Saturday, December 23, 2006
Thursday, December 21, 2006
So there's this thing going around (fortunately, it's not an illness) where bloggers take the first sentence from the first post of each month of 2006 and post them together. Nobody "tagged" me to do it or anything, but it sounds like fun and I just want to see what I get if I do it.
J - the comeback project is not socks, Cherry Tree Hill or otherwise, but... the comeback project IS off the needles, hurrah! (Of course, the first post of this year was all in haiku. Silly me.)
F - Sure, I joke and I laugh, and I laugh and I joke, but let's face it folks, Knitter's ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) is a real problem.
M - I have a new friend. (Said friend's name is Meekins, and he now resides at my mom's house. Some new friend.)
A - Occasionally, a person's faith in humanity can be restored.
M - You may notice that this post is happening later than usual (5:50EST as I start).
J - Let's try for those pictures again, shall we?
J - I know I still have two more contest entries to post, but I'm going to put those off just a little bit longer.
A - So if you've known me for any length of time, you're likely well aware that I have a certain thing for Richard Dean Anderson, AKA MacGyver, AKA Jack O'Neill (two l's) on Stargate SG-1.
S - Be honest.
O - Today we celebrate two pretty significant milestones.
N - Come along with me on a little guilt trip.
D - Calvin mittens.
Well. That was mildly interesting. Still here? Let's see what other tricks I have up my sleeve.
Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of the finished hat, but you got the idea from the earlier post. I finished it Monday, wrapped it last night, and delivered it today. It was received with much happiness, and I was glad to have made it.
The Maggie mittens are... well... I still have time, right? Hopefully the TSA will comply with their own rules so I can finish them on the plane if I have to. Mom and I are flying to Seattle on Christmas Eve and staying through Friday the 29th. I'm looking forward to it, since it will be our first Christmas with the little ones.
Now that the Christmas knitting is nearly complete, I've become such a progressive thinker that I've already begun plans for the Valentine's Day knitting. You've never heard of such a thing? Let's start a new trend, shall we?
Well, since I'll be out of town starting Friday evening, I'd just like to share Merry Christmas wishes with all of my readers. I hope you have a wonderful time with family and friends and pets, and may all your knitting projects be finished in the (St.) nick of time. Merry Christmas to all, and all the best in 2007. See you then!
posted by brooke t. higgins at 5:52 PM
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Every year when the Christmas knitting rush begins (sometime in November, probably), I always tell myself, and everyone else, that, you know, I'm just not planning that much Christmas knitting this year. I don't want to be like the thousands of other knitters working frantically through the night, working their little fingers to the bone trying to finish that sweater for Aunt Sally and those socks for Brother Barnaby and tens of dozens of scarves for teachers, postmen, and that random waitress at Bob Evans who's been SUPER nice every time you stop in for some hot chocolate, which really only happened once, because PUH-lease! You don't have time to get hot chocolate at Bob Evans, what with all the KNITTING you have to do!
Yeah, I don't want to be like that.
However, I do typically end up with a few Christmas knitting projects despite all the protesting. You've seen one of them already: Calvin mittens. And what's a pair of Calvin mittens without a pair of Maggie mittens?
Okay, so I don't yet have a pair, but I still have 10 days, right? Who couldn't finish a pair of mittens in 10 days? (The yarn is Artyarns Ultramerino sock yarn, the needles are, what else? Size US 2 dpns.)
Okay, maybe Maggie couldn't, but she is only four. Give her a break.
I'm also making a classicly-styled* ribbed hat for the coolest bank guy ever. I have a friend who works at my bank branch who has helped me out a number of times with issues with my account, who asks me continually how things are going and how goes the job search, and who is just a generally swell human being in a world that seems to feature fewer and fewer of those. He doesn't have much family and may be alone for the holidays, and I thought that if he could at least keep his head warm, he might be able to keep a warm heart full of holiday spirit, as well. (The yarn is di.Ve Autumno, 100% merino wool, über soft. Needles are addi turbos, #8, 16".)
I'm also making what appears to be an alligator, but he won't come up out of the water long enough for me to get a good picture.
Soon I will be knitting like a fiend on The Sweater. A little birdie from the yarn store called yesterday and said that more of the Donegal Tweed has arrived. Hurrah!
So. What are you knitting?
p.b. My friend Joy asked how the square was going. Well, Joy, a.k.a. Forgetter-Of-Nothing, the square was finished, and then ripped out. The pattern told me to cast on 76 stitches, when I would have been much better off casting on only 72. Nevertheless, I knitted the entire square with four extra stitches, and wouldn't you know it, I had four extra stitches at the end. So it has been ripped out and the yarn has moved on to different projects. However, I did enjoy the whole Mitered Square Experience (MSE) and I shall return to it in the future. Thanks for asking.
* If "classicly" isn't a word yet, it soon will be. You just wait.
posted by brooke t. higgins at 6:41 PM
Monday, December 11, 2006
Tuesday, December 5, 2006
Monday, December 4, 2006
Calvin mittens. Fleece artist sock yarn and size 2 double-points. (Is there any other size?) 16 stitches times maybe 8 more rounds. They've been sitting here like this for at least three days. Maybe more. I just can't finish them. It's taking longer to write a post about them than it would actually take to just finish them. Seriously. I'd rather sit here and write nonsense and gibberish about not finishing silly mittens than sit and finish knitting them. You're probably not even reading this far anyway. This paragraph is much too long by now. You just looked at the picture, read the first couple of sentences, and snickered to yourself about how that silly drunken monkey never finishes anything. You've already clicked on to the next knitting blog on your list. That's okay, though. I forgive you. I know you were hoping for more than just an unfinished pair of mittens today. Maybe tomorrow.
posted by brooke t. higgins at 6:59 PM
Thursday, November 30, 2006
a) It's tough to be only one guy on strike. There's never anybody to trade off with, so you have to do everything, even sleep, in the picket line.
b) Sorry, kids, Santa won't be coming to town this year. He had a really rough Thanksgiving.
c) New this year! Are you sick and tired of waiting around for your inflatable yard decorations to fill completely? Save time and money with our partially inflatable Santa! Some of the joy, half of the wait!
a) A family of concrete cleaners spent some time at my mom's house this fall, unfortunately, they cleaned themselves into a corner and had to clean around their feet, and it left this family of footprints on the patio.
b) Look for the explanation on the all new season of Ghost Hunters on the SciFi channel. Or maybe it's Alien Hunters. I can't ever remember.
c) "Step on a crack, break your mother's back, or at least leave impressions of all your flip-flops on her back patio."
a) A scout from Calvin Klein was browsing patterns on Knitty.com and commissioned me to create a sweater incorporating their logo. You can purchase your own sweater for a mere $9,740 at the after-Christmas sales at Neiman Marcus.
b) Charlie Kaminsky called, he wants his initials back.
c) Calvin Kiley turned a whopping ONE year old on Thanksgiving Day. What better to commemorate than with his very first (kind of) birthday sweater.
a) Fiber wall art. We all knew it would happen in this house sooner or later.
b) Using a ball and a quarter of Donegal Tweed, I've finished the first piece (Front Left) of the Central Park hoodie. This piece went unbelievably fast. It's too bad I don't have the other 10 balls of yarn nearby. I could be wearing this thing by Christmas. Okay. Maybe by Groundhog Day.
c) "I know what blocking is! It's when you get it wet and staple it to the wall!"
posted by brooke t. higgins at 9:17 PM
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
posted by brooke t. higgins at 7:25 PM
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Let me start off with a couple of clarifications. First, my needles were free because I finished a project. I know it's tough to grasp that, what with this being the Drunken Monkey blog and all that. Unfortunately the needles were not free of charge, although sometimes I can get them for 50% off at Hobby Lobby, and that's nothin' on which to spit.
And yes, not only did I finish one project on deadline, but I finished another project by its deadline as well. The first one, I can show you:
Pomatomus socks from Knitty, for Morgan, whose birthday was yesterday. Happy Birthday, Morgan! These were made with Claudia's Hand Painted sock yarn, in the chocolate covered cherries colorway. I must have had two different dye lots, or else it's a hazard of knitting with hand painted yarn, but one of the socks is a bit lighter than the other sock, but they still go together quite well.
I didn't originally intend to make these for Morgan's birthday, but I was pretty darn proud of myself for getting them done in time. I had a hard time taking a good, interesting picture of them under pressure to pack them up to ship them, so maybe I can get a good picture at Christmastime when we visit.
Here's a teaser for the other project I finished and mailed out. Isn't this the best button? At first glance, it's just another brassy button. Upon closer inspection, it's the cutest little walrus with the cutest little mustache. And frankly, it's on the cutest little sweater, but I can't show that to you yet, cuz his birthday isn't until Thanksgiving.
I don't have to tell you that I have other projects going. We all know there are at least half a dozen socks rambling around here somewhere, and I think there's an entrelac bag still waiting to be loved. However, I worked at the yarn store yesterday and was forced into loving a sweater pattern. One of the owners was talking about the pattern, then showed me the pattern in the fall 2006 knitscene magazine. I wasn't even interested in that magazine! She made me like it! Only a few minutes after we finished talking about the sweater, a customer came in wearing the exact same sweater. We made quite the scene. It was gorgeous, and confirmed my need to make one. Wanna see?
Isn't it great? In a very uncharacteristic fashion, I plan to make this sweater from the very yarn it calls for, in the very color it's modeled in. I do plan, however, to make some extreme adjustments to the pattern, since it was not originally designed to fit a prehistoric carnivore. I have the pattern and one ball of yarn for swatching, and soon I shall commence. Hopefully.... hopefully this will end up being my very first COMPLETED adult sized sweater. Wish me luck!
posted by brooke t. higgins at 2:42 PM
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Would you give the chimp a pair?
Would you put them with the paste?
Would you give black beans a taste?
Would you start another project
Like a coonskin cap for Crockett?
Are your needles free?
Mine are. There's nothing like a deadline. More soon.
posted by brooke t. higgins at 8:44 PM
Sunday, November 5, 2006
Thursday, November 2, 2006
...on a little guilt trip.
While I hate being guilted into doing things, I do have to agree it might be time for an update. I have to tell you though, it's tough to be motivated to post when very little changes.
I have been knitting, but I can't really show you. (I can't even tell you what a hindrance that is to posting.) As you can tell, I'm not the only one entranced by a shiny new stitch marker.
Others of us don't seem to care.
I've been taking some walks with some friends. Well, near some friends.
I've been taking pictures of weeping willow trees for my mom. (Hi, Mom!)
I got a sweet birthday gift from my friend Leone... more sock yarn! I really need to start finishing some socks.
Oh. I, umm, finished a sock. (I can show you this one, because the recipient already knows about them. The second one is already halfway down the cuff.)
I owed you a birthday party pic. Here you go. Standing (from left): John, Ed, and Thomas. On the couch (from left): Aunt Karyl Lyn, Wendy, Linda, Tobie, Nicole, and me. In the front: Kimmie.
Today is Dad's birthday. I mixed my corn with my mashed potatoes at dinner to honor him.
posted by brooke t. higgins at 5:52 PM
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
...have I been doing?
I know, I'm sorry. You weren't sitting down when you read that? I should have warned you. I'll try to do better next time.
I finally picked up a temp assignment from my new favorite temp agency: Express Personnel. There's an office less than a mile from my apartment and they found me an assignment about 15 minutes away. I'm working for the United Way doing administrative tasks. It's a part-time temp job, for about 28 hours a week, but it's something.
I started working there on Wednesday, October 11, and taught two of the ladies in the office to knit at lunch on Friday, October 13. I was pretty impressed with that turnaround.
I've also picked up some hours at the yarn store. I worked during the day on Tuesday, October 12, and also worked Saturday, October 14, after sock club. I had four participants this time including one brand new sock knitter who actually taught herself how to start the sock by reading a book. She said it took her a couple of tries, but she had those double pointed needles going like a pro by the time she came to sock club. I showed her how to turn the heel and decrease for the gusset, and she was off and running again. Very impressive.
Saturday afternoon I worked with a lady named Dani, helping a few customers and rearranging some of the yarns to make the store more bee-you-tiful. We picked on each other back and forth throughout the afternoon, as we are wont to do, and after laughing our way through most of the afternoon, I told her, "It's a good thing you like me, or I could be in trouble."
She just shook her head and smiled. "You're like the monkey in my brain," she said. She couldn't have paid me a higher compliment.
I know! Can you believe it?
I'm thinking about writing a letter to the DPN manufacturers of the world, asking them to stop making US size 2 dpns. The more of them they make, the more socks I can cast on withouth finishing old pairs. Seriously. I give you:
The yarn is called Pace from Universal Yarn, Inc. I love this barely-tweedy orange. The pattern is made up from the railroad rib stitch I found in both a sock pattern at the store and also in Sensational Knitted Socks. I keep hoarding that book from the library because it hasn't yet found it's way into my knitting library. I'm selfishly knitting these socks for myself. We'll see when the second one gets cast on.
I also made these mittens using a double strand of Artyarns luxury ultramerino sock yarn (same brand as the blue/brown colorway I got at the Wool Gathering). The mittens are about five inches long tip to tail, and I'm not sure if they're big enough to fit my niece. If they are, they're hers. If not, I may have to find another mini-diva to bestow them on.
I started another sock with a purple-y Trekking colorway, and I'm trying an entrelac pattern with it. The first one isn't really far enough along to get a good picture, but for the idea, see Eunny's blog. I'm excited because I think the Trekking will make an AMAZING entrelac, and I'm even more excited because my buddy Nicole taught me how to knit BACKWARDS so I don't have to flip the sock around every seven stitches. How sweet is that? Wanna know how? Leave a comment and maybe I'll do a step-by-step one of these days.
There's been (and not been) other knitting as well. Steady progress on the Pomatomos socks (with the exception of the five rows I currently need to rip back because I got cocky and stopped looking at the chart), absolutely no progress on the new entrelac bag, and I haven't started my nephew's birthday sweater yet because I still don't know how big to make it. This makes me sad, but as I told my mom earlier tonight, I may just go ahead and start it in a size 2T, so he'll be able to wear it for a really long time, or at least until December.
Ever since I bought a new vehicle back in May, I've been listening to books on tape and CD when I drive. Occasionally I'll switch to the radio or a music CD, but mostly it's been stories. I can't actually call it "reading" because it's actually "listening". However, the latest book is one I highly recommend. It's been out for a few years, but I finally decided I'd try it, and I can't get enough of it.
It takes up 16 CDs. 16. That's a lot of CDs. Most of the other books I've picked up with that many CDs have bored me to tears and I haven't been able to listen to the whole thing. Tonight I finished disk 15 and I'm desperately sad that there's only one more CD to go. I've already convinced myself I need to buy the actual book so that I can digest it more as I truly read it. It's an amazing story.
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger is heartwrenching. If it's science fiction, it's the most emotional science fiction ever written. If it's a love story, it's the saddest love story ever written. If it's a tragedy, it's the happiest tragedy ever written. Once you accept that Henry is a time traveler, it couldn't make more sense.
It probably doesn't hurt that I have a little crush on the man who reads Henry's chapters. However, if you long for an emotionally charged story, this book is for you. If you've read it or are inspired to read it, I'd love to hear from you. Let me know what you think. I almost want to put off listening to the final CD to prolong the enjoyment.
posted by brooke t. higgins at 7:42 PM
Tuesday, October 3, 2006
Today we celebrate two pretty significant milestones:
Drunken Monkey Knits is celebrating its FIRST birthday!
And the Drunken Monkey is celebrating her 30th birthday!
I say that's cause for much
drunken monkey-like jubilee.
This year I've had probably the longest birthday celebration ever, and it's not quite over yet. I include here, for your pleasure, some of the highlights.
September 17: Kimmie treats me to a wonderful, wool-filled day in Yellow Springs at the Wool Gathering.
September 27: Nicole and Tobie treat me to a delicious dinner at Bravo in West Chester.
September 28: Joy treats me to a delightful dinner at both Red Robin and her new home in Mason. (The rainbow pictured above stretched in a full arc across the sky and greeted us brilliantly as we left the restaurant.)
September 30: Wendy treats me to a super fun afternoon at her house, followed by a SHOCKING surprise party at Nicole's house, planned and attended by my incredible, industrious mother, and including my aunt, many of my close friends from my former place of employment (FPOE) and lots of my closest knitting groupies.
October 2: Tricia treats me to lunch and playland-playing at McDonalds with her three kids (twins almost 3, and one almost a year and a half), followed by shopping at Goodwill.
October 3: Leslie, Kimmie, and a few other friends from my FPOE treat me to a scrumptious lunch and dessert at Chili's in Montgomery. Then, after five hours of playing nanny for Tricia's kids, she and her husband treat me to a yummy Italian dinner with a canoli for dessert.
October 4: Potential lunch with even more friends from my FPOE.
October 6-8: The celebration continues with in Wooster with the party I knew about including family and maybe a couple of family friends.
I am truly and amazingly blessed. It's fun to be 30. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
My mom snapped a ton of pictures at the surprise birthday party. I'll copy them from her this weekend and share them with you soon. Thanks to everyone who has made this birthday absolutely amazing!
posted by brooke t. higgins at 11:24 PM
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Do you see the person in the above picture? No no no... not me (the tall one), but the other one. Yes. That's Kimmie. And she is
potentially definitely one of the most sweetest, generousest, kindest, wonderfulest people that I know.
Last Sunday, Kimmie and I went to the Wool Gathering in Yellow Springs, Ohio. This event is comparable to the Great Lakes Fiber Show that Kimmie, Nicole, and I had attended this past Memorial Day weekend. This one was a smidge smaller than the other show, but this one took place at Young's Jersey Dairy, a popular hangout from when I was in college. So not only did we get scrumptious fibery goodness, we also got ice cream. Could a day get any better?
It could indeed. Let me back up a bit. Kimmie picked me up Sunday morning, and when I went to get in her car, there was a little gift bag on the seat. It was an early birthday present from Kimmie! I opened it to find a (creative, ATKIM-automated teller Kimmie) gift certificate to the Wool Gathering so that I could get something that I wanted while I was there. How cool is that? And then she told me that if there was a star on the back of the gift certificate, it was good for a free lunch. Shockingly enough, I had a star on the back of my certificate! Score!
When we got to Yellow Springs, we did a pretty good job of going through most of the vendors before making any decisions. I did buy some 100% silk pretty early on, but for $2 per 100 yard skein, it was pretty tough to leave there. Oooooh... shiny.
(If you were a fiber lover, and you were in the middle of interviewing for your dream editing job, would this sign offend you? Yeah, me too.)
We wandered around a bit more and found a sheepdog demonstration. I was pretty impressed watching this dog crouch behind the sheep, watching to make sure they stayed in a group.
He had to run around them a couple times to make sure all the sheep stayed in line, until he finally got those little woolies over the bridge...
And into the pool. I love the smell of wet wool in the afternoon, don't you?
At the Yarns & Fabrications booth, you could Kool-Ade dye a skein of yarn for only $5, and Kimmie treated so we could both dye some yarn. Hers turned out to be a pretty red/orange color, and mine is the
butterfly vomit delightful variegated in this picture.
I liked it better when I got it home and dry and all balled up, because I remembered this lime green Kool-aid dyed yarn I'd bought at the fiber festival in Wooster. Don't they go together well? I think I'll use the two together for something. I haven't decided what yet. I could felt them, too.
There's a new shop opening soon in Shreve, Ohio, which is near where my mom lives, and also happens to be where I went to elementary school. We first met the owner back in May, and we saw her again in Yellow Springs. Her shop carries some really interesting Japanese yarns, and I had to try one out. This one is a 100% cotton yarn, sort of eye-lashy, and I think that all wrapped up it looks like a haystack.
Kimmie, however, convinced me that it looks sort of like coconut. I remembered I had some fingering weight chocolate brown yarn at home, and I've decided to combine the two yarns, probably for a baby hat. It will look like a Crohn's Medicine hat!
I also got some really cute buttons for a really cute baby sweater that I'll soon be starting for a really cute baby's birthday at the end of November. But I can't show you those. Not yet anyway.
My favoritest, most happiest, gorgeousest, most beautifulest purchase, though, was this sock yarn from Artyarns. It's their Ultramerino sock yarn in
potentially definitely the prettiest sock yarn color combination I've ever seen. This will definitely be socks for your very own drunken monkey, I just have to find the perfect pattern. (Oh, and finish those other dozen SWPs I have hanging around.)
All in all it was a very fun day with a very fun friend. We got to see Lisa and Wendy (hi Wendy!) and Nicole (hi Nicole!) while we were there, we had a great lunch with some screaming children and crazy old people at the Golden Jersey Inn, and we even got to listen to some quality music in the car. Hehe. Thanks again, Kimmie, for your generosity and fiber-excitement... both of which made the Wool Gathering an even greater experience. You're the best!!
posted by brooke t. higgins at 6:08 PM
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Remember this? I have recovered somewhat and two of those pairs of socks can no longer claim monkey-on-my-back status. Behold:
The yarn is Trekking colorway 100, and the pattern is Toe Jazz from Fiber Trends, with a flat toe instead of a split toe to wear them with flip-flops. Brenda, you'll notice that these socks are in no way identical. I think Trekking does that on purpose.
The yarn is Lana Grossa and I can't remember the colorway. The pattern is from Sensational Socks, but I don't remember which one because I had to return the book to the library ages ago. Brenda, you'll notice that these socks are almost identical. At least in this post I'm only halfway neurotic. Right?
Both pairs were gifted this afternoon at lunch to two of my goodest friends from my former place of employment. Both Kimmie and Leslie have been incredibly supportive to me, not just while I worked there, but especially after I was let go. So to both of you, thanks again for everything.
So what should I start now? (Don't you DARE answer that! I know you know how many works-in-progress I already have! Shame on you for even thinking about something new! Or wait... shame on me!)
A few comments about the comments:
* Joy, fingerless mittens are for people like me who don't have any dexterity while wearing mittens, can't stand to have their fingers trapped in gloves, yet still want to keep their hands somewhat warm in the winter. It's okay if you don't get it.
* GraceGirl, I think you've got something there. Sounds to me like you've thought about it enough that you could do a thesis on the monkey v. tiger argument. I'll always vote monkey. You can use me in your bibliography.
* A long time ago I said something about a prize for the 500th comment. That's still true. This is the last time I'm going to mention it until it happens. We're within 100 comments.
The birthday sweater was a success. Thanks for posting the pictures, Morgan! Go check out her blog for more photos from the 4th birthday.
When I was little, I had an aunt who would send a little something for me on Sean's birthday, and a little something for Sean on my birthday. So the little guy in Washington got a knitted ball to play with while he watches big sister ride her new bike. Good times.
posted by brooke t. higgins at 7:43 PM