i'll knit if i want to...or not

So this use to be my knitting blog, now its a purging place for all of my ramblings...whether it be craft, cooking, or just the craziness of my everyday life!

Monday, July 31, 2006

Who's a Lucky Little Knitter??

I'm a lucky little knitter. I hinted "gently" that there were a few knitting items I could use for my birthday. And man did people listen. They listened so well I may not be leaving the house again for quite some time, because I have sweaters to knit, knitting books to read...and possibly the most exciting of all-I have this:

It seems JFC picked up on my "subtle" hints loud and clear because he snuck home this beautiful spinning wheel. I mean, talk about EXCITING. I am going to spin yarn! Thats right folks, I am going to be spinning, dying, knitting...watch out world cause Drea Renee has arrived armed and ready for action. (I just need to learn how to use it..heh heh)

Now one of the things that I really admire about JFC is his love of all things with character...things with a bit of history to them. He doesn't just go buy any ol' spinning wheel. He finds one with a remarkable story to go along with it.

As you can read on the bottom of the "Lazy Kate", this particular wheel was made in 1972 by John Gibson out of native New Zealand wood (we think Remu) that had washed up on the beach in Seatoun, Wellington. The woman who sold it to us is the one who bought it in 1997, and now we purchased it from her in 2006. Justin added on our purchase so we can keep the history of this wheel going. I just think that is so fun. I think I will name her Meewi...why you may ask?? Basically just because I like to say "meeeewiii" in a highpitched voice and this gives me more opportunity to do just that. heh heh

Now last but definitely not least, I've also received one more knitting book from my big brother Aaron and his family:

Elizabeth Zimmerman is a knitting icon and I am very excited to have Knitting Around added to my collection.

So if you all don't here from me for a bit...well I am sure you can understand why...I have some homework to do, and its one heck of a big load.
By the way...I have been knitting as well...just a bit distractedly so it is slow going. I am currently working on the Bubble Pullover from Knitting Nature and it is coming along just swimmingly!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Dirty Little Secrets

There are little, secret "habits" I have when it comes to my blog. Mainly the pictures. You see, every photograph you see on here is taken by me. Now this isn't because JFC refuses to offer help as I struggle taking a picture of myself. Oh no. I won't let him. In fact he gets locked out of the room. Why is this? Is it a woman thing? Or maybe just a knitter thing? Or maybe even a DreaRenee thing? Whatever it is...its a thing I just can't help.

There is something about finishing a project. It's just so personal. I need some time alone with it before showing it to the world. I need to try it on, get comfortable in it (or in some not so happy scenarios throw it in my "to be frogged" basket). When I knit something and then decide I like it and then take the monster step of wearing it in public...well, it makes me feel very vulnerable. I think I just need to practice a bit and then I will surely realize that no one notices me wearing a handmade sweater. But sometimes it makes me feel like I am walking into a crowded room naked... "Look at me! Look at me!"

Ok, I am straying from the point. Pay no attention, it's just another of my insecurities surfacing. Basically I lock JFC out of the room and take about a million pictures of myself in different poses and faces until finally I feel I have a passable one to post on here. You see, this is my first step out the door. My first step in public. With all my stitches bared...just hoping I'm accepted.

So here you go...I'm taking that step, and a few extra. Here are a few pictures of my latest FO... the Angel Sleeve Top from Vogue Winter 2005/06. I used a beautiful undyed thick and thin yarn name Periwinkle, handspun at Woven Art. Included you will notice a picture in which I accidentally chopped off my head, one where I was trying to hold my arms in a way that showed the oh so delicate and beautiful bell sleeves, and in a few of them how I have to slightly bend my legs to make sure I don't chop off my head again. Welcome to my therapy session..hope you enjoy.


It seems I have grown an obsession not just with knitting, but with knitting books. I suppose all of us knitters are a bit obsessed with all of the paraphanalia (yah i don't know how to spell that) that goes into it. I never thought I would buy lots of knitting books though. At first it seemed to me like buying cookbooks. I can't bring myself to buy a cookbook because I know there are probably only like 2 recipes I will ever make out of it. Instead I just find recipes on Food Network. com and other handy sites of the sort.

There are a ridiculous amount of free patterns to be had out there in Internet land...but I just really love the books. I mean, I have books that I haven't made anything out of yet. But I just love looking thru them. Reading the authors blurbs about knitting and all its glory. It always inspires me and rejuvenates my passion for the craft (like it needs rejuvinating..heh heh).

So on to the books. My lovely sister Meagann sent me both of these for my birthday. Thats right, not one, but 2. Very exciting. I love the Knitting in Nature. Although I find some of the patterns a bit unrealistic for real life (kind of like Loop 'd Loop) there are a few that make it worth it, and the rest are brilliant to learn from. She really stretches the boundaries and makes you think outside the box.

And Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles...I can't wait to get my Ug-I mean Beautiful self dyed yarn knit up into some knee socks using this method.

JFC is off snowboarding today so I have a big day of knitting ahead of me. I am just putting the finishing touches on a sweater I finished last night, so pictures should follow shortly. Then the possibilities are endless. Oh yeah...I don't think I ever posted this picture of the mittens I finished. The pattern is from Weekend Knitting. I just love how rounded and perfect they are. I used baby alpaca yarn from Woven Art that is just AMAZING.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

U-G-L-Y you ain't go no allaby...You ugly..yeah yeah, you ugly

Alright, here is my first attempt at dyeing yarn. I think in the back of my head I knew it was going to turn out ugly. I didn't really have the exact colors right...plus i think I used too many colors that were a bit too different to actually meld well together. not to mention 3 of those colors are Dylon Cold dye...which in the directions said that it would have a very light outcome. Well it did the exact opposite and had a very concentrated outcome. Heh Heh. I am excited to keep trying. I figured I will just knit this up into some ugly knee socks. I made it self striping, which was a very fun experiment indeed. Now that I have got that first attempt out of my way, which was doomed to be ugly...I think it will be blue skies ahead. Kool-aid donations are welcome (but please, no more Invisible Flavors..heh heh)

I had to throw in a close-up...lets face it, it is my first attempt...my baby...and i love it, ugliness and all.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Mother Knows Best

So this morning right as I was getting ready to leave, JFC came up with a big box that had been left on our front step...a package from my mom for my birthday. My birthday which isn't for another week and a half, but I just couldn't wait to open it. First off she sent me these cute cute cute shoes...which she said reminded her of me. I don't know about you, but I really love when someone happens upon a gift like this that they know is perfect for you. It just shows how well someone knows you..and I don't know, its just special. I love love love them. I have already been wearing them all day, hence the smudged toes.

Next up is the yarn I asked for. I ran out of it in the middle of a sweater...literally the middle...I have the front and one sleeve done. I can't wait to finish it now. I dream about the store this yarn came from. In fact I was dreaming about it just last night...and funnily enough in every dream, something happens where I don't quite make it into the store...hmmmm

This card is another really perfect for me kind of card. I laughed for a good 5 minutes. Not only does it fit me, my love of wine, and my awkward dancing to a T...but it also reminds me of my mom...because in those ways...I am a lot like her. (not to mention she tucked a nice little twenty in there for me...heh heh)

Last but not least she sent me the kool-aid I asked for. I have been wanting to dye some yarn, but as far as I know you can't get kool-aid around here. Now mom, I hope you don't mind the teasing...but this was just too good to pass up. Please take a closer look at that packet on the top. Do you see what I see? "Invisible! Clear Drink! Great Fruity Taste!" I think this was funnier than card. I guess I will be drinking that one.

Thanks so much mom...even half a world away...you know how to make me feel special!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Clapotis in all its glory

Well Clapotis is finally done and dusted. Here is a close up of the dropped stitches. I love love love it. It was well worth all of the tedious hours and 6 balls of that sunset wool.

I had to block it on the area rug because it was so big. I started to worry I had made it too big, but I compared it to the pashmina my sister Leah got me for my birthday last year...just a few inches difference.

Here is the back view so you can see all of the lovely dropped stitches

Wrapped up. It is soft and cozy, and yet funky with a bit more style...I am definitely happy I added a few inches to make it into a larger stole instead of a scarf.

And yet it still looks cute as a scarf anyways.

so Yeah ...this project took me ages (at least it felt like ages as my mind quickly wandered to other projects I wanted to start.) Hence why it gets so many pictures. I've got to say in the end, this is probably my favorite item so far. So if there is any one left who hasn't made this...you should cause it is fantastic. Thanks Kate Gilbert for such a fabulous (free!) pattern and I will "Wear it everyday indoors and out and eat a croissant."

Sunday, July 16, 2006

For the Love..

So i have been doing stuff....just not anything I felt like posting about. I don't know why. I have been going thru...well lets call it a "transitional stage." or an early twenties crisis...whatev. You see, and i think you other knitters will be able to level with me on this one (or maybe not, no pressure) but its an obsession. I want to do nothing else. I dream about knitting. about yarn shops. about spinning and dying (which is next on my list...and the waiting is killing me). there are so many things i want to make that i get overwhelmed and just sit. patterns and ideas flowing thru my head.

in the meantime...there is real life. and what am i going to do with it? where will we live...will we just keep country hopping until we are old and gray? does that mean we can't ever get a dog? cause i want a dog. what will i do for work? will somebody see my love of knitting and say "i've just got to pay you to keep doing that...cause you shouldnt do anything else!" or will i have to find other work...like in an office or something.

there's also the fact that we are kind of hermits up here in our log cabin house. sometimes i wonder if i look all crazy when i leave the house...my hair has no style and i haven't really bought any new clothes (besides necessities, like jeans) since my freshmen year of college. next thing i know i am gonna be a crazy lady walking down the road wearing clothes from high school, with "i'd rather be knitting" silk screened on the back of my old cheerleading t shirt.

i suppose only time will tell. the good news...for now i get to spend most of my days fulfilling my obsession. clapotis up there is almost done (and yes that is me wearing my pajamas at about 6 in the evening on saturday night..heh heh). i finished that fit to be tied clutch a week or so a go. and i also just finished a pair of fabulous mittens out of the best yarn ever. i will post a picture when they are done blocking. next on the list? i need something big...something satisfying. not sure what though. there are too many ideas.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Fetching Indeed

Well I finished up these fetching hand mitts a couple days a go. I used the Anchor Magic (color 1405) that Saskia sent me.

The yarn was just delicious. Very soft and luxurious to knit with. I only wish I could find it here!

The pattern I think is good...but a bit big for my hands. If I was to do it again I think I would use a solid color yarn and make them at least an inch shorter in circumference.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Lotto Girl, Where are you??

Just a shorty...a pictorial if you will, of my morning yesterday...

5 minutes to get to work, we leave and get as far as the bottom of the driveway

realizing this is a great opportunity to learn how to change a flat tire...

I looked up every now and then to take mental notes.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Affair

I have never been a multi-project kind of gal. One is all I need to keep me happy. I am usually so excited to finish the project I'm working on and see the end result that I just don't have the time to venture into a second one. Until now.

I have been working on Clapotis, and although I know I will love the end result...the actual knitting of it has become a bit daunting. Like a relationship grown tired...it has started to feel boring and even tedious. So my eyes begin wandering...looking for something with a bit more pizzazz...something quick...and possibly even sexy. My hands slow and my mouth hangs just ever so slightly open as I spot a hot little number I just can't ignore...I slowly set down Clapotis, pick up my hook...and never look back....

It was like a whirlwind...I didn't know what had come over me. I sympathized with myself..."it was out of my control, it was only 2 hours...it won't happen again...nobody has to know..."

But it did happen again - I began working on Clapotis...and again my hands began to tire and again I urged for the excitement of something new...just a quickie...nothing long term, just a few hours...

Now I have Clapotis on my needles, Fit to be Tied on my hook...and still my eyes wander. They wander to the summer issue of Knitty and these Fetching Fingerless Mitts that would be just perfect for my frozen hands. Or these sexy little Baudelaire socks. Or even the oh so popular Pomatomus socks. I even went and bought some wire today to begin crocheting a cowboy hat...yes a cowboy hat (don't knock it till you try it) When will it end? Will I continue to juggle all that can be fooled by my seemingly innocent intentions? Or will the lust and two-timing turn and bite me in my back end? Will my youthful energy wain and projects go unfinished? Have I bitten off more than I can chew?

Well friends, only time will tell.

(Read: by the way the fact that Clapotis has becoming a bit tedious for me can only be blamed on my own poor decisions. It is a loving and nurturing knit that I will cherish upon its completion and I suggest it to anyone interested in making it...just don't choose an ultra fine yarn and then decide to make it into a stole instead of a scarf by adding lots of inches...it takes me at least 5 minutes to knit one row (=1 hour per 12 row section... x a minimum of 12 sections just for the body.)
The hat in the picture is "the pdq" and the clutch is "Fit to be Tied" both from the Happy Hooker.)

Monday, July 03, 2006

Saskia...You Rock

So this morning I woke up...and well, I was in a bit of a funk. A bit of the ol' waking up on the wrong side of the bed. Me and JfC decided the best thing to do was to get out of the house. As we are piling into the car we hear another car trying to make it up the drive (we have a very steep driveway.) We turn around to see the Rural Post Delivery man stepping out of his van with a package. A package for me. Clueless as to what it could be I start peaking around looking for the senders address...and there I see Saskia's name. She sent me a care package, and the picture here just does not even do it justice. These for example...cute little "wooden" dutch shoes and green bobbles (which she remembered is my fave color)

Also a map of her home, a paper model of the Luxor that you build yourself, a book on Rotterdam. And I haven't even gotten to the yarn yet! 2 balls of yarn that I oggled in one of her previous posts on SaSKnitsItAgain, 2 beautiful hanks of a nice burgundy wool, and even a fun ball of novelty yarn. To top it all off a handknit headband, complete with her logo and a bag "Munten Drops" which I am thinking are mints, but from what I could tell on the back of the package you shouldn't eat too many in a short period of time or they could have a laxative effect...heh heh

Oh yeah and a wuppie! thats the Orange guy. Thank you so much Saskia...you turned my funky day into one with plenty of sunshine and happiness.