Sunday, 21 December 2008


So this is really cute and you should click on it!

Adopt one today!

Adopt one today!

Monday, 8 December 2008

Anything can be a euphemism said with the right inflection

"I've been on your sofa studying World Literature." ~Pink Hair

"Oh yeah? Well I've been on your sofa studying the human geonome and all it's permutations... including the finished product." ~Muppet

"I'm growing 12 zygones right now"
*horrified look from Muppet*

Finals going on right now, so posting is obviously down, though the crafting 'aint. Look for some massive posts and pictures once finals get done.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

To my boyfriend (bf)* last night:

Me: The cat needs to die.
BF: Why?
Me: It's good character development. And it's a plot device.
BF: Okay.

[A bit later]
Me: What's it like to run over a small animal?
BF: You've never run over something?
me: No. Maybe that means I'm a good driver.
BF: Maybe that means you're a Yankee.

[even later]
Me: What do bones look like when they're sticking out of a body? I assume they only look white when they're bleached dry.
BF: They look like bad teeth.
Me: ?
BF: You know, yellowy.
Me: Ah.

Me: The cat still needs to die.
BF: She's pulling into the driveway. I don't think it's plausible that the cat gets run over when she's pulling into the driveway.
me: Then how can it die?
BF: Poison?
Me: *Mutters* Wouldn't that get into her milk and kill the kittens? The kittens need to live.

[five minutes later]
BF: I know! The cat has rabies and she has to kill it with a machete!
Me: Would she have that in her garage?
BF: Maybe it could be an axe.

*giggles* Maybe I'm the only one that finds these snippets of conversation amusing.

In other news, I knit two socks out of Noro yarn, and they came out looking completely different. So I'm having to knit two more socks, hoping I'll come out with near matches. Not that I'm complaining.

It's getting into finals, and I'm really busy, hence the lack of writing. There's lots of things I could tell you about... like the not-quite-masks I'm making for sculpture class, but I don't have the time right now.

BTW, if anyone out there has scraps of novelty yarn they don't want to use, I'd love to have them sent to me. I could really use them.

I'm running a fever, and my joints ache.

*My boyfriend, is also known as Southern Gentleman (SG) on previous blogs, and perhaps previous blog posts. I waver between the two nicknames for him. He's really sweet and I'm terribly in love with him. He has a slight (or more than slight) bias against Yankees (he's mostly joking) but makes an exception for me. And you want an example of how great he his? He winds center-pull balls of yarn for me.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Gonna be gone

Gonna be gone until Sunday- going to visit the boyfriend's parent's family farm. Fun will come!

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

I was going to do a post with pictures, but I'm too tired.

Why am I too tired? Well yesterday I was working on my sculpture and gating it until around seven forty five. I raced over to the union to get dinner, and managed to grab some milk, apples and hot chocolate/vanilla latte/coffee, because I was cold and thought I could use the pick me up.

I don’t normally like coffee drinks, but it was good, and it went well with the eggs I made in my room.

Anyway, around eleven I was freezing. The heater has been blowing hot air, and after wavering between warm weather and chilly weather, the temperature plunged on Saturday night, and hasn’t revered yet. As a result, I’m freezing in my room. After talking with Laura and making sure I wasn’t the only one imagining it, I went to the union to warm up (with the fire and everything it’s quite toasty) and get something hot to drink. Well, I thought that the drink I had earlier was pretty good, and it didn’t seem to effect me that much, so I decided to do it again, but make it a large and add a bit more coffee to it, because the coffee was hotter than the hot chocolate. I wanted something that would stay warm when I went back to my room.

Well, after adding cinnamon and nutmeg, it was quite tasty, and I brought it back to my room to drink as I worked. I nursed it for the next hour, and it stayed quite warm.

Needless to say, somewhere around there the caffeine from the two drinks caught up with me, and I didn't get to sleep for a long long time after that.

Today we did the investing process, where we pour plaster around our wax to make a mold. The wax will be burned out in the kiln, which will leave the mold behind. Then, next Tuesday we'll pour molten metal (bronze specifically) into the mold.

The investing process (which is part of the lost wax casting method) was messy, dirty work. We all had jobs, and mine was measuring out plaster which means I got plaster powder everywhere (including my nose… I was the one measuring out plaster in our whole process, so I was inhaling lots of dust… probably not a good thing) and got crazy dirty and my skin is really dried out and my hair is a crazy tangled mess I don’t want to deal with.

It was so much fun. We mixed silicone sand with plaster and water (equal parts of each) and then poured them into the containers we had built around or wax sculptures and the gating attached. We made the containers out of felt paper and chickenwire. It was a lot of work, left me feeling vaguely exhausted.

Thus, I don't want to go to the effort of taking pictures of my current crafting, nor any of the other interesting things I got on my camera, despite knowing that craft blogs are more interesting when they have pictures in them.

Least of all, they are for me.

Monday, 17 November 2008

I don't know quite what to say

I haven't been writing lately, and I'm trying to resist the urge to apologize for it. This is, after all, my space, and I shouldn't feel guilty for writing or not writing.

But, I've gotten several e-mails from different people, and it was very heartening. There isn't really anything wrong with me other than a vague sense of loneliness that's been with me lately. I had a friend visiting for just under two weeks, and she was staying in my single at college with me. It was nice to have a room mate again... I've been missing that. Anyway, I was busy with her being here, and then she left on Friday. Meanwhile, another one of my good friends flunked out of school (for various personal reasons) and her parents withdrew her (her parents are not the most sympathetic of people and were not very supportive of the fact that she's been going through a lot of stuff). So in a week two of my friends dropped out of my social life.

Now, normally that wouldn't be that big of deal, but in addition most of my friends that are my year are crazy busy with applying to grad school and other stuff, and my friends that are a year younger than me (including my boyfriend) are all studying abroad.

So I've been just a tad bit lonely.

The end result is I've been trying to expand my social circle, with interesting results. Still, while I am getting to know some facinating and interesting underclassmen, it doesn't make up for the fact that most of my close friends are going through their own crisis.

So... yeah.

In other news, not much happening on the crafting scale. I've spun up three new yarns, and I'm working on another sculpture for my class. We're casting in Bronze! (more on that later) I'm planning on incorporating crochet into the end product. (surprise, surprise)

It's going to ROCK.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Wednesday Contest Shoutout

Weblog Wannabe is having a comments contest for the month of November in honor of NaNoWriMo. It takes a bit of work (10 comments during the month) but you get five prints... so not bad at all!

GROSGRAIN MINI STORE OPENING NOVEMBER 6!!!! AND BIG PREVIEW GIVEAWAY!!!! (sorry, she created that line, and I like her excitement so I'm leaving it here)

Down Abbie's Road is having a contest for an old Victorian doll reproduction. She's quite beautiful.

The Sarah Winchester of Fiber Arts is having a comments contest that correlates with her being drawn into the fiber world. It only gets worse.

Theknittyvritti is having a voting contest for the favorite finished project she's done this year. Go over and vote!

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Winner of the Last Week of the October Contest

Congrats, Cristi-Lael, you've won the last week of the contest! You'll be getting some yarn in other goodies in the mail as soon as you get in touch with me. My profile has my e-mail address, or my Ravelry ID is jecrowley. PM me your address!

In other news, my Friday was harrowing, with me: biking to the voting station in NC (quite a distance), waiting in line while trying to finish a paper due at five, finding out that they couldn't take my form of ID for some technicality I didn't register (mostly because I was having difficulty holding myself together until I could get to a bathroom to cry), biking back to campus, getting the necessary paperwork, desperately finding a computer so I could e-mail the essay to my professor, biking back, and finally FINALLY voting.

To top it all off, on the way back an SUV's driver hit the gas instead of the break, and launched himself over an embankment and retaining wall not even a yard in front of me. I do not kid. If I'd been a half second further along in my bikeride, I'm fairly certain that I would not be here typing this. More than likely, my head would have been swiped off (the helment doesn't really protect against an SUV) and my body squished flat, impaled by my crumpled bike.

My life just doesn't stay boring for long.

In better news, I'm alive, I got fiber in the mail and have more on the way, I have a bunch of RAK packages and MY FIRST ETSY sale to send off tomorrow, and the begining of the Mix Makers Swap is starting off without a hitch.

Right now I need to go to dance pratice.

Until later!

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Thursday Blog Review

Today's craft blog review is for Crochet by Faye, and if you don't know about her, you should. She's a crochet designer, and her blog is wonderful because it gives glimpses into the design process. For someone who doesn't like to follow directions (who? me?) and often comes up with their own patterns, her blog is an invaluable resource.

She does beautiful lace designs that you just want to sink your teeth into right away. Her writing style is friendly, and the website reflects her work: simple clean lines and appealing colors.

She posts lots of pictures, and does a variety of posts. The only wish I had was that she post more regularly, but I'd much rather quality over quantity. Still, she does manage to keep me coming back, so she must be doing something right.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

I'm running my first swap!

Quite exciting, I'm running my first swap over at Ravelry, called Mix Makers. The focus is on created CD mixes and sending yarn to each other. We're trying to keep the cost fairly cheep, and put the emphasis on made gifts instead of spending a lot of money. There's still time to sign up... until Saturday, so if you're interested, you should come on by.

I'm anticipating this being a lot of fun. I've been in a few swaps that haven't been fiber related, and I participated in Secret Pal12 and am planning on being in Secret Pal 13, but I wanted to do something my way. I hoping it goes well, and I'm looking forward to having people stop by from the Swap (hi y'all if you're already out there!)

In other news, I updated my WIP's, and as you can see on my left sidebar, I have quite a few more going. I actually have to add one more, I'm doing an Alchemy thing on Etsy, where I'm making a squirrel for someone who wants one and in return I get some banners made for my Etsy store. I love bartering. To me it seems like I'm saving money... always a good thing.

Although, I've bought more fiber than I probably should have from Etsy and Ebay in the last few days... I'm afriad I've been feeling a bit down and lonely at college, and my normal two reactions are to eat and to craft. Since I'm trying to get my eating under control, I'm afraid that my crafting, and urge to buy yarn and fiber, has increased. I should really work on that.

What else can I tell you? Oh! Do you remember my post about my Firefly shawl? (I do have to say, for someone who has problems taking pictures {especially pictures of my wholemade yarn- why do they never come out FOCUSED?!?} that's a really good picture of the shawl) I'm working on making it a pattern you can purchase on Etsy and Ravelry. It should be lots of fun if I get it to work. Playing around with crochet graphing software and writing out instructions at least keeps me occupied. *grins*

Have you ever been in any swaps? Would you like to be in one or do they have no interest for you?

Wednesday Contest Shoutout!

Knit it Up is having an amazing contest. There's so many prizes I can't name them all, and you should definitely go over there. *drools* I really really want those prizes.

Baa Baa Blacksheep is having a contest involving the election. I'm willing to promote anything that encourages people to vote or increase interest in the election, so go take a look!

Midwest Knit Girl is having a contest where you try and guess how many posts she has done to late.

Jen La
is having a caption contest. After having a bad day she needs something to pick her up.

My contest is going on until the 31st! Just leave a comment on any of my posts or put a link on your blog that goes back to me. The Drawing will be announced Friday as close to midnight as I can get, which means probably sometime on saturday.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Spinning Picspam!

I've been doing a lot lately, but I haven't been blogging about much of it. However, I'm too lazy and it's too late to be writing a big long post, so I'm going to do a picpost.

This is all the stuff I've been spinning in the last while. The biggest picture has a bit of a story to it. So I've been spinning up a whole bunch of yarn just because I've been stressed and it's a good way to decompress, and I've managed to spin up the last of my fiber on Thursday.

So I was rather dissapointed about it, but I thought it was a good thing because I DO have quite a bit of work to do. Anyway, I'm participating in FatCatKnits fiberclub, and I was disappointed how my last yarn spun up (not the fault of the dying, which was beautiful, but because I didn't think out how I was going to approach the yarn, and just dove right in)... not the way I imagined. Anyway, someone suggests that the next time I encounter a dye lot like that I navajo ply it.

I say, isn't that the same as making three ply yarn?

As I discovered, it is not. I watch a few videos on youtube, the most notable being This one:

Anyway, I'm DYING to try it... but I don't have any fiber!

Until, I remember that FatCatKnits (bless her heart) sends out little "treats" along with the main roving, and I pull that out of my button box (have I mentioned that I've been buying a lot of metal buttons lately? It's for one of my sculptures, but I'll talk about that later.) and I got at it. The Result was what is in the big picture... my first Navajo Ply.

It's amazing, I'm in love.

(ironically, uploading all the photos took about as much time as creating a real entry would have)

Addendum: Heads up, if you like any of the handspun, head over to my Etsy shop, where you can buy it. I'm still getting all the yarn up there. If you mention in the comments that you came to my Etsy Store through my blog, I'll throw in an extra surprise!

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Wonderful support

Hey all, thank you so much for your well wishes and prayers. This last week I've been in a sort of daze, going through the motions and nothing more. My grandmother did get out of the hospital and is doing much better, though there were some rough patches while that was going on. Thankfully, things are better now.

Perhaps because of my emotional turmoil, and stress, but I've been doing a lot of spinning lately. The result is some very nice yarn, but even better, I was able to achieve some emotional blankness that was very welcome. I've also done quite a bit of crochet and knitting... I have a lot of updates for both my Etsy store and Ravelry.

Which brings me to another thing. I did not manage to post once at all this week, which is grossly unfair to those of you who have been reading. starrypurplehaze, I have not managed to send out your yarn, though I did get your address, and I have a proposal to make.

I'd like to make the second to the last week and this upcoming week count for one big, last prize. I would post more, and there would be double to the amount of yarn to send off. People who have commented in the last week, your comments would count towards this last drawing (if that makes sense).

I think this is only fair, because I didn't give people much of a chance to comment. Hopefully y'all agree with me, because that's what I'm going to do.

Look forward to some more posts this week!

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Second week winner

So I did the drawing from the second week, and starrypurplehaze, you are the winner! The yarn to the right is your prize. E-mail me with your address and I'll have this in the mail to you in two shakes of a lamb's tail!

I intended to do a post about the other contests on Wednesday and a review of a blog on Thursday or Friday, but neither of those things happened for a variety of reasons, the largest being that my grandmother went to the hospital and I was in contact with my family and not thinking about the blog.

Also, I'm missing my boyfriend and my financial aid for my college has went wonky. However, things will work out.

In an entirely random vein, are any of you familar with Etsy? I'm trying to start up a store there, and I'd love some advice on how to get traffic so people are viewing your store. Any of you out there more expierienced than I can give me some hints? I would appreciate it!

Remember, Remember: The third week of my contest is still going on! Writing a comment will get you entries. Mentioning my contest in your blog will get you TWO entries. You can comment as much as you want, so keep them coming!

Saturday, 18 October 2008

My Grandma has been in the hospital

So naturally, that takes priority over blogging. I'll draw the winner for this last week this weekend, and show you the third week's yarn.

Just not now.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

I'm kinda embarassed

So as I posted on Thursday, I went home for the weekend (plus Monday and Tuesday). I was really excited because not only was I going to see my family, but also my boyfriend, and two of my best friends. It was a wonderful, fun filled break.

In preparation for the break, I prepared some posts that were scheduled to be posted while I was away. One of these was Friday's post, which was supposed to announce who had won the first week's contest, as well as show off the next week's contest yarn. However, I scheduled to post my draft, and not the finished project.

So I'll announce it here, and then I'm going back to change Friday's post. Bronwyn, you won the first week of Handspun contest! Congrats! E-mail me (it's on my profile) with your address and I'll get it packaged up to you and sent off!

Later today I'll edit this post with Wednesday's contest shutout, but for now I need to edit the other post and head to class.

The second week of my contest is going on! Writing a comment will get you an entry. Mentioning the contest in your blog will get you TWO entries, just make sure that in your comment you link back to your blog. Thirdly, if you make a halloween-themed object during this month, leave a link on the comments and you get TWO entires. You can comment as much as you want (if you spam my blog, that will get you disqualified), you can make as many halloween themed stuff as you want.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Musings on the state of my Blogroll

Okay, so I admit I read a lot. I'm an english major. I average about three books a week, either in literature, free reading, or some combination thereof. But that's not what I want to talk about today. What I want to talk about today is the amount of blogs I follow.

I used to use Technorati to keep track of my blogs, but that rapidly stopped working. The database couldn't keep track of the amount of blogs I read in one day. Literally, there would be days where I would sign in and the thing would just stop working on me because I read so many blogs. So, I switched over to Google Reader, and haven't looked back sense.

How many blogs, you ask, do I read? As of today? 139. Blogs. On an average day I read over 200 blog posts, and that peaks with about 300 blog posts on Mondays (the day when most of my weekly blogs post). The numbers dip down on the weekend... with Fridays typically having 170 posts, and Saturday and Sunday having 69 and 100 posts, respectively.

But surely you don't read all that material, you say. And I don't. There are posts that I completely skip, sometimes. I'd say I skip about 10% of the articles. Probably another 5% I read the first paragraph and move on. But the rest? I read them.

Of course, some of those blogs are photoblogs, and some of them are graphs and charts. I admit that.

But what I want to point out today is how many blogs of mine are craft, knitting, crochet and spinning blogs. Take a look:

I have seven spinning blogs I follow.

And FIFTY-TWO crochet and knit blogs I follow.

So I have two questions. The first, would you be interested in a post where I review these blogs, perhaps on a weekly basis? (and when I run out of my personal favorites, where are review other's blogs?)

And second, how many blogs do you follow? How many of them are craft related?

Remember: My contest is still going on! Writing a comment will get you entries. Mentioning my contest in your blog will get you TWO entries. You can comment as much as you want, so keep them coming!

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Crochet Hooks

Crochet was my very first fiber love. When I was seven, I had a babysitter, and older lady that would sit and crochet when i was doing my homework or playing when my parents were out. She was a wonderful lady, and while I don't remember her name she's left a lasting gift with me.

She taught me to Crochet. And the very first thing she taught me? The Granny Square. I wouldn't say it was instant love for me... in fact, I found Crochet very very frustrating. But I had a little orange plastic hook (which I kept until my sister sat on it and broke it nearly ten years later) and I struggled through splitting the yarn, doing things wrong, and I managed to learn crochet.

And then life moved on, the babysitter stopped coming because she moved, and I didn't pick up a hook very much. Until my family had to move. My girlfriend made me a blanket as a goodbye gift. It was pink and white and beautifully done. My competitive spirit was aroused. I wanted to be able to do something like that. And I started to crochet again.

I practiced, and practiced, made a lot of really bad doll clothes, got a lot of yarn for Christmas, developed a regular stitch, made whatever I wanted, and flatly refused to use a pattern book. If I wanted to make something, I looked at a picture. It hasn't been until now, at college that I've started following real patterns. As in, actually reading the directions.

But what is my point in all this? Well, if you look at the title, it's supposed to be about crochet hooks. And my point is, until recently, I had been carrying my hooks around in a glasses case. (Hey, it worked and it was compact!) But as part of my SP 12 Swap, Kathleen made me a beautiful crochet case holder, and I've been wanting to show it off. So I gathered up most of my crochet hooks, and made some startling discoveries.

I have far more crochet hooks than I imagined. I have a full set of steel crochet hooks. I have a D, E, 2 F's, a G, a G1/2 (I got it in Sweden, it's between a G and an H). I have 3 H's, 5 I's, 6 J's, 3 K's, an L, M, 2 N's, and a Q. (This does not count the ones that are currently in projects, which is (I think) a G, an O, and an H.)

I think that totals 39 hooks. Now, I'm not surprised, because I like to keep my hooks with my projects, and I"m quite fond of my size H's and J's... they're two of my favorite size hooks. Also, sometimes I get them as gifts, and the range between H and K seems to be the size people like to gift. Anything else seems either too small or too large.

So, what size hooks or needles do you prefer? Do you have a collection, or do you have one for each purpose, and switch them in and out? Let me know!

The second week of my contest is going on! Writing a comment will get you an entry. Mentioning the contest in your blog will get you TWO entries, just make sure that in your comment you link back to your blog. Thirdly, if you make a halloween-themed object during this month, leave a link on the comments and you get TWO entires. You can comment as much as you want (if you spam my blog, that will get you disqualified), you can make as many halloween themed stuff as you want.

Friday, 10 October 2008

FIrst Week Contest Done, Second Week Starting!

So the first week of the Month-long contest had a great start. I got lots of responses, and I got to see some really cool projects! (I'm planning, towards the end of the contest, to create a post where I feature all the different Halloween- themed projects).

I also got to meet a whole bunch of crafty- bloggers that I didn't know where out there. It was so nice meeting ya'll. I'm looking forward to getting to know you better as the weeks progress.

I wanted to give you a glimpse of this week's wonderful prize. Congrats Bronwyn, you've won yourself a skein of Gryffindor Yarn. Drop me an e-mail, and I'll get your yarn sent.

Now, as you're all (hopefully) aware, things only get better from here. We're entering into week two, and I have another handspun yarn to show off for you. Take a look! What do you think I should call it? It's bulky and it's got a wonderful squish to it, but I'm debating about a name. Suggestions are welcome. And also this week there will be a mysterious prize! I'll let you know what it is closer to the end of the week.

As for the contest, the rules don't change. Comments give you an entry. Showing me/everyone else your Halloween themed projects get you an entry, and posting about me on your blog gets an entry. Since it's another week, you can re-mention me in your blog if you want (I don't mind publicity). But your crafts only get you one entry- one entry per one craft. Sorry.

So tell me, what should I name this week's contest yarn?

Thursday, 9 October 2008

I'm going home!

I'm so excited! I'm flying home today where I'll get to see my family, my two best friends, and meet up with my boyfriend! It's going to be so much fun!

Unfortunately, I have mixed feelings about the traveling part of going home, seeing as how I have to fly. I actually really like flying- especially flying home for Christmas break. Normally, I've been going, going going during finals, and then I have to scramble to pack and get on the plane. Being on the plane is the first time I get to relax. When you're on a plane, you have no control. You get on, and it doesn't matter what you do, you have to trust that someone else is going to get you where you need to go. My mother finds this stressful, worrying about connections and if she'll have enough time to get from one place to the other. Me? I personally think I'll get where I'm going, eventually.

And, I find planes really good places to sleep. The white noise of the engines just puts me out like a light.

However, there's one thing I don't like about traveling, and that's having to decide what projects I'm going to take with me. I can't take my whole stash, it just doesn't work. So I wonder, what to take. And I'm bad at making decisions when it comes to crafting.

So how do you decide when your traveling what to take?

My contest is still going on! Writing a comment will get you an entry. Mentioning the contest in your blog will get you TWO entries, just make sure that in your comment you link back to your blog. Thirdly, if you make a Halloween-themed object during this month, leave a link on the comments and you get TWO entires. You can comment as much as you want (if you spam my blog, that will get you disqualified), you can make as many Halloween themed stuff as you want.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Wednesday Contest Shoutout

I'm debating about making this a Wednesday feature, where I mention any of the contests I've come across the previous week. What do you think? Is it a good idea, or can you find the contests on your own, and you don't need me to mention them?

Well, until I get your responses, I'm going through with this week. Contests I've come across:

Knitting in the Bellybutton of California has a sock yarn contest for her 100th post. Tell her what you want to make next out of yarn, and/or mention her on your blog.

Beckyknitstoo is having a contest where you tell her about your favorite Halloween costume.

The Knit Witch is having a Halloween Ghost-story telling contest. Tell her about a ghost story of yours and post her contest on your blog.

And of course,
My contest is still going on! Writing a comment will get you an entry. Mentioning the contest in your blog will get you TWO entries, just make sure that in your comment you link back to your blog. Thirdly, if you make a halloween-themed object during this month, leave a link on the comments and you get TWO entires. You can comment as much as you want (if you spam my blog, that will get you disqualified), you can make as many halloween themed stuff as you want.

So what do you think? Do you like the Wednesday Contest Post?

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

The promised Sculpture Post!

So, this post is going to be a bit long, because I'm going to post up the paper that I wrote on my sculpture. Let me know if it's interesting or not.

Touch Me or; A Rebellion Against the Sampler

The assignment called for something made from wood, but I also wanted to make something with crochet. Crochet has long been my craft of choice, but it is not without its disadvantages. Knitting has always been more in vogue, and thus finding patterns that lend themselves better to crochet than to knitting is difficult. This is because crochet is more rigid, consumes more material, and is harder for people to learn. I wanted to create something that took advantage of crochet’s strengths- the fact that it is more rigi
d, and because each stitch is independent of the last, lends itself better to improvisation. I had dozens of ideas as to what I could make out of crochet, an explosion of color and vibrancy that carried itself over into the final product. While my project started out as an explosion of ideas, the process of constructing it lead it to become part of a greater dialogue about crochet, art and the function of handicrafts in a modern society.

There is a vibrant internet community of people who crochet and, being a college student connected to the online world, I follow several different artists who use crochet in their sculpture. Primarily, The Institute for Figuring’s hyperbolic crochet math models, crochet coral reef, and vortex of trash influenced my idea of what crochet could do. It’s exhibits of crochet choral reefs are full of ruffles, branches, and bulbous branch-offs. Its hyperbolic crochet exhibit features ruffles and uneven surfaces which are strangely hypnotic and fascinating to the eye. The Institute for Figuring made me realize that crochet could be something other than functional art.

The Institute also set up a discourse about what crochet could represent, one which I wanted to respond to. The institute takes advantage of crochet’s unique properties. Like crochet, knitting can increase exponentially, but the number of stitches on the needles quickly becomes unmanageable. Crochet, which each stitch being independent of each other, offered the perfect solution. (The Institute for Figuring website) Like The Institute for Figuring, I wanted to enter into the dialogue of using crochet not only because I loved crochet but because it was the most efficient solution to my problem. After engaging in externalization and objectivaion, I was finally ready to transform “structures of the objective world into structures of the subjective consciousness” (Berger). I wanted to add to the dialogue of sculptural crochet, a term coined by Wunderkammer, who was another influence on the advantages of crochet as a sculptural form and tool (SuperNaturale).

In Peter Berger’s essay “Sacred Canopy” he writes that, “Once produced, the tool has a being of its own that cannot be readily changed by those who would employ it. Indeed, the tool may even enforce the logic of its being upon its users, sometimes in a way that may not be particularly agreeable to them.” Crochet is a tool that forces its logic on its users, making those who want to crochet instead of knit create in a certain way. Oftentimes, people who crochet will avoid making certain items (like socks) because crochet does not lend itself well to the construction of those items (crochet socks don’t have much stretch). Like Berger’s man who creates language and then is subject to its rules, by adopting crochet as my craft I am limiting myself in what I can do. Touch Me reacts against these constraints, attempting to take advantage of the limitations of crochet instead of being restrained by them. Peter Schjeldahl describes in his essay “Deacon’s Faith” a conversation between two men. In reply to a question about what the sculpture is, the second man replies, “it’s art. Look at the way it’s put together.” Much of the meaning in this sculpture is derived from the way it’s put together. Using Dr. Seuss-ian forms and a patchwork construction I attempt to give a sense of movement and also a sense of whimsy- a wish for what could be and a need to reach beyond the obvious. But the bars of wood- rigid and simply colored, restrain it from going beyond the bounds of its form. While the sculpture might reach outside of the form a little, it is too big to fully escape, just as crochet can go beyond its constraints, but not fully escape them. Glaringly bright and clashing colors give it a sense of childishness, but also violence- a frustration with what is, but also an acceptance.

Touch Me, or A Rebellion Against the Sampler is part of a discourse on crochet, a celebration and protest of what crochet means to not only me, but to many other people who crochet, and who are frustrated by the discrimination against the lesser-known handicraft. John Thompson writes, “In spoken discourse meaning resides as much in its disjunction, its truncations and dislocations- in a gesture of the hand, the involuntary twitch of a muscle or a barely perceptible flicker of the eye.” Touch Me attempts to capture some of that gesture, some of the sense of discourse surrounding crochet. It, in the ruffles and rapid increases and decreases, invokes other crochet works, referencing what came before. But it also adds something to the discourse with the incorporation of the wooden cage- an open, airy cage, but a cage nonetheless. It makes gives the limitations of crochet a physical form. While the meaning in this sculpture did not come in its conception, the repetitive process of creating stitch after stitch of crochet gave the sculpture meaning as I worked and utilized the advantages and disadvantages of crochet. Works Cited

Wunderkammer. SuperNatural. 30 September 2008. <>.

The Institute for Figuring. Home. 30 September 2008. <>.

YEY! You made it through the paper! So what do you think? Was the sculpture successful or not?

(EDIT 2:30am: In an entirely unrelated note, almost all my links have went blue, and I can't figure out why. They were green and matched my layout before I wrote this post, and now they've changed colors. I'm wondering if this post, which was formatted in word, did something strange to it. Any computer geeks out there who can help me?

EDIT @ 2:40 I got rid of some of the formating and that seems to have fixed the links, but I can't seem to get the text to remain the same in this post. Forgive me, but I really must get back to writing my essay, so I'm going to leave this until later today (after I've slept) to fix)

Remember: My contest is still going on! Writing a comment will get you an entry. Mentioning the contest in your blog will get you TWO entries, just make sure that in your comment you link back to your blog. Thirdly, if you make a halloween-themed object during this month, leave a link on the comments and you get TWO entires. You can comment as much as you want (if you spam my blog, that will get you disqualified), you can make as many halloween themed stuff as you want.

Monday, 6 October 2008

There's so much to blog about!

It was so nice to get back from my "Art to Alabama" trip over the weekend to see all the comments on my blog. It made me really happy, because one of the reasons I'm doing the contest is to foster connections with other blogs on the web. I've been trying to comment on all of your blogs for those of you who left a note if you have blogs, and though I haven't gotten to everyone yet I'll try to.

So what did I do over the weekend? I went on a trip one of my friends arranged to go see art. We began by driving to Atlanta, where we went to the Botanical Gardens and to the Hie- which I absolutely loved. It may sound dork-ish, but I always thought that museums were boring (one of those stereotypes you get when you're a kid, and that just doesn't vanish from your head.) but after going to many museums in Sweden (my blog about my adventures there is here) and some in America now, I've found that I actually do like art museums. Perhaps it also has something to do with me knowing more about art, so I can appreciate the thought and feeling that goes into differnet pieces. I think as a child I hadn't expierenced a depth of emotion great enough to understand what I was looking at.

The next day we went to Rural Studios in Alabama. It's a really neat place because the archetecture there is built with an eye to aestitics, but also with afordability and durability. Not all the buildings are conventionally beautiful, but a lot of them are beautiful because of the amount of work put into them. One of the projects that Rural Studios work on is models for low-income housing. You see, (as I understand it) there are grants from the goverment for low-income people to buy houses, but currently the only afforable price houses you can buy are trailer houses, which depreciatte in value (because they fall apart). Rurual studios are trying to figure out a way to build houses for less than the price of a trailer house, but that will increase in value and last for the person's lifetime. The houses are really really cool.

So, I will be posting pictures.

Well, this trip involved a lot of driving, so I got quite a bit of crocheting done (and less homework than I would have liked done because I grabbed the WRONG BOOK) , so I will post some pictures of what I got done.

And now to the last matter. Remember the sclupture I was making out of crochet? Well, my professor wants it to be in the student art show in the spring! I'm really really really excited!

That reminds me, I need to post pictures of that also. Tell you what. I'll give you another taste here, and then post the rest up with my next post.

Ta da!

So tell me, what is your opinions about museums? Take them? Leave them? Let me know.

Remember: My contest is still going on! Writing a comment will get you an entry. Mentioning the contest in your blog will get you TWO entries, just make sure that in your comment you link back to your blog. Thirdly, if you make a halloween-themed object during this month, leave a link on the comments and you get TWO entires. You can comment as much as you want (if you spam my blog, that will get you disqualified), you can make as many halloween themed stuff as you want.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Halloween Contest

In light of October being my favorite month, I've decided to run a contest. It's a big one, but here's the twist: Each Friday I will draw from all the comments of the past week and one winner will receive a skein of my handspun. Those of you who have been reading might know that I recently got a spinning wheel, and since them I've been spinning up a storm. I've opened an Etsy shop to sell some of my handspun, but I also want to share some of it with you guys. Each week I'll also include a Halloween-themed treat, because I love Halloween.

So how do you enter? Writing a comment will get you an entry. Mentioning the contest in your blog will get you TWO entries, just make sure that in your comment you link back to your blog. Thirdly, if you make a halloween-themed object during this month, leave a link on the comments and you get TWO entires. You can comment as much as you want (if you spam my blog, that will get you disqualified), you can make as many halloween themed stuff as you want.

So, you tell me, you want to know what the prize for this first week is, eh? I don't blame you! I'll give you a hint: It's inspired by Harry Potter (who I think is very, very Halloween-ish!).

So tell me, what are you planning to do During the Month of October, as the leaves change and the air gets crisp? What things are you looking forward to?

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Don't Vote

Watch, it's effective.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

I got an amazing package from my SP12 friend!

Look at this lovely stuff I got from my SP 12 pal! You should go check out her blog,

She sent me sevral books, an adorable Halloween lantern, a crochet case (god, I've been needing one of her's and the one she made me is lovely!) (it's from an line Berroco pattern, kluster), weight watchers stuff (much needed as midterms draw near), and yarn. Georgeous, wonderful yarn. I'm thinking I need some pairs of heavy socks as the cold weather comes on, don't you? *grins*

Thank you so much Kathleen! I'll write more when I have more time, but for now, I'll be in touch.

Monday, 29 September 2008

Remember how I'm in a sculpture class?

Well, the sculpture class is tomorrow, and I'm going to be handing in the sculpture as well as a paper (which I've yet to write). Just a preview of the finishing touches....

I also have another exciting post I'll put up tomorrow. Hint: it has something to do with what I got in the mail!!!

I haz a spinning wheel!

2008_04-05 007
Originally uploaded by jenamberautumn
Okay, really it arrived last week, but I've been busy spinning and with my sculpture (which is almost done, and then I will put photos up!) so I haven't been able to do it justice.

As for the spinning wheel, it runs like a dream. It's gorgeous. I purchased it from guinnessfan-tastic on ebay, and they worked well with me when confusions arose (all on my part).

As for the spinning wheel itself, it runs like a dream. I love the whirring sound, and the extra bobbins they sent me were a plus. Really really nice.

So I've been spinning up some yarn, and my best attempts I'm putting up for sale on etsy. (just so I can recoup some of the costs of roving and the spinning wheel itself- check out my store on the left!) I must say myself, I have a pretty smooth draw from my drop spindle, and as a result I think it carries over very well to using a spinning wheel.

I'm thinking about a contest in the next few weeks. What do you think? I'm thinking about offering up some handspun, as well as another treat, perhaps.

Any ideas for another small gift to go along with the handspun in a contest? I'd love some suggestions! Leave them in the comments.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Up late

I've been up late working on my second sculpture which involves a lot of crochet. The concept is a little like, "rebellion against the sampler" and "Dr. Seuss" combined.

I've been lazy, so I haven't gotten any pictures up, but I'll promise I'll get some up soon.

Monday, 15 September 2008

My Sclupture Class

Originally uploaded by jenamberautumn
So I'm taking a sculpture class for my art credit at college, and this is my first sculpture. I'm including it here because aspects of it are crochet.

Not much more going on today. Got some roving in the mail... I'll get up pictures later.

Blog still isn't totally fixed, but it's getting there. Bear with me.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

I did something really really stupid

And I can't figure out what's wrong. So bear with me as I try and recover what was lost when I tried to update my template.

*mutters and curses*

EDIT: (one hour later) Well, I got it so there's my Ravelry progress bar back, and put some links in.

Firefly Shawl

Originally uploaded by jenamberautumn
So I told you that I had a bit of a surprise. Last Wednesday I was supposed to be doing homework, but I was really thinking about how I couldn't find a pattern for a shawl that I liked. I wanted something that hinted leaves, but all of the shawls I saw either had leaf patterns, but were too "airy" (I wanted something a little more solid) or they were solid, but didn't hint at leaves the way I wanted.

So I picked up some spare ty-dy that I had from another project and started crocheting my own pattern. After several stops and starts, and a fair amount of frogging, I came up with something I like. This is just a glimpse of the finished project.

I decided to name the shawl "Firefly" in honor of Wash from Firefly and Serenity, a television show and movie.

Now I'm taking the pattern to make another shawl, a bit bigger, to see how the pattern would fare with another yarn. I'll post my progress in a bit.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Musings, and what's been going on

Well, I've been amiss in my blog, and various other things, but I'm making it up, I promise!

Things have been active around here. I've moved into a single, and I'm still adjusting to having my own space for the first time in what seems like forever. I've got a shelf entirely devoted to yarn, and I love how it's visually accessible.

2008_04-05 007 The self is right under the bed.

So, I've been able to see my yarn more, and that's quite exciting.

So what have I been working on? I made a shawl, out of some yarn I won, but I'm not quite sure if I like it. It was an experiment, and it's ok, but ended up really long. It's such a disaster that I'm not posting it up, but the one thing that redeems it is the color, a deep deep purple and grey color.

I've been working on my ripple afghan, and it's slowly coming along.

2008_04-05 003

I also bought myself a spinning wheel out of some money I've been saving for that purpose. I'm hoping it is all right, because I bought it sight unseen, but the company has good reviews and I have faith. I've also bought some fiber to start me off, though I don't think it's going to last me that long.

2008_04-05 016

I've got some other exciting thigns going on that I'll talk about later. (hint: see my works in progress!)

Plan to see more of me!

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Back at College!

I'm back at college, so there will be more posting soon, because I have regular access to a computer, and can thus access the internet regularly. This means I can also upload pictures with a lot less effort.

The drive down to college went well. It's 12 hours, and my father, brother and I split the trip up fairly evenly, with each of us doing about four hours. While I spent four of those other eight hours sleeping (we got up at 4 in the morning, and I hadn't got to bed early the night before... too many last minute things to pack) I spent another large chunk crocheting.

I worked on my ripple afghan, and got several inches done. It's getting to be the size of a nice lap blanket, and I'm glad... though it is far from done. I also worked on a gift/commission for a friend. She wants me to make her a "boob" pillow. I'll have to post some picture of it soon, I promise. It's been a fun project to work on because people will stop, ask if they think it is what they think it is. I'll ask, "What DO you think it is?" And the reactions are amusing when I say, yes, it is a boob. No, it's not a hat. *grins* I love shifting people's worldview. Crochet is no longer the realm of the young.

Over the summer I also worked on two sweaters for my friend. Both were from my copy of the crochet bible. She's having a baby soon, and I made the two sweaters for the baby. I'll also get pictures of those up- they came out beautifully.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Have you ever entered your knitting (or anything else) in the fair? Would you ever consider it?

Honestly, I've never participated in the running of a fair. I've been to a few, especially when I lived in Ohio, but I work at a camp over the summer, and as a result I don't end up getting out to do much outside of camp... including participating in a fair.

But recently I've thought about competing in crochet contests or other things. My crochet is coming along quite well, and while I have no illusions over the fact that my crochet isn't perfect, it is a part of my life that I want to expand and explore more. I'm beginning to realize there's a whole craftworld that I want to explore more, and part of that is challenging myself. Entering in contests might be a good way to start, though I have no clue how to go about doing something like that.

Thursday, 31 July 2008

Favorite supper for a hot summer evening?

Cereal with cold milk!


And because I'm sick that's all the answer I'm going to give.

I've been sick

Okay, I admit to being gone for much too long, and not posting enough, but camp has left me less time than I expected to post. I've been sick for the last week and a half, and am just getting over it with lingering congestion and a cough.

But, in the process I've completed a really cute baby jacket that I'll have to post, and I've made some progress on some other projects. Plus I'm putting together my last package for my SP12.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

What are your favorite places to craft, what objects make the setting perfect for crafting?

I changed the word from knit to craft, because for the most part I'm a crocheter that dabbles in other things. My favorite place to crochet is when I'm crocheting and I'm listening to a book on tape... I love listening to books on tape, it's almost how I would imagine others would sit doing work while listening to the radio. TV requires too much of my visual attention... but I love listening to books on tape. Especially if they're books I need to read for class because then I'm working but not working, if you know what I mean.

As for objects that make my crafting complete, I'd have to say my spoon ring. I wear it on my left ringfinger not because I'm engaged, but because it doesn't fit on any of my other fingers. It's a family piece, and I've found that sometimes if I can't get the right tension on a yarn, threading the yarn through my spoon ring will help.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Favorite type of project to take along?

It would have to be something simple and probably lacy... I like lacework because I have to slow down a bit, and I want the small project to last the duration of the trip. I like projects that you finish during the trip, so the work is filled with the memories of when you have worked on it.

Major Update

So for those of you who have been hanging out with no updates, I apologize. While I do have limited internet at camp, often by the end of the day I'm too tired to go to the one place we have wireless to wait forever for the connection to sign me in so I can post. But I'm on a day off, well rested, and can get time to post a bit.

Working at camp is going a lot better, I've finally settled into my role and have gotten comfortable in it, for the most part.

The other weekend we had a raffle at camp and I won three skeins of brushed mohair. Pictures will come soon, but it is gorgeous. I don't know what to do with it, but I'm sure I'll think of something. The only problem is the dye lots aren't quite the same.

On my night off I went to Northhamption to get more of a yarn that I've fallen in love with only to find that North Hampton Wools was closed an hour and a half early. It made me really sad because now I have to wait to go. *mutters*

I recently got some new crochet books (one of them courtesy of my SP12 pal... and it's amazing) (Thank you PAL! You're doing such a good job pampering me... and I love getting packages at camp!) and I've been fooling around with some of the patterns on some of my more generic yarn to see how the patterns play out. Naturally, it just gets to me using the patterns for inspiration because I can't seem to follow directions without thinking on how I could "improve" a design, but I'm having fun.

So that's the quick update! Write more later.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Contest Results

I'm sorry this has taken so long to post, but things have been crazy at camp.

The results of the contest are as follows:

JCGenzie_and_co, if you could contact me and I'll send you some of my stash!

Favorite place to go on a trip, one place I would like to go?

I'd like to go back to Sweden, and Stockholm in the summer. Oh gosh. I read a blog about a woman who is spending six months in Stockholm, and she takes beautiful pictures of places I'm familiar with, and it just makes me homesick in a way I can't describe.

One place I haven't been that I would like to go? India, probably. Just because. No real reason except the people I've talked to who have been there have painted a beautiful tapestry of juxtapositions, and I could like to see it for myself.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

What yarns would make my stash complete/ what yarns can't I be without?

Wow, tough questions, like last week. I'd have to say that the yarn that would make my stash compete is a yarn I saw a year ago at a small novelty shop. It was this silk yarn that just flowed like water. At the time I could neither afford it, nor would I have been in the mood to make something out of it, so I talked myself out of buying it.

But I still think about what I would make out of it. I suppose it comes close to a yarn I dream about. I'm sitting on the beach, and I grab the water and twist, and it becomes yarn, which I begin to crochet. As I crochet, I make a blanket, which if you look at out of the corner of your eye, contains the ocean- fish, mermaids, sea-wrecks, whales, dolphins, squids, coral, and all manner of other creatures. It is a fey blanket, destined for someone that cannot bear to be without the sea, but must.

The yarn I saw in the store was a very pale approximation of that dream yarn, but it is the closest I've come.

As for what I can't be without? Some cheep acrilic for when I need to make something simple or easy, or I want to test out a pattern I'm working on. Some wool, because I love the feel of it through my fingers. Bright mohair, and some nice alpaca, because again, I love the feel. A solid, affordable cotton for when I'm working on cheep therapy- washcloths.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

What do you consider the perfect amount of stash?

To be quite frank, I have no clue. Sometimes though, you just need to make something, to fulfill a deep desire in you to craft, and when that time comes I want a yarn that fits that mood. I have yarns that are cheep and silly, yarns so expensive I have to wait to find the perfect project for them, and some yarns that I've been given from friends that I don't want to use just because that would change the nature of the gift for me.

Right now my stash is hovering around a boxful, and that is about enough for me. But it fluctuates.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

What did I look forward to most about summer break?

I think every year since I was eight, it has been camp. I've been going to the same camp for 14 years, first as a camper and then as staff. My family has moved around a lot, so Camp is the place I've grown up. It has my childhood friends, and I know every inch of it like the back of my hand. I can walk from one end of camp to the other without a flashlight when there's no full moon and not trip (or not trip much).

The sights, the smells, the lake, the songs... it all cements into the place where I've grown up and where I've sunk my roots into.

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Cheep Therapy

So the last few days of camp have been a lot more difficult than I expected. After being a counselor for four years, I decided to join the program staff and teach swimming lessons. It's a very scary transition for me because I don't always do well with change, and it's always difficult to step outside of your comfort zone, and I'm definitely doing that.

In reaction of being pushed out of my comfort zone, I've moved from Knitting (a new, uncertain craft for me) to crochet again, and I've been mass producing washcloths. I've got some cheep cotton yarn and I've been pumping them out. They're both simple and brightly colored and crochet, and they're a source of comfort- one of the first things I learned to use on the hook I got when I was seven, and single crochet... the simplest thing in crochet beyond the chain. I'll have to take some pictures of the ones I've made, but I'm a little behind on uploading pictures onto my computer and thus onto the net. It's been very very busy.

In other news, I'm rather excited because Secret Pal 12 is underway, and I've both contacted my Secret Palee and been contacted by my secret pal. For those of you who don't know, Secret Pal is a circle of people on the net that participate by sending fiber-themed care packages to each other. I have some ideas on what I want to do, but I have a question for those who have participated, and even those who have not. Have you ever received some really cool, creative packages? What made them special? I'm perfectly willing to mine good ideas off others (after all, copying is the highest form of flattery), or use others ideas to jump start my own. I want to make my packages special!

Let me know.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

What's your favorite summertime drink?

I'd have to say water. I'm not a big fan of Lemonaide, though I do like it, and there's nothing that compares to a big glass of really cold milk, but the thing I drink most is water, no ice no lemon.

Mmmm. Nothing beats that.

Friday, 6 June 2008

Missing my boyfriend


I've been feeling kinda low lately because my boyfriend and I are on two timezones apart. He works at Philmot, which is a boyscout camp in New Mexico, and I work at Camp Chimney Corners (an AMAZING camp) in Massachusetts. Days off are normally for 24 hours, and there's no way we can see each other all summer. Then, before we can get together I fly out to North Carolina where I go to school, and he is doing a semester at sea that goes out of Wood's Hole, MA. There's a good chance I might not see him until winter break.

So this summer we are going to be communicating entirely by handwritten letters, and last night was the last night I could talk to him via electronics. To compensate for missing him, I'm making him a pair of socks. As I knit the soft material, it's both soothing and fun to answer questions about him to my friends. Luckily, I'm now at camp working, so I have less time to be missing him. It's nice to watch the socks grow.

Do you use knitting or crochet as therapy?

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Christmas/Summer Blanket Stories


My Christmas and Summer Blanket started on Christmas of my junior year of college, four years ago. My grandmothers had given me carte blanc in the yarn store, and the result was me buying yarn for my first pattern where I followed the directions- almost.

From the first I knew this project was going to be big. I have a big family (two parents and four children including me) and we have an appreciation for a blanket that can span the length of the couch and cover all of our legs for movie night. It was no wonder that I wanted a big blanket, something I could imagine surrounding family in folds of love and bright colors.

However, having this big blanket did present some problems. Namely, ability to transport. I found after a certain size the blanket could no longer be comfortably carried in a craft bag, and it began being brought out less and less. Thus, it became my Christmas/Summer Blanket, because those were the times I worked on it- over Christmas when I had the leisure to sit down and watch a movie with my family while having the work cover my legs, or during the summer when, working at camp, I could pull it out during freetime and have a solid hour to work on the project.

It came with me on all the long drives with my parents to look at colleges. My father and I made the 12-hour trek down to Davidson with me merrily crocheting and chattering (when I wasn't driving). There's a series of four stripes (which I got done on the way there and back) that I associate specifically with my father and driving down to look at Davidson College. The talks about what I would encounter, planning my life, and good advice all seem to be embedded in the stitches.

So tell me... do you have a project that captures memories of when it was made, or in use? Just a reminder, commenting will enter you into my June contest for the mystery yarn!

Wednesday, 4 June 2008


So as I've been getting ready to go to my summer job at camp, I've been going through my stashes, trying to decide which projects I'm going to bring to camp, and what yarns. Since a large part of the first two weeks of camp has evenings free, and there is a bunch of staff training, this is one of the times that I make the most progress on my projects all year. So careful selections are in order.

Which brings me to the point of the post. I'm putting together a bag of yarns that i don't think I'll ever use. These are yarns I bought for some reason or another because I loved them- the color or the texture simply pulled me. Some are novelty yarns, some are leftovers from other porjects, and some are yarns that I've simply moved on from- they just don't appeal to me any more.

I will be frank. Some of these yarns are leftovers. Some of these yarns are in strange colors. But they are also (in my opinion) jewels.

So, after a bit of debate in my mind, I've decided to run my first contest to give away these yarns. During this month any of the comments on any of my posts will count. Then, at the end of the month I will use a random number generator to find which person will win the yarns. You are unlimited in the number of entries you can submit, as long as you leave thoughtful comments. This means that you'll get more chances the more you post on my blog!

I plan to put a photo up, once I get new batteries for my camera.

So tell me, are there any yarns you hold on to for one reason or another?

One of THOSE projects

Originally uploaded by jenamberautumn
Everyone has one of those projects that goes on and on and on. For me, it's my Christmas and Summer blanket. I started this my junior year of highschool, and now just over four years later it STILL isn't done. It's not that I don't love working on it... I do.

And it's not that I don't think it's beautiful... I do.

It's just that it's gotten so long and so big... it's a problem carting it everywhere.

So today I wanted to take another look at this blanket, and share some of its stories.

This blanket was one of my first big project I ever did. I got the pattern in an old crafting book... the standard crochet ripple afghan pattern, and then proceeded to modify it so that it would be wider, because I love really really big blankets. And I was making it for myself, so I wanted it really really big. It was one of those strikes of fortune... my grandmothers had given me carte blanch at the yarn store, and I went and picked out all my favorite yarns. The original pattern called for nine rows of a color, broken up by three rows of the base color. It was really retro. But very soon into making the blanket I decided I wanted to change it up more. Instead of doing nine rows of one color, I would do nine rows of color, and three rows of white. I like how it turned out. Basically, I do whatever I feel like when it comes to the pattern.

Now, this whatever I feel like doesn't come without problems. You see, I didn't quite measure out the distance right, so on one side the "V" goes down where on the other side it goes up. They're both susposed to go down for pattern reasons, and I find that I need to 'compensate' a little on the pattern. Also, with all the color changes the sides are rather ragged, but I think that's ok because I"m going to edge the whole thing in white when I'm done. So it will look normal, I swear!

In the next few days, I'll be posting on some stories that involve my Chrismas/Summer afghan. But in the meantime I'd like to ask you. Do you have a project that goes on and on and on? Is it one that you enjoy, but for some reason just get to only once and a while? I'd like to know.

Saturday, 31 May 2008

Continuing adventures with the boyfriend socks

Originally uploaded by jenamberautumn
Now, I've only made one other pair of socks before I did these. I had always been told that socks were hard to do, but with the top down socks I worked on first, I found them quite easy. However, for my boyfriend's socks I wanted to try something different so I did some research on different sock patterns and came up with something I think I like. (This might change when I get to turning the heel).

For figuring out what needle size to use and generic information was helpful. However, for turning the heel I think will be helpful. The toe start might be an official pattern, but I "invented" it by casting on ten stitches, knitting the row, purling the next row, then knitting again, and then taking a crochet hook and creating ten stitches on the side I cast on, putting five stitches on four needles. #I knit in the round, for one circle. *The next circle I knit one, made a stitch, and knit the next four (so there were six stitches on the needle). The Next needle I knit four, made a stitch and knit the last. I repeated from the * for the next two needles. Then I repeated from the # so I ended up having ten stitches on my four needles. I then switched to my longer dipoint needles and knit in the round.

Unfortunately, I didn't have my boyfriend's measurements yet (for his foot) so I transfered my first sock onto my connected needles and started the second sock. Now that I have my boyfriend's measurements (as of midnight this morning) I can proceed. We'll see how it works out. It might come out terribly, in which case I'll try again. But so far, so good.

Friday, 30 May 2008

Lavish and Boyfriend Socks

Originally uploaded by jenamberautumn
I got this in the mail the other day and oh god, I didn't expect it to be so soft. I have to admit I dropped what I was doing just to work on this. I looked up a real basic pattern for toe-up socks and I'm making a pair for my boyfriend. They're coming along quickly and the yarn is just amazing to work with- SO soft. I was susposed to be unpacking yesterday but instead I was working on these socks.

Knitting continental style has made such a difference to both my outlook on knitting and my speed. I'm so much more pleased with what I'm doing.

In other news, I've been playing around with Ravelry more often, with wonderful results. Also, I signed up for a yarn swap type thing (see my last post) and it's got me really excited about doing crafty stuff. I have a lot of different projects on my plate right now in different states of progress. I've got my own pair of socks and a stuffed kitten I'm experimenting with. I have a bathmat I almost finished, decided I didn't like it, and am now unraveling in order to do over again. The first time it just wasn't squishy enough for my tastes- too loose. But that's another story I"ll get to another day.

What projects are you working on? Is there one that you dropped because you just had to play with the yarn? Or is there a piece you made, decided you didn't like, and are now reworking?

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Secret Pal 12!

Secret Pal 12!

I saw this before and decided I desperately wanted to join.

Here's the questionnaire:

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
My favorite yarns to knit with tend to be different types of wool: plain sheep wool which I love to felt. I recently got some alpaca by Lavish ( which I'm making into socks for my boyfriend. I love just running it through my hands. I also like cotton such as Lily's Sugar 'n Cream line or Ty-Dy by... I can't think of the name right now.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
As of right now? An old case for glasses for my crochet hooks, and a plastic bag for my di-point knitting needles. I always intend to make something where I can carry and organize them all in, but I hesitate to buy something at the store because it often has only one place for a size hook, and often I have doubles of my favorite hooks because I want the hook to match the project. Sometimes I want aluminum for a project that I'm churning out, but if I'm doing it more for the pleasure, I might get out one of my beautiful wooden shaped hooks so I can more enjoy the process.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I've been crocheting since I was six or seven (I'm 21 now) and while I prefer to do more simple, clean lined projects, I would consider myself advanced in crochet.

Knitting is another matter. I learned to knit when I was ten, but never enjoyed it as much as I did crochet, probably because by that time I was rather quick at crochet, and awkward with my knitting needles. Recently, in the last six months, I've slowly picked up knitting again. I started with a pair of socks, which turned out well but large, because I do continental style knitting (feeding from my left hand almost like crochet) instead of the throwover method, and I've found that my gauge is a bit looser so I have to choose a smaller needle than the pattern dictates (sometimes I'll even go two sizes down).

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Yes! I love to read, but oftentimes don't have the money to buy the books I want, so I go on Amazon and pretend to shop by adding things to my wish list. It's like drinking water when you're hungry... eventually I'll eat but I can hold it off until I have some time.

It's located at:

5. What's your favorite scent?
I don't wear perfumes, but I do put vanilla bean sachets into my drawers (especially my sock ones). I like vanilla because it's subtle. I also like the Bath and Bodyworks lemon handsoap. A lot.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
I do have a sweet tooth, but I've been on Weight Watchers for the last two years and have lost 55 lbs, so I humbly request that candy be sent in very small quantities because I have very little willpower. Given that, I love sugar free york peppermint patties, Weight Watchers bars and frutties, dried fruit (dried strawberries and kiwi are my favorites)

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I do spin, if badly, but I still enjoy it. I've never had formal instruction on how to spin, which I think might be part of it. I have a single drop spindle which is rather worn and well loved, and occasionally I'll treat myself to some fiber.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I like country, oldies, musical soundtracks, folk music, irish music and am open to almost anything.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
I tend to like blues and greens when choosing yarn, though I look better in brighter colors. I wear a lot of pink, light yellow, jewel tones, and bright blues. I'm not fond of muted colors, tans, dark greens, etc.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I'm the oldest of four children. I don't have any pets, except for my youngest brother. *wink* I'm a senior at Davidson College (our basketball team rocks!).

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
I occasionally wear scarves if they're soft and warm. I love mittens, socks and hats (thought I don't always look good wearing hats). I've actually haven't owned a poncho since the winter of ninth grade (it was black and I was trying to be a goth which lasted until the spring) so I think I would wear one if I had one.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Well, I haven't been seriously knitting for all that long, so I've been doing simple things- socks for the most part. But I don't normally do socks in sock yarn unless it is on the thicker side of sock yarn (or worsted) because I'm still slower at knitting than crochet and I do like to feel like I'm making progress. Thing sock yarn feels much too SLOW.

13. What are you knitting right now?
Socks for my boyfriend. Thick yarn not made for socks, but they're turning out good.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
I do, mostly because none of my friends are as crafty as I am, so I don't get them.

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? If it's crochet I like aluminum (Boye- I'm picky), though I already have a large collection. I also love wood for crochet needles, as long as they're well polished.

Knitting needles I have full sets in in 6" and 10" di-point needles (from 0-10.5) I also have lots of plastic circular, but I don't like the feel of them so I don't use them that much. For knitting I prefer bamboo, because I need a little bit more friction. Aluminum tends to just slip too much for me.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
No to both, and god how I'd love them.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
Four years. It's my christmas/summer ripple crochet blanket, because those are the only times I work on it.

18. What is your favorite holiday?
Halloween and St. Patrick's day. It's a tie, and each of them happens in a different semester so it counts. Why? because for both of them I dress up and go all-out. My father is a Shriners clown by the name of Shamrock, so it's rather necessary that I dress up on St. Patrick's day.

19. Is there anything that you collect?
My Little Ponies... but not in a serious way. More like I'll be in the store and see one I like and buy it. It goes back to when I was a kid.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I don't have a subscription to any magazines, much to my disappointment. As for patterns, I tend to like to play, or wing-it. Patterns are guidelines. I'm very visual, so I like to look at crochet things at the store so I can copy them. Recently I got a book of different advanced crochet stitches that I love (blanking on the name and it's still in my boxes that I have yet to unpack from college) to just play and experiment with.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
Hairpin lace.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Yes, I've knit socks. I also crochet them though it doesn't work as well.

Foot Measurements?: Heel to toe: just short of nine inches. Base of little toe to bottom of my arch, where the heel begins: just shy of four and three quarters inches. Widest part of my foot: four inches.

23. When is your birthday? April 24th

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID?
Yes. jecrowley
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