November 21, 2014
Curated customization is all the rage — especially when it goes mass-market. Seems like a perfect theme for the holiday season which is probably why I said “ok fine,” when a friend of mine asked me to custom-knit a christmas stocking for her puppy. Mind you, the puppy is “on her way” i.e. not even here yet!
Guess it is because of my cultural background that I didn’t immediately embrace the opportunity (thus the previous post which was quickly deleted) but now I can totally see the point. Thankfully I’ve lived in the land of opportunity long enough to have become pretty good at feigning enthusiasm so that my “ok, fine” may have sounded more like “wow, what a great idea” — and I’m here to summarize the whole story ~
Golden doodles are dogs-du-jour, in case you didn’t know.
A bit more background:
We met over coffee so my friend could provide me with the samples* (knitted by her husband’s late-grandmother) and pretend not to see the shock on my face. Actually she probably didn’t see it because she also managed to convince me to help with yet another upcoming arts-related charity fundraiser in town (you wouldn’t believe how many there are, mostly benefitting other arts-related charities in town).
If you read the previous blurb you already know I have until Thanksgiving (a US holiday on Nov 27th this year) to finish the stocking. That’s next week! Considering the time limitations (plus the kids’ bday parties & after-school activities, the recent car issues, potential project/work proposal, dinner parties and the blogging, of course) I have redefined the scope of work as follows:
*Samples i.e. the family heirloom stockings
“Aosie” —> unravel.
I think she said the pup’s name will be Rosie (with this left-leaning initial I sure hope so!)
I found a stitch sample at Pinterest (my original hand-sketch looked like a blob). The pups face is a bit longish so perhaps I should leave grandma-knitting for grannies? Stay tuned for the final final.
I welcome suggestions for one more pic to add. A bone or a paw perhaps? But no worries if you don’t have a chance – such a busy time of the year!
November 3, 2014
Eugen oh Eugen – if only you had thought first before carrying out that Bobrikov assassination — wearing a shapka or a ushanka might have kept you warm AND incognito <sigh>. Fast fwd 80 years and I should have worn one during the class trip to Leningrad ~ it was cold war, after all. Well, better late than never, as they say. I hate to brag but this is bleep bleep awesome – maybe one of my best creations thus far, or what do you think?? Definitely sporting one this winter when catching a reindeer sleigh to opera. I could even embellish it with one of those raccoon tails, perhaps?
P.S. No rodents were harmed to knit my pillbox hat.
knitted ushanka or…
November 1, 2014
Just read that the scientists have discovered two genes linked to violence (MAOA and CDH13 – catchy names?). Since the combination of the two may somehow be activated when alcohol enters the picture (I read Molecular Psychiatry for FUN), it is time for us knitters to do some soul searching… Do you knit & drink? If yes, do you start showing signs of aggression? And do you own a gun? If you answered triple-3x-yes, you probably instinctively know what to do next. Toss those sharp pointed metallic knitting needles aside and switch to the ones made out of wood!!!!
(my PR friends/colleagues used to complain about the rude Europeans with their excessive use of exclamation points. These days I don’t effin care.)
Too obvious? True, I’m still on the topic of homeland and its paper industry. Except that I’ve decided to take a step back and go straight to the source – wood. Ohoy Suomi – there might be a huge untapped market for beautiful birchy knitting needles around the world! HTH ~ haapa, tammi, hoopo ~ you don’t even need to act like an axe murderer to clear a path for yourself in those dense forests. Why limit the usage to whipping sauna sessions? And if birch is not an option, there’s also oak, aspen, spruce, pine, … only the eastern border is the limit.
Here’s a pic of my fave wooden knitting needles photo-editorially placed on top of a stump – perhaps you would have had a more original idea. I bought them from a nice lady at the Upper West Side Sunday flea market. She is prob still there. xo
white wooden knitting needles – pretty!
October 17, 2014
Ok, I’ll try to keep this short. Finland – close to recession. Again. Now that our apple-in-the-eye has been sold to the West and we are no longer allowed to export 30% artery-clogging dairy products to the East (thought we were on the same side?), what’s a babushka to do? Guess it’s back to fur trade and pickling. And kahvinkorvike. OR interpret the prime minister’s misinterpreted comments as an invitation to reinvigorate the paper trade. * *
Yes, it’s time to look for new ways to reuse our trees. Erase the thoughts about 80ies acid rains and grumpy engineers’ complaints about sensitive Deutsche Hausfrauen who said that trees cried when they were cut. Bygones! Bring that tree down and pack it in cellophane so I can use it in my crafty creations. Chop chop!
granny square crocheted paper bag
From that crafter’s mecca, you know which one.
For us knitters, there’s paper yarn. Yes, I crocheted that bag and yes, I have way too much extra time in my hands. Paper yarn is not easily available here in the US so I smuggled it straight from Taiga through the JFK customs (easy! Just choose the line that says “green”).
Unfortunately knitting with paper yarn can sometimes hurt your chubby little fingers. The trick is to dump it in water i.e. to make it wet. Not soaking wet — damp. This may sound a touch complicated but trust me, it’s all worth it in the end – I have reused my paper bag over and over again. It’s also perfect for collecting pine cones and bark for all kinds of fall craft activities.
* * Stubbed?
October 7, 2014
If you got all excited about the Alibaba IPO and went ahead and ordered one of their many $10 chunky, slouchy, batwing, poncho, cape, capelet, cardigan, sweaters (Ali B excels at keyword tagging) from their Ali/retail outlet, you probably realized that a) – you are a size giant XXXXL as opposed to the S/M you were in previous life, and b) the item ordered, even if the right size, doesn’t look anything like the picture!! FOB CIF Chengdu, GOH??? Darn their petite manga-barbie models (please note the toned-down ref to the approx location of the aforementioned web outlet because, wait, that didn’t sound right. Never mind).
For those of us who’d rather sport their own unique creations than study Incoterms, there’s always a knitting event right around the corner. Quick Altavista and – avot! – Stitches East is taking place in exciting Hartford, CT *this* weekend. GO(H)!! I don’t care if you are a do-the-math or spell-it-out type, register for a few continental knitting lessons and soon you’ll be blogging on steroids with the rest of us. Unfortunately I won’t be able to make it but only because my yarn boudoir is spilling over and I should really be knitting for our upcoming holiday bazaar as opposed to procrastinating here as we speak…
P.S. According to my latest research, all the alternative yarns are soon trending at upcoming knit events – soy, corn, bamboo, flax, hemp. In addition to being environmentally friendly (as opposed to cotton, for example), they may be suitable for those of you suffering from allergies. And they look better and feel a lot softer than the acrylics, polyesters and nylons shipped from China. BTW, it is environmentally friendly only if you remember to match your location with your local fiber, no? Those of us in the northern hemispheres are still better off and WARMER with traditional wool from sheep — or alpaca if you are more progressive. Yak?? Wow, you’ve traveled far but sure, why not.
GOH = Garment on hanger
September 30, 2014
Elle UK Street Style via Pinterest
pic of my dog way back when
As you may have noticed, these super-long slouchy knitted dresses are so trending right now. Looks great with oxford/brogues and ankle socks or motorcycle boots. A cute chowchow with some snow and we are talking fashion editorial, ladies! Who cares about getting dressed for the weather?!*
Remember to take your knitting speed and your perimenopausal age into account when starting the project. A long sweater-coat might be more practical. Just make sure it’s roomy and loose and you won’t look too outdated.
*P.S. I’ve become a bit of a wimp about winters since leaving the seven months of sub-zero celsius darkness behind. Can no longer quite questimate the temp by snow crunch factors alone, either. San Francisco in the winter? Summer! February wind chunnels in Chicago? NOW we are talking.