Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Shelna's Shrug - Day 4

Yesterday was day 4 ... so far i'm 32 rows ahead of schedule. I'm crossing my fingers for the long weekend, but my brother's house still has 3 more rooms to be painted and he goes back to work on wednesday.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A last minute knitted gift ... shelna's wedding is creeping up. at her shower last weekend i asked if she'd like me to make her a shrug just in case her own efforts don't come together. so i' make the "Good Bias" shrug from spring 2005 interweave knits in nashua natural focus ecologie cotton in color 84. the yarn is finer than called for but i intend to stretch it out in blocking. i think it'll be a really nice wedding gift, she'll be able to wear part of her wedding gear for the rest of her life.

i'm really bad at finishing things in a timely manner, much less to deadline, so i've worked it out and i have to knit 6 pattern repeats or 18 rows every day to get it done 2 days before the wedding. i was helping my bro with his renovations yesterday (the paint colours i chose are right on, really nice) and didn't get my quota done but i did double the day before, so i'm still on track. the stitch marker shows the daily work.

my brother swears that he is not looking to get married, but all of his friends are doing it and the subject keeps popping up in conversation. i think maybe i should start working on their wedding gift.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

now that
stitch 'n pitch is over i finally have some time to update. my favourite new pass-time is checking the Campanula for the Cure KAL to see how much money has been raised. i also like checking to see where i am in line for Ravelry ... 13144 people are ahead of me in line, 3658 people are behind me in line. I know it sounds bad, but that means 1370 people were admitted over the last 2 weeks. that's 685 per week, so it should be about 19 weeks before my invitation comes! that's only like 4 and a half months! now, please don't read this as cynicism or sarcasrm, i'm actually writing from a happy-go-lucky place, kinda like the seemingly retarded people on home made TV commercials on local tv stations, or the 2000 flushes toilet bowl cleaner guy (it lasts up to FOUR months!).

finished the crochet edged jacket from Summer 2006 Vogue Knitting, It's great, I just don't want to wear it. it looks like Prada Bordello on me, too froufy. probably best on someone without boob-age. i like making the froufy, it's just not what i wear. anyway, it was fast, easy & fun, so no complaints. i must remind myself that i don't do frilly.

but much more white lies designs than the photo in the
magazine .. you can really see the authorship when it's
done up (Joan McGowan Michael)


Check it out ... the new
Loop-D-Loop booklet from Teva Durham's yarns. I like this one:

Los Angeles A's during their pre-game warm up and cute
paramedic in foreground.

Stitch 'N Pitch
stitch 'n pitch last night was amazing! i never knew i could have so much fun at a ball game! going with my knitting and my peeps made all the difference! and i met other knitters too! i was coveting a knee sock a few rows north of me and a really cool chick was sitting to my right. the girls from soak were right behind me. my story is a bit different from others, i was working on the organizing committee (henceforth the prom committee) and i was just glad to finally sit down and hand with the girls.

i spent the day rushing to finish the scarves for the announcers and the mascot. i got to the dome at 6pm, was escorted in under the stands (pretty cool), and proceeded to wait for 49 minutes with the camera guys, our intern Katie and a cute paramedic. i didn't realize at first that the players on the field behind us throwing the ball around were the Los Angeles A's warming up. if you like the immediacy of sitting at the front of the balcony, you'll really love being on the field! so i ogled the players for a bit. they are very average sized for athletes. we took promotional pictures for the TNNA (that is Barbara, the TNNA's marketing person, and Rita from the Creative Needlework Festival). i mingled with some of the other people presenting things and met Amy Singer's Father who was there in her place. eventually the players vacated, the field groomers came in and the ball players started coming into the dug-out (did i mention we were right next the jays dug-out?). I smiled and smiled at them, but they were beyond indifferent - we were the tourists of the day. a photographer from reuters showed up but brushed us off. for a split second i saw myself in a tiny picture on the back page of newspapers all over the world, dressing a six foot bird in a scarf.

the camera in the foreground is the jumbo-tron, the one
behind it is the TV camera. millionaire basball players in
the background.

at 6:49 Rita and i did our thing, we went on the field with the mascot, Ace, and they showed us on the Jumbo Tron presenting him with a big scarf, which the mascot wrangler promptly removed and stowed away. the guy in the mascot suit was very good, clearly this is what actors do when they graduate form mime school. he fixed my hair but a few times i thought he was going to feel me up or grab my ass. anyway, i smiled for the camera, showed off my expensive orthodontics and enjoyed my 20 seconds of fame. even though i believe that feeding one's ego is spiritual poison, 20 seconds every once in a while is very satisfying. i gave the scarves for the announcers to the Jays rep and that was it. we were escorted off the field, returned our passes, and were led up to the distribution of the bags ... from there it gets mostly normal.

i wandered down to the SNP sections with meaghan and alex to join the home girls but my ticket was in a different section. so i mosey on over there to check it out and it turns out we somehow scored stylin' cushy seats in the club section. i don't know how or why, but my ass is thankful!

meaghan and marla after the game (they don't actually
have the chins, i had to shoot from above)

i just got my event recap and the number of tickets sold ..... over 600! we were gunning for 500 and so ran out of freebies (they will send them out to the people who didn't get theirs). still, 600 is pretty good for an event with very little lead time.

Liane, Rosie, Krysten and Ramona outside the 'Club 200'
after the game.

In conclusion, Stitch 'n Pitch Toronto was a lot of fun! It was the opposite of boring (i know you were thinking it, it's baseball!), kinda like a slumber party at the sky dome, except we didtn't wear pyjamas or sleep there or play with a weja board.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Closin' Early

Knit-O-Matic will be closing early at 5pm on Wednesday August 15th for Stitch 'N Pitch. See you at the game!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

before i launch into the 'what i'm knitting right now' spiel (why does spiel sound so good but lose all it's chutzpah when it's spelled? maybe that is why yiddish is written with hebrew characters ... it's semiotic.) i have applied to join ravelry. i'm telling you this so maybe you'll join and there will be someone behind me on the massive waiting list. i am number 22398 on the list, there are 14514 people are ahead of me in line and 188 people are behind me in line (which really isn't bad since there were 146 people behind me this morning).

yesterday i also finally figured out how to insert a button into my blog! now i can join blog rings, i think 4 is a good number to start with. I was motivated by the need to post a
Stitch 'N Pitch button. here is how it is done in blogger:

1. save the above picture to your computer.
2. upload the picture to your web address or a picture hosting service like
PhotoBucket or Flickr
3. go to "Dashboard", then to "Template". Skim through the HTML code and find the place where you see the sidebar content. Choose where you want to put your picture.
4. insert the following code:

<a href=""><IMG src="

5. Find the URL of your photo and put in in the code where it says
6. Save. If you want your button centered then replace
<left> with <center>, if you want it right then replace it with <right>

And that's about the size of where you put your eyes!

By the way, if you want your Stitch 'N Pitch freebies get your ticket now! They can only make freebies for the tickets they know have been sold!

last night i got to work on my henceforth to be known as "kitsch shell stitch jacket" or "memories of fort lauderdale" from Summer 2006 Vogue Knitting. i do not plan on accessorizing with underpants (unless the heat doesn't break).

I'm using the Jo Sharp Desert Graden Aran Cotton (colour 240 Tibet) and the yarn is knitting beautifully! It's going fast and easy and looks great! The only gripe is that the suggested gauge on the ball band is not accurate. they say it is 18 sts & 24 rows on 5mm needles, but my swatch was 16 sts on 5mm needles. Jo must be really tense. Anyway, it's perfect for the project and i'm working on 4.5mm needles.

It's going so fast that I knit the above at Stitch N Bitch last night, and that was including birthday related activities like preparing the fruit and eating (marla made some gorgeous yogurt cheese and now all i'm fantasizing about cheese cloth and low fat yogurt).

snb was great last night! it was ramona's birthday and the store was filled with good birthday energy! by the way, Ramona has a Campanula for the Cure KAL, it is very pink, wink!

we took a peek at the new VK and were appalled to find that 10 patterns in the front of the magazine are not included in the issue, they are for sale as pattern downloads on the VK website. it makes my life so difficult when they don't include the patterns in the magazine! customers are going to come in, say "i want to make this one" and i have to tell them that they are going to have to pay extra to download it. so today, i log in to Vogue to give 'em hell, and low and behold, the patterns are FREE! That's more like it!

They are charging for patterns from back issues ... lucky for me i have a pretty good collection of them!

I like this shawl collar jacket form Holiday 2003 VK. I've socked away some Iro to make it.

oooo, look! i just found some more regular freebies ..............

Tahki Stacy Charles also has a fold out with 4 free patterns but they don't seem to be up on their website yet.

oy vey! i just found more! but this set was a bit of tease, they are advertising and hard to hunt down ... you have to start on the main page, then you click on an image and it takes you to that company page. once you are on the company page i wish you luck because it gets tricky there. Classic Elite seems to be well organized, i found the Twinkle Kangaroo Tunic easily and their patterns are FREE. I cant find the Louet socks though ... they get a complaint e-mail. just as an exercise, lets see which companies pass the consumer happiness test (no affiliated with being a yarn retailer) ...

  • Skacel ... fail, no sign of a pattern
  • String .... fail! Easy to find, but the pattern is NOT free, you have to buy it with a kit that costs $400 to $600 US!
  • Jade Sapphire ... fail, no sign of a pattern and i doubt it will be free.
  • Art Yarns ... fail. no sign of their pattern and i expect it will not be free (they've already done this cruel tease in VK before in an article where they were discussing a shawl but did not publish the pattern)
  • Louet ... fail. nothing, nada, niente. and i expect it will cost you.
  • Yarniverse ... PASS! easy to find and free!
  • Judi & co ... fail. there's no sign of anything there, but the thing is so ugly that i don't really care too much.
  • Koigu ... fail. there isn't anything there, and i'm getting used to being disappointed.
  • Loop .... fail. no sign that there is anything there.
  • Know Knits ... fail! there isn't anything there and they made me look at their little colostomy bags in the process.
  • Fiber Trends .... marginal pass. The pattern was easy to find, but it is not free and you can't get it directly from them.
  • Oat Couture ... fail. there isn't anything there, it'll cost you and you won't be able to get it directly.
  • Be Sweet .. fail, but i liked browsing their web site, it was very pretty.
  • Prism ... pass. Had to search in their free patterns, but the pattern was there!
  • Alpaca with a Twist ... fail. if there's anything there i can't find it.
  • Dream Weaver Yarns ... marginal pass. You have to buy it but it was easy to find and you can get it directly from them on the web.

So, basically, VK and the majority of their advertisers in this section think it's ok to mislead consumers. Kudos go to Classic Elite Yarns for giving away the good stuff for free! Curses go to Louet for taunting us with a smokin' pair of stockings and leaving us high & dry. Now, I don't want you to think that I take issue with the fact that most of these companies want consumers to pay for their product. I just feel that misleading customers by representing the patterns in this section as something that comes with the magazine, either in the body of the publication or published on the internet, is a very poor marketing choice. You always want your customers to have a positive experience. By setting high expectations in a misleading ad, consumers are liable to lose their trust in the company and feel betrayed ... you don't need a business degree to figure that out!