera to take higher resolution pictures–usually, there’s an + button on the camera. This will also help with those lucious close-ups. It will take up more space on your camera, but you can always delete them after you’ve loaded them onto your comp.

Let’s Review The Methods For Sexier Yarn Porn

  • Use The Close-Up Option On Your Camera
  • Use NATURAL Lighting
  • Be Original!
  • Take LOTS Of Pictures
  • Use Higher Resolution

Well, I hope that you as excited as I am…

about our photography lesson. This a great example of the drugged model look, perfect to send to your grandparents and relations. Nothing is surer to have them travel down for a surprise visit to make sure you’re not sprawled out on the floor with a needle in your arm. Hopefully this tips will help you to be surprised (and pleased) with what you have managed to capture with your camera. Seriously.

July 22, 2008. Tags: , , . Knittin' Porn. 11 comments.

My RAK: A Package From Alaska!

  Jen (gosh, I know a lot of lovely people with the name Jen) in Anchorage Alaska, otherwise known as irunnaked at her blog, A Stitch In Thyme, sent me some yarn. Just because she’s nice. She also tucked a few other goodies into the box that arrived yesterday.

 This is the original random act of kindness that helped to inspire my own giveaway. (Follow the link to enter, if you haven’t already, it’s oen until midnight EST this Friday!) I’ve absolutely loved listening to all of your amazing stories about RAKs that have helped you—or that you’ve done yourself!

If you can’t read it, it says ALASKA on the side and you squeeze it. And that’s not because it makes a cute sound. My younger siblings spent the entire morning giggling over the pooing bear. Very cute keychain.

And ( drumroll) the sock yarn.

Brand: Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock

Colorway: Blueberry Snowcone (a limited edition sold at Jimmy Bean’s Wool)

 I love, love, LOVE this colorway. It’s so pretty in person–that touch of light frosty blue makes the whole skein. But, like I said, Jen didn’t just send the Lorna’s sock.

Brand: Koigu Kersti (heavishy DK merino)

Colorway: Beats me, but it’s all shades of purple

 

Now this is definitely becoming a hat someday. It feels amazing. It’s also a crepe yarn, something that I’ve never worked with before, but it has a lovely springiness that is something that always draws me to a yarn.  With 342 yards of this yarn, I should be able to make a hat and a skein leftover for something else, maybe a pair of matching handwarmers.

 And now I have a secret confession. I could not get a decent picture of the two skeins of Wildfoote sock yarn that she also sent. Yes, my photography skills are not always perfect. In my defense, I was still slightly sick the day that the package landed on my porch. It’s a darker shade of mulberry and some others, called Tom Cat. It almost feels like it has alpaca in it, but it doesn’t. This may end up as a pair of Dad socks, because it has 25% nylon in it, and I’ve seen him wear old argyle socks that almost these exact colors in them.

 Thank you so much, Jen, it really brightened my day. And now I’ll have to work on spreading around the karma!

July 21, 2008. Knittin' Porn. 6 comments.

My Goodness! 100 Posts! And A Giveaway—Yarn, Squee!

 This is just a brief little announcement—there will be the regular posting starting on Tuesday!

 This is actually the 101 post that I’ve made on this blog! The statistics break down like this!

  • 101 posts
  • 547 comments
  • Busiest day: 1,912 — Wednesday, April 9, 2008

 I can’t tell you how much it means to me that everyone keeps reading and commenting. Every comment is important to me, even if my schedule sometimes keeps me from responding to every single one! It keeps me writing and encouraged.

Because of this, I wanted to give back to my readers. Specifically, a skein of Socks that Rock Lightweight yarn. It’s brandnew, in the colorway Thraven.

I really love this colorway, but because of someone else who was very nice to me (that will come later this week!) I think that the love should be spread around.

 To enter to win this lovely yarn, all you have to do this comment on this post. I would love to hear about random acts of kindness that other people have done for you or that you did for others! It will run from today through the 25th of this month, midnight EST. The winner will be chosen and announced on Saturday!

July 20, 2008. The Lumpy Sweater News. 45 comments.

Cotton Preemie Hats: Mindless Knitting

Pattern: Preemie Hats for Charity

Yarn: Sublime Organic Cotton DK

Needle: Size 5

 I know that I’m going to have an extra skein of this left over from my t-shirt (still working on it!) and I got two hats from one skein. Not too bad.

 These hats are part of a KAL that is happening in one of my Ravelry groups. We’re going to knit baby items for hospitals or charities. I’m not sure if I will be able to donate these two paticular hats because they can’t be machine dried, but it’s practice. Any recommendations about good yarn for preemie hats (non-wool, please, and machine washable-dryable if you know of some) would be greatly appreciated. If hospitals can’t use these, I’ll donate them to my church.

It’s the first time that I’ve knit for charity and I feel good about it. If I find a yarn that’s really good, maybe I can make a hat-sock-blanket set! One person in the group is going to get all the knitted items and then donate it to a local hospital. It’s going to rotate, though, so different hospitals all over the country are going to get donations!

 I started and finished one hat yesterday and one hat today. Being sick gives one time for such mindless knitting.

July 17, 2008. Tags: . Knittin' Porn, works-in-progress. 10 comments.

Feeling Crappy Hiatus

 I woke up feeling quite disgusting this morning. I’ve been having something over the past couple of days and now it’s just come to a head, I guess. Sorry for the interuption in the regular posting schedule. I did a hood deal of practice spinning Tuesday and found out where Sleeping Beauty pricked her finger. Today, I’m sleeping.

July 16, 2008. Uncategorized. 3 comments.

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