JOINERS!

Well, I’m a joiner… and since I can never leave well enough alone, I have to then go and take it one step further. I’ve created a group on Ravelry for my friend PJ (american) and our friend Kate (England) and me (Canadian) to do Knit a longs together because Ravelry doesn’t allow messages with more than one recipent. Now we have joiners (yay!) and we’re hosting a KAL for more people than just ourselves. If you want to come and join, click this link (you need to have a Ravelry account)
I just found out via a scheduling error, that we are going on holiday in two weeks! SO EXCITED! Boy and I are sending kitty to the cat hotel for a holiday (he hates it, but it’s better than the alternative!) and we’re going to drive up to my dad’s for a few days. I forsee fishing (with guns?), exploring, quadding, dog playing, knitting, tanning, wine, beer, ceasers, bbq, bocce, napping and anything else you can think of to jam into three days at the cabin! I also forsee a knock down, drag out fight over the good chair… I plan on winning this time and I’m not above pinching!
Now, this whole driving for 12 hours thing would normally squick me out because that’s a long time to drive, but I have the love of my life to chat with and knitting! I will be doing some of the driving, but I will also be doing some of the passengering. And this means the ability to knit for long continuous bouts… (I hope… I’ve tried knitting in a car before and it’s too vibratey, but maybe on the highway will be better. Granted, one of the times was in a Jeep Wrangler, outfitted for off roading, so that was brutal!). I’ve already started to plan my projects for both knitting on the road and knitting at the cabin. I will be taking my Haruni KAL project (afore mentioned) with me because, well, since this was sort of partially my doing, I should probably knit along… so I will bring that project, made out of either my hand dyed teal laceweight baby alpaca (no picture yet because I had to have it professionally photographed since I can NOT get the color to show up properly. The complication is that I want that laceweight for a shawl that I want to make but I didn’t dye enough… so if I can get another skein to match then it’s al going for the big shawl, but if I can’t, then the big shawl will have to be out of something different and then I will make the KAL out of the laceweight. Sounds confusing, I know, but I”ll know by Friday afternoon what I’m using. If I have to go with my second choice, then it will be this

This is Knit Picks Stroll Tonal in Canopy. It’s so pretty! So that’s one thing going with me for holidays. Then I will take some bulky alpaca so that I can work on my hat if I get tired of the laceweight. And I’m taking the garter stitch shawl that I’m designing (that’s a maybe). And then the one I”m probably going to knit in the car will be a simple rectangular shawl that is made out of laceweight and designed by someone I know. And I’m planning on knitting it out of yarn I dyed last year when I was at my dad’s. It’s 100% baby alpaca laceweight and I dyed it in the Fraser Lake colorway. You’ll see it’s sort of messy looking below, but that’s partly due to how I skeined it and partly due to it being sort of messy. But the lace I’m knitting with it will be very loosely knit, so the yarn shouldn’t look like barf… fingers crossed.
So I’m in to dyeing yarn again, and I just got a spinning wheel on the weekend which I need to get set up and start spinning. I think it will give me a different consistency, so I”m going to finish the pink/purple handspun I”m doing on the spindle and start new with something else so that I don’t mess up the look. The pink one is the one I”m putting the kitty whiskers in, which will also probably be easier to do with a spindle than on the wheel.
That’s about all that’s going on lately. I’ve got the next four days off, so I’m very looking forward to that. Boy is off tomorrow too, so we get to spend our FOURTH day off together in this whole year so far… spoiled, I know!

Spontenaity!

Spontenaity is not something I am personally known for.  I like to plan things.  Not because I like to be in control of them, but because part of the fun of something is planning it for me.  I like the excitement and the discussion and the bandying about of ideas… This is why I start planning my birthday party (which incidentally I throw for myself… does that make me pitiful?) a month in advance.  Because to me it’s fun to talk about and plan and change and plan some more.  My sister and I used to plan stuff this way all the time… and then we both got pretty busy and now all of a sudden I find myself doing things like packing THE NIGHT BEFORE to go somewhere WITHOUT A LIST!  Seriously, that type of craziness never existed in my life before.  I like to make lists and then cross things off them…
Anyway, that said, I can be dragged into spontenaity… such as last night when I got a message from Boy saying we were going to go to dinner with a friend of his.  We went for dinner… and then we decided we needed to go to Richmond and have Screamers (Lime crush slurpee with two layers of the best soft serve icecream you’ve ever had!).  Then we decided we needed to go to the ocean’s shore at Iona Park in Richmond… where we frolicked in the sand and then ended up having to leave due to the weird smell and sand fleas.  THEN we decided that we had to go to Queen Elizabeth Park and play in the fountain.  So. much. fun!  I was the only one that stayed dry… and completely by accident.  Jenny (the friend) and I decided (due to my persuasion) to have a race through the full blast jets in the fountain.  Only when we started, the water caught on my flipflop and I had to pull out of the race before I’d even hit the first jet… and she, because she couldn’t see me from her lane, ran all the way through, around and back to us and was a soaking wet drenched… and Boy and I were laughing our heads off!  She was a good sport and I really didn’t do it on purpose, altho I can see how it may have looked like I did… LOL!  So fun!

We of course have decided to continue having adventure nights and, as Jenny is from Ontario, she has not seen much of the city, so there are loads of other things we can do.  And I will attempt not to ‘plan’ it, as much as I want to, because spontaneous fun can be as fun as planned fun! (yes, I said it!)

In knitting news, I recast on my Annis and have almost chosen not to do nupps but to do beads instead… big beautiful blue beads that are striking with the red semisolid yarn.  However I keep seeing people’s finished projects and lust after their nupps… I think the beads could look nice and flashy, but I like the simple elegance of the nupps…. I’ll decide at the last second!  I will also be doing three rows of seed stitch on the top edge because I’m totally not crazy about how the stockinette stitch rolls… I’d rather see a bit of texture at the top (it’s laceweight, how noticeable could it be) than a rolled edge.
I’m also about to cast on for a new shawl design with the beautiful pink yarn I got from Sweet Georgia two weeks ago.  I can’t WAIT! If it turns out the way I think it will, it will be so cute and a perfect pattern for a perfect skein of sock yarn!
I’m also planning on casting on a super cute hat pattern with a new skein of mixed gray 100% Baby Alpaca… pictures of that to follow just as soon as I figure out how to provisionally cast on for it and decipher the instructions on how to make an adult sized hat from the baby sized pattern!
My friend Siobhan and I are going to the Gibson’s Fibre Festival on August 20.  We’re just going for the day to enjoy the coast and do a little browsing and then come home.  I’m really looking forward to it and to getting to know her a bit better!  I’ve also never been to a ‘fibre festival’ so I’m excited!  And most excited because on Saturday morning I”m picking up a SPINNING WHEEL!  That’s right!  Someone I met through the yarn shop is giving her secondary one away and even tho it needs a bit of TLC, we’re pretty convinced we can fix it and Boy said I could fill up the last few square inches of the apartment with it!  I’m hoping that it’s at least a little portable so that I can go outside and spin when it’s nice…
That’s about it… I’m off tomorrow because I’m awesome and I have an abundance of holidays so I”m going to go to the vintage button/bead/jewellery/all around awesome shop and probably do some knitting and coffee drinking.  Sound fun?

Beeeeooootiful!

My friend Leone is such a sweetheart and nominated me for this award! Even tho I’m not on her blogrolll pppffftttthhhhh 😉

so here goes my list of inane stuff you didn’t want to know about me… what is seen can not be unseen!
1. I am a magnet for the road raged. I swear I do nothing to instigate it (however I do honk my horn if you do something stupid like cut me off), but as of yesterday have been ‘attacked’ in my car twice by deranged lunatics. This last one proved his ‘point’ to me by spitting on my car and the lurching in reverse toward me stopping a fraction of an inch from my bumper before acting like an even bigger lunatic!
2. I would like to sell my car and get a Vespa… but then I think that if I don’t like to be in the rain, the car is nicer than the Vespa for the winter… maybe I’ll have both!
3. I would like to live in Singapore or Thailand. I love the food, the atmosphere the people and the way of life. In my Singapore dream I’m also a multi-millionaire… can’t hurt to think big!
4. I really really hate it when people assume that they need to be standing four inches from me in order for me to be able to hear them… I have a personal bubble… you should respect it!
5. Speaking of hearing, I’m not that good at it. I say ‘Sorry?’ a lot! and then after asking a person to repeat themselves two or three times, I get a blank sort of smile on my face and drop it… this does not help when it’s directions or something else important that I’m supposed to be hearing.
6. When I’m at work I want to be knitting. When I’m knitting I want to be napping. When I’m napping I think I should be knitting. You see how work gets in the way of those two activities?
7. 20oz dark roast coffee with 2 espresso shots, 2 teaspoons of damarius brown sugar and some cream. That is all!
8. I have an itty bitty 13lb kitty. He’s a charm! I try to overlook the claw marks in my scalp, the sleepless nights because he can’t eat in the middle of the night without me being awake and the constant worry about him getting into it with a coyote or a car… I loves him!
9. My mind is going a MILE A MINUTE with creative things that I want to try or make or do. Again with the work getting in the way!
10. I’ve never really known anyone close to me who has died. This scares the shit out of me.
Now, to nominate people. Well, I must be honest and admit that I hardly blogstalk… and those that I do have already done it, so how about this. If you read this and you haven’t gotten a nomination, it’s probably because you’re so awesome people thought you did it already. So go on and nominate yourself and get that list together!

Waaahooooo!

I am POSITIVE that you are sick of hearing about Smungkee!  Positive!  too bad!  Because he’s getting to be a rather popular little creature and I have some new news on him.  But first, a note about copyright!  FUN!

Copyright, in regards to knitting (and I’m sure other things) is ridiculously controversial!  Like seriously knock down, drag out fights over who has the right to do what with what where.  For instance… if you knit something from a pattern you purchased (or got for free because it was free), what are you legally entitled to do with it?  Simple answer you think, right?  WRONG!  While you THINK that you should be allowed to wear it… give it away… light it on fire (okay, I did do that), or sell it, you would be WRONG WRONG WRONG!  Well, let me rephrase that!  You would be wrong as according to a good number of people who think that you have limited rights as to what you can do with your finished item.  I am not one of those people.  I feel that if I pay for a pattern the price the designer feels fair (since designers set their own prices), then whatever I do with the item I made with the pattern is mine for the whatevering!  I bought my own yarn, my own needles, my own finishing notions and used my own time and expertise to follow your pattern, which I paid for.  So why then would someone feel like they had a direct say over what I CAN’T do with it.  Because they feel that if I sell my ‘thing’, then I am essentially stealing profit away from them.  Rubbish!  If I sell my ‘thing’ to a non knitter for $50, what have I gained and what has the designer lost?  Let’s investigate.

My shawl cost me $40 in yarn and the pattern itself cost me $5US.  That’s $45.  Let’s assume that the needles and notions have already paid for themselves and they’re not needing to be calculated in.  That leaves me with a difference before knitting a thing, of $5 if I’m charging you $50 for it.  Let’s assume it takes me 10 hours (I think it took longer).  That’s 50cents an hour.  What exactly have I gained here?  Not much.  What has the designer lost?  Nothing, because the person wasn’t going to knit it themselves (therefore, no $5 from the pattern regardless of my sale), and there’s nothing in the law that states that I have to give her a percentage of my sale.  So I stupidly made $5 for myself, and she made $5 for herself.  Now.  What if I sold it for $500?  That’s a good profit margin right there.  Does that then entitle her to money from me?  Why should it?  If she wanted $500 for her pattern, she should have asked for it.  Now, if we assume she DOES have a say over whether I can sell it or not, what ELSE does she have a say over?  Does she have some sort of legal right over the item?  Can she decide at any time that she doesn’t want the pattern to be for use anymore and then run around the country and take back all the items made from it?  That puts us crafters on a shaky ground don’t you think?  do you think people would spend hundreds of hours and dollars to make things, only to know that legally, someone else has a right to the finished product?  No, that’s ridiculous!

The other thing that people have a terrible time with is trying to copyright their pattern for something that isn’t original.  You can’t copyright the knit or purl stitch or any combination of them.  You can’t copyright icons, things that are already copywritten, shapes or textures.  That means that you can not copyright a teddy bear.  If you have a pattern that has a unique teddybear design, you can copyright that, but you can’t say no one can ever make something even remotely similar or appearing to be a teddy bear.

The reason all this comes up is that I bought a pattern for Smungkee from a lady that was selling it.  And then when I got the pattern, I changed pretty much everything about it.  She wanted the pieces knit flat and seamed and I’m in no way ever going to seam that much knitting so I knit it in the round.  I changed the direction of the stitches, the method of the ears and mouth, the yarn and needle size and the finishing technique.  And then I wrote it down.  And I gave it to someone to make my version of the monkey.  I believe that my monkey pattern is completely different than hers, and while I will give her credit for inspiration, I will not acquiesce that my monkey pattern is the same as hers. And if someone takes my monkey pattern and finds a way to change it to make it their own, all the power to them.  If someone takes my upcoming hat pattern and makes it different enough to be considered a different item then that’s fine too.  the one thing about copyright I do agree with is that the actual piece of paper pattern (or e version) is not to be given out with someone else’s name on it, or handed around to your friends indefinitely.  That takes money away from the designer and even if it’s free, it’s rather rude.  I like to see how many people downloaded my free pattern… giving it to your friend, while not actually taking money away from me prevents me from being able to see who downloaded it.  I wouldn’t say very strong words about passing free patterns around tho, because really, it makes little to no difference in the world.

Now!  The reason that I’m saying all this is because I am publishing my monkey pattern for sale and I am teaching (teachers assistant) a class on how to make him!  I’m so excited for this and I’m thrilled to be able to assist others in making one for themselves, because he’s cool!

And yes, I did mention the hat pattern that I’m designing.  It’s going to be awesome!

What’s goin’ on….

I’ve come to realize that I’m much faster at knitting things than I was even a few months ago, so my applicable pattern selection has increased exponentially. Especially since I’ve lifted the ban on purling. I continue to try and put beads on things. I think it gives that little bit extra and it really makes the item unique. 2000 people can knit the same pattern and some might even end up knitting it out of yarn that I knit it out of in the color I choose, but once i add beads, that drastically decreases the likelihood that it will be the exact same as someone elses. Boy said the other day that I attempt to bead everything. While not exactly true, I do mention it a lot… the latest thing I was going to try and bead is my Annis Shawl… I even knit a swatch to see if the beads would look good and figured they had better because I paid $30 for them… well they did not. They looked okay on the tips and that’s where I left them but they sort of screwed around with the pattern and therefore didn’t look very good… My ambition tells me to dye a skein of my own yarn the color I want and then bead something with that…

This weekend I knit two hats. Last year in November my bestee and I went shopping in the US and both fell in love with a beautiful deep burgundy chunky weight baby alpaca yarn from Misti Alpaca. It sat in the stash for some time because neither of us bought enough to make anything… and then I ran across the cutest hat pattern (pictured on the last post modelled by my bear) and thought that I would knit up a nice chic hat for her with the skein of yarn she bought. And then it turned into another hat, and a need to go buy expensive buttons and the desire to make more and more and more! I put an electric blue button on mine and by a whim decided to sew it on with bright yellow embroidery thread and I’m in love with it! I even wore it out yesterday! I’m using the left overs to make a sweater for my bear. He’s 21 and he deserves a sweater… he’s been a good friend and companion and he’s getting a little worse for the wear, so I thought I’d give him something warm and cozy to wear.

My KnitPicks order should be coming today too, which means I can get started on my hat design! You’re going to LOVE it! It’s super cute (in my head) and it should be quick and easy! Famous last words!

Today while I was spending time writing this, I got called to one of my job sites. A job I’ve been working on since last September… A job I worked really really hard on… it’s all done and the manager of the area in question informed me how great it looked and for such ‘little effort on my part’. NICE! Jerk! I think it looks beautiful and I refuse to let her bring me down… Jerk!

Here’s a picture of my hat that matches my bestee’s!