Friday Night Knitting

Droppin’ some wooly knowledge.

Recently, my friend Wendy brought her drum carder to my place so we could card the fleeces I have lying around. Just another thing to help me avoid working on any of my knitting at Friday Night Knitting.

We set that bad boy up right away and Courtney started showing my minis how to use it. With any luck, I can get them to card my fleece for their allowance!

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Teaching the boy to use the carder.

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And the girl…

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Not too shabby!

Of course, it wouldn’t be Friday Night Knitting without some sort of mishap. This time, we took a fair chunk of knitting time and tried to break into a bottle of wine.

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It finally took a screwdriver and a hammer to get into it.

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Friday Night Block Party…

Here I go again….stacking up my drafts until I forget what it was I wanted to say. Thank goodness I am organized with my pictures… at least.

So this is the kinda stuff I do on Friday Nights…to keep me off the mean streets of Burbank.

The pictures below show how you can block a garment in no time. It was dry enough to unpin and take home at the end of the night.

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Courtney’s hooded cape thingy.

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She had stitches on a cable to seam later. She was stepping on the towel to get some of the water out and ended up breaking one of the end caps for her needles.

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Pinning it out with a little help from Angelique.

Hopefully I will get to see what it looks like once it’s seamed up…but it looked really good when she left my place that night. Maybe I’ll get to snap some pictures later.

I also thought I would snap a WIP picture…of course, there isn’t much more done on my project yet. I haven’t had much time to work on it lately.

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Angelique’s shawl, Courtney’s Signe hat…and my Big Al (well, a couple of his tentacles at least).

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My Signe hat alongside Courtney’s WIP. You’d think it was freaky friday or something. Usually our color choices are the other way around…

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TBT…Fleece edition.

I have a confession to make…

I sometimes shove a load of pictures from my phone into blank posts and save them as drafts, only to forget they exist. I can’t tell you how many of these “pictures only” drafts I’ve deleted from my blog after looking at them and not remembering what I wanted to write.

It just so happens that this is one of those posts.*

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Fleece!

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Hand carding! Making Rolags! Excitement! Adventure!

I can tell you that these were the pictures I took at Friday Night Knitting when Courtney brought over the fleece we bought at Stitches West. We dumped it on a bed sheet, separated and weighed it.

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Courtney playing with the hand carders.

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These big clear bins are great for keeping my fluff in.

After making some rolags, I tried spinning some of it. It’s nice and soft.

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I thought I would try spinning some of it.

I can tell you this…I am not done carding it. Carding this stuff is one of my least favorite things. I mean, I dislike brushing my own hair, why would I enjoy brushing sheep? It’s pretty sad…but on Friday nights when my friends come over to knit, I’ve been recruiting them to do it for me. I’m lazy, really. I did hit up a friend that just moved in nearby to see if I could use her drum carder to finish this stuff. I know I’ll make a mess, but it’ll be way more speedy than how I am doing it (or not doing it) right now.

Hopefully she can find it among all of her moving boxes. Keep your fingers crossed!

(*These pictures are over 2 months old. I had a lot of drafts that were FAR OLDER than this.)

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Let me tell you about my weekend…

Sunday, April 20th, 2014 | blah blah blah, Friday Night Knitting, UGH! | 2 Comments

Usually I don’t get into anything too serious here on the blog. I’m not exactly one who likes to talk about my feelings and such, but this time I figured I would make an exception.

Over the past few years, I have gone though quite a lot of personal stuff that has tested me in many ways. From my previous job, over a year of dealing with unemployment, to issues with people that I once considered dear friends, it was a lot to go through. For the most part, I dealt with it silently.

Last year, I found a job. I did it on my own without calling in any favors to friends, which can be a difficult thing in the industry I work in. I did it because I felt incredibly undeserving of anyone’s help and because I felt I had a lot to prove.

My current job is really great. It’s a wonderful place to work and I have learned so much in the past 7 months. The people I work with are quirky and creative and genuine. I really lucked out.

Which brings me to last Thursday…

I was at work and having a really great day. I was planning on walking home to have lunch alone, but decided to walk to lunch with my coworkers. That afternoon, I was chatting with a colleague about how I was feeling to be there and how I hoped that after our project was done, I could be moved onto something new so I could stay. She complimented me on my work…and for the first time in a really long time, I felt I was exactly where I needed to be. I thought about hopping on twitter and tweeting from the rooftops how awesome everything was…but I’ve been a quiet and contemplative person these days, so I decided that I would enjoy the moment myself.

I left work and went to pick up my kids. We all talked about our day and everything was pretty normal…until we got home.

We came upstairs to our place and I went to stick the key in the door when I noticed that something didn’t seem right. Did I not lock the door that morning? I wasn’t sure (despite knowing that I usually check it multiple times). I opened the door and walked in. I dropped my bag in the middle of the living room floor, right in front of the entrance to our hallway. The kids were standing there with me, when my daughter looked down the hallway and noticed something.

“Mommy, I think someone is in the house.”

This is pretty much where everything becomes a blur. It’s the only reason I have for not thinking straight and doing what I should have done first… which was to get us the hell out right then and there.

I know there was a call to 911, and my saying I wasn’t sure if someone was still there. There was me, getting the kids from the corner of the dining room, which was where they thought to hide for safety, to the hallway. At one point, I dug for my pepper spray and walked further in because I just wasn’t sure if I had left the lights on or the armoire, where I keep my stash, open. As soon as I noticed something was missing, I realized it was all very real.

We banged on neighbors doors and the lady that lives across the hall came out and tried calming down the kids with muffins. Finally, my brother-in-law came out and took the kids into his place while I waited for my husband and the police to arrive.

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Forensics lesson…

They showed up, they walked through, we looked around to see what was missing. They were in my stash, but it doesn’t look like they were interested in any of my yarn or fiber. The forensics person showed up to take fingerprints. I think it all took a few hours. The entire time I felt sick. Who the hell would do this? I went from disbelief, to fear, to anger and back.

Let me give you the bright side of the story…

First and foremost, we are safe. I had been coming home for lunch during the week, and had decided not to that day. Who knows what would have happened if I had come home and found someone in our place?

They didn’t take much that couldn’t be replaced. It’s just stuff.

So, while I spent all day Friday making phone calls, I also received many messages from friends checking to make sure that we were okay. I even heard from people I haven’t talked to in a very long time. I am touched and incredibly grateful.

I had Friday Night Knitting at my place. I didn’t feel comfortable going out and my friends coming over was a really good distraction. I got a lot of knitting done, but I have a lot more left to go.

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38″…25″ more to go…

Of course, there is more knitting stuff to share…but this is a long enough post already!

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L.A. Yarn Crawl 2014?

Not really…

I had said previously here on the blog that I wasn’t intending to take part in this years Yarn Crawl. I had a whole lot of reasons for this, not at least was that I really need to spin down my fiber stash.

Of course, Courtney was holding out some major hope that I would change my mind at the last minute and give in to the yarn fumes. I compromised a little. Due to a series of fortunate events, star aligning and the like, I was able to get out of work an hour early on Friday. I knew this was going to happen early enough to tip off Courtney, so during the time we would usually be converging on one of our usual places for our regular Friday Night Stitch and Bitch, we were sitting in my van in traffic chatting about Pokemon and heading toward Long Beach.

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They had a Candy Land type theme this year….so this is our lollypop selfie!

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I love their candy wreath.

We met up with Angelique at Alamitos Bay Yarn Company and pretty much stayed until they closed. It is one of my favorite stores and I really love the ladies that work there. They are so friendly and eager to help people out. They have a great yarn selection and have some really lovely looking pattern samples. If you can’t get something there, they will help you figure out where to get what you are looking for…

I had more reasons than that to have this be the store I hit. We had met this lovely lady named Pat Spencer at Stitches West this year, and I ended up buying one of her shawl pins. At the time we had met her, she had told us that she really didn’t have an online presence yet, but that she sold her pins at this cute little yarn store that she was sure we probably hadn’t heard of. When she mentioned that it was Alamitos Bay, we squealed with delight and told her how much we love the place. We knew they would have pins available at yarn crawl, and Courtney and I were hunting for some.

I was also pleasantly surprised to see Laura of Dizzy Blonde Studios there too! Of course, each one of us left with a skein of her Salt Water Taffy yarn!

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My yarn and pins and patterns…

But that isn’t where the madness ends.

There was a woman there with this beautiful carpet bag…the only one in the store…and I happened to fall in love with it. Now, the weird thing, I was just on the website for this particular brand of bag earlier in the week finding links for an artist I know on Twitter who was looking for bags with good pockets. I had told her she should look into knitting bags. Heck, I have a ton of knitting bags, but I use them mostly as purses because the pockets are so plentiful. I had sent her links to two other sites (Namaste and Jordana Paige) because of their purse-like styles. I hadn’t given a second thought to Off Hand Designs, because I have never owned one, and never seen the newer bags in person.

Oh wow. I had never thought I would have to fight the urge to knock down a perfectly innocent, nice lady and take her bag from her. Of course it was the only one in the store. Of course I wanted it.

Later on, Courtney had pulled up the Off Hand Designs website and we found what we thought was the bag. Had I just looked at the picture online, I probably wouldn’t have thought twice about getting it, but now that I had seen what it looked like in person, I just had to have it. I called Alamitos Bay Yarn Company first thing on Saturday morning to ask about that lovely lady who bought the bag (turns out her name is June) and confirm what type of bag it was. I ended up ordering it. It’s a limited edition of 16.

So the moral of the story? I can just as easily blow what might be my entire budget for yarn crawl in less than 24 hours by going to just one yarn store. This might be an all new personal best for me. My husband jokes that he is so thankful I don’t have expensive taste.

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Friday Night Crochet Discussion…

A few weeks back, Ash said she needed some crochet help and I decided to record it.

Here is basic explanation of shaping a crochet bowl.

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Third time’s the charm!

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013 | blah blah blah, Friday Night Knitting, KAL, shawl, UFO's, WIP | No Comments

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“I really should put down the knitting and blog something.”

Yup, this is what I keep telling myself, but honestly…I’ve been on a roll.

I have been working hard on my Celestarium. As of this writing, I’m at least through Cassiopeia. It’s not the only thing I have been knitting though. I have started Stephen West’s Safety Scarf as my mindless knitting, because the Celestarium is not proper Friday Night Knitting. Too much counting and math. That’s not easy when you are chatting and watching playoff hockey!

Now my “Celestial Ruin” is on it’s third incarnation. I had to frog it twice. The first time was for my crime against the KAL and the second was earlier this week when I realized that last Friday night I had placed my stitch markers in the wrong place and was exactly one stitch off. Yup…I let ‘er rip!

Right now I seem to be back on track and I am excited to be working on it!

Of course, my other crafting has slowed down a bit, but only because my parents are in town. I had to move the ironing board and sewing machine to make room for an air mattress. I’ll be back to it soon!

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KAL shaming

Ok people, remember this?

Well, I was pretty much going to get away without anyone noticing. Until someone slipped Friday night…that “someone” being me.

I really have no idea what I was thinking. I was all cocky about people not reading my blog (I mean, who the hell brags about THAT?)

Now, Angelique had known what it was I had done. Not because she had read the blog, but because I had gone to a mixer in Hollywood with her and needed something to talk about in between my threats to take a dip in the pool at the hotel.

So I let it slip…and I explained that I haven’t touched it since…and that I had no plans to touch it until everyone had reached the place I stopped…and then there was some yelling. The whole event was photographed and caught on video…and posted to the Interweb so I could properly be shamed for my crime against the KAL.

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Photo by Ashley.

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An attempt to show restraint…

I’m in trouble kids. I really couldn’t help myself. (Court, please don’t kill me.)

This past weekend I got called out for my “swatching”. I know that my friends were doing their swatches all legit like, but I know how I am. I always have to jump on the latest project. I have a reputation for pooping out projects for a reason. I’m seriously manic about it.

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I suppose I should give you the backstory.

I think it was October or November of last year. I believe I can blame David for tipping us off to the Celestarium… because he knows that some of us are crazy and some of us have a love of stars. For you lay people passing through, this pattern is a circular, beaded star chart shawl. Yeah, I’m not sure how I didn’t just die from knitting beauty overload right then and there.

Anyway, we jumped on the KAL train and decided we would try to start it sometime around Christmas, but things didn’t quite work out like we had planned and we had to push our start date. Some of us were still looking for proper yarn, or formulating plans of how to attack the thing. Maybe some of us went a little crazy pants (Courtney, with much help from David) and actually color coded beads by star classification!

I am guessing everyone might have been a little surprised when I went the easy route. I already had two skeins of Anzula Wash My Lace in Charcoal in my stash, so all I needed were beads. After a trip to San Gabriel Bead Company (one of my old haunts), I had some purple lined topaz AB seed beads and was ready to roll…except I had to wait for everyone else to be ready.

So that brings us to now, almost May.

This past weekend, while my knitters were at home, knitting up proper swatch tubes, I was knitting the first three charts of the actual pattern…because, really, it’s a Pi shawl and I could care less about gauge, I’m just looking to see what my fabric looks like. I did it up on 4’s and sent them a picture to take a look at the size of the thing…and I think I almost gave them a rage stroke. I think Courtney said she even showed it to her mom, and they all agreed…I cheated.

You think I would have learned something, right? Well, I did learn that my “swatch” was too tight, so I was going to have to go up a couple of needle sizes. I grabbed my 6’s and did another swatch. No, it’s not a proper swatch either. Maybe I should just leave it at that before someone decides to hurt me. I put it aside so everyone can get their stuff together…but I’m not gonna lie… I keep pulling it out of my project bag to look at it. I want to work on it so bad that I think it actually hurts.

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Yarn Crawl LA, Day 2 (the photo edition)

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Phebie’s NeedleArt in Claremont.

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Our Chucks.

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Just outside Phebie’s.

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Colors 91711.

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Ash getting her passport pinned to her shirt so she doesn’t lose it…again…at The purlSide.

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Outside Compatto. We squeaked in right before closing time to get our stamps.

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The alley behind Knit Culture.

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The owner of Gather DTLA handed us her dog.

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Yarn bombing outside Gather DTLA.

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Inside Gather DTLA.

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