Sunday, September 30, 2007

What a Deal

So it's the last day of September and I don't have a pair of socks to show for it.

But this ought to cheer you up.

Friday night I went into Pat Catan's in Wooster to find some ribbon, and I almost had, as they say, a "falling down" in the yarn department. Along with all of the crazy novelty yarns that usually abound in such discount craft centers, they also had some small balls of 100% wool. Each contained 99 yards for $1.50, and there were fifty cent off coupons hanging on the shelf. There weren't a ton of colors, but there were enough to cause some damage. They would be perfect for felting. I tried to control myself, and then I found the stuff in the above picture. (Next to Mocha. Hi Mocha!)

It's a soft, thick & thin yarn, also 100% wool... perfect for the goat pattern from Crafty Alien. So I started one. Anyway, this yarn is better quality than the 99 yard one, it has 79 yards for $1.97... but the coupons worked for it, too. So I bought two off-whites, one tan, and one dark brown. I might start a whole herd of goats. (The needle is for scale. This goat is shown in profile, pre-felting.) I thought I showed considerable self-control, as this is all the yarn I bought. I will be back though.

Another great acquisition this weekend is this Vogue Knitting book from 1989. My aunt is a dedicated thrift shopper, and she and a friend found this for me not too long ago. I've looked through it already and it's a great resource for finishing techniques, stitch patterns, and more. Cost? 35 cents. Sweet.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Frau Sheldorina

Well, that's a working title. She doesn't have a name yet.

This Sheldon was made as a birthday gift for my friend Nicole. She's from Germany, so the little fraulein was given a shell with the colors from the German flag.

(To me, the hat kind of looks like a firefighter's hat. But it's not.)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Link Fest (Random) Thursday

It's finally raining. Apparently we saved up all summer just for this storm, too. So it's dark outside and raining hard and every now and then the lights flicker. I'm happy. The grass is practically singing. Maybe the days of 90+ degree temperatures are actually in the past. We shall see.

The change in weather added to my quality genetic structure means my sinuses are playing some fun games. Did you know that
Halls makes a ginger ale flavored cough drop? They also have a "naturals" line that's pretty good. When I was a kid, the only time I ever drank 7up or Sprite was when I wasn't feeling well, so now it seems almost like an extra kind of soothing. Nothing makes my sore throat happier than a little clear carbonation.

So the
"Pay it Forward" thing didn't go over so well. I can understand. I know people are busy and have enough things on their plates to keep them swamped for ages. So here's what I've decided to do: In order to fulfill my obligations, I'm going to make and send handmade gifts to everyone who commented on my last entry. So Jenbut and Kelincal, you should expect something in the next 365 days (and don't be surprised if it takes just that long!). However, the two of you are under NO obligation to commit to the same. It's just my thanks to you for taking the time to comment on the idea.

We're coming up on the two year anniversary of Drunken Monkey Knits! That's difficult for me to believe, since in the past I've never been faithful to any kind of journal or diary for more than a couple of months. In honor of such an event, you know there will be a contest. I'm going to have to make amends for the sock yarn buying AND the fact that the arrrgyles are probably not going to get finished by end of September, so I'll be giving away some of my very own sock yarn stash. Stay tuned.

I'm still squeaking through my amazing list of projects. September's projects are a little behind, but I'm hoping to catch up in October. November will be busy, so I can't be behind going into it. A number of patterns have been calling my name... wanting me to cast on... coming to me in my dreams... Want to know what they are?

Endpaper Mitts: I'm actually hoping to teach a class on these next quarter.
Foliage: I have a single skein of Malabrigo that's just aching to become this hat. Hmm. Another class possibility?
Felted Goat: From Crafty Alien... if you haven't seen her amazing little felted animals, you must click the link and check them out. She has a ton of them in her Etsy shop.
The Perfect Sweater (pdf): At The Wool Gathering, our shop had a ton of new colors of Cascade 220, and one of them really caught my eye. I've been plotting a sweater with it ever since, and this is the one.
Marigold Socks: I suppose I could make these my November socks. I have the perfect orange Trekking with which to make these.

I'm also looking for an excuse to knit some teeny baby things (
Saartje's Booties (pdf), and a Sweet Baby Cap), and I've already found patterns to use for the upcoming Valentine's socks.

That ought to keep me busy for a while, don't you think?

Oh, one last thing. The
Central Park Hoodie is finished. I took it to work yesterday and showed it off. There were many accolades. It's been Soak-ed and is now laying flat to dry. There will be pictures soon. Hurrah!!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Pay It Forward

It's kind of tough to keep you entertained when the last three projects of the month include the arrrgyle socks (which you've seen more than enough times in progress) and two projects that are intended as gifts to people who read this blog.

The socks, by the way, are just fine. The second one's cuff is seamed and only a few more rows remain before I start the heel. One of the gifts was just completed today (and just in time), and the other gift has a long way to go before I mail it on Saturday.

Say it with me now: "I think I can... I think I can... I think I can..."

Ahhh... anyway, to distract you from all of that, I'm going to tell you about a cool little knitbloggy thing that's going around. I read about it a while ago (can't remember where), and was reminded of it last week on Nicole's blog. (Happy birthday, Nicole!!)

It's a concept based on the movie
Pay It Forward. I promise to send a handmade gift to three random people who leave a comment on this post requesting to join the Pay It Forward exchange. I don't know what the handmade gifts will be, nor when you will receive them, but I do promise it will be sometime in the next 365 days. All you have to do is make the same promise to three random people on your own blog.

I thought it sounded like fun. Any takers?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Ahoy Thar

Aye, mateys, it be me, The Dread Monkey Buttkin. I be fillin' in today for yer Drunk'n Monkey, the scurvy dog. She be off stealin' booty or pillagin' or some such thar'bouts. I be carryin' me loot in me bags here, so's I can keep close watch over 'em.

Arr... here be progress on the pirate arrrgyle socks... that scallywag couldn't finish em' in time for today (which be Talk Like A Pirate Day, for thems of ye who tweren't awares), but they oughten be done fer next year, especially since thems are s'posed to be done by the end o' the month here.

Tis no surprise that yellow scourge be afeared to show her parrot-peckin' face 'round these parts. She ought to be walkin' the plank for her cheatin' piratin' ways of this weekend past. Just look at this booty she aquired at that thar land lubbin' sheep festival.

This here sock yarn be forbidden! Aye, and the Drunk'n Monkey raided a booth and captured it for her own. That's not keepin' to the code! She ought to be lashed to a post to provide feastin' for the crows.

Arr, and that not be all, mateys. Only 8 galleons for 430 yarrrds of a merino/bamboo/nylon sock yarn... now that be what I call pirate treasure. I can't recommend runnin' her through for this transgression of riches, although she may be swabbin' the deck a couple extra turns for the next fortnight.

This here pirate thinks we've got a sock-yarn-buyin' mutiny on our hands. Cap'n Screamin' Wendy and Landlubber Lisa threw in their eyepatches long before our Drunk'n Monkey did, and for that I s'pose we ought t'be proud. So raise yer rum, ye barnacles of the poopdeck.

Aye aye!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Three Things

Number 1:
The Wool Gathering

Tomorrow and Sunday, September 15 & 16, at Young's Jersey Dairy in Yellow Springs, OH.

If you're anywhere near Southwestern Ohio, you should go. Stop by the Yarns & Fabrications booth in the red/white tent and say hi. I'll be there both days. I'm the tall one.

If you want to know what it's like,
click here for my post from last year.

Number 2:
Meet Diane.

Actually, you met her back here, when she got my June socks.

Anyway, this is Diane's very first
booga bag. Isn't it cute?

She made a washcloth and a half last fall, but now she has finished and felted her very own booga bag. I can't wait to find out what she wants to make next.

Number 3:
September Socks

One down, one to go.

A big thank you to my foot model. You know who you are. :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

More Tractor Knack

After Tractor Knack (TK) played around on the tractors for a while, we visited some of the animal barns and sat for a while watching the kiddie tractor pulls. TK looked on with intense interest, hoping that maybe next year he'll be able to compete. Nice pull!

We walked through the barns and talked to some of the sheep. TK wanted to know why he didn't
look like those sheep anymore!

TK enjoyed the flora as well as the fauna, and paused to pose with some matching flowers in a moment of pensiveness.

We all met a giant corn husk goat with ears of corn. Get it? Ears of corn? TK didn't think it was all that funny, either. But he enjoyed the ride.

We found some more flowers in the Home Ec building.

Before heading out, we rounded up some good fair food. It took a while to tear TK away from those caramel apples. They look so good, don't they?

On the way out, TK watched longingly as the Merry-Go-Round went merrily around, but we were running out of time and he didn't get a chance to ride.

The good news is, Tractor Knack was so popular at the fair, that afterwards he was offered a contract with the circus. Sweet!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tractor Knack

This past weekend, I taught classes at the store on Saturday, then drove up to Wooster with Dani to visit my mom and go to the Wayne County Fair. It's one of the largest junior fairs in Ohio, and it's the fair I grew up with, so I enjoy going back to visit the fair whenever I can.

This year, more than anything else, I enjoyed the tractors.

There's nothing like a big, ol'
John Deere tractor to really get my motor running.

There are so many different shapes and sizes of tractors. There are tractors to pull wagons, tractors to plow fields, tractors for any of your farming needs.

There are even John Deere tractors in different colors!

But my favorite part of the tractor has got to be the tires. They're massive!

Tractor Knack got to drive one of the tractors. He was so excited.

He looked into the inner workings of a tractor engine.

And was blown away by the sheer cost of one of those monsters.

Come back tomorrow for more of Tractor Knack's adventures at the fair.

(Did you find Tractor Knack in all of the above pictures? Remember, you can click the picture to make it bigger.)

Thursday, September 6, 2007

One Dilemma, Two Duckies


Thanks for all of the input and advice regarding the buttons. Seven buttons are right out! They never really had a chance. And now I'm so overwhelmed by the dilemma of whether to choose 5 buttons or 6, that I've tossed the sweater on the WIP pile and started a dozen new projects.

Okay, not true. I have decided (due to some fabulous advice) to try the sweater on as-is and pin it in place for 5 buttons, then do the same for 6. Then, and only then, will I make the final decision. However, the weather's got to come down out of the 90's for a few minutes before I'll consider putting that sweater on.

Thanks also for all of the thoughts on attaching the buttons. I love the idea of putting fabric behind the buttons, and the idea to use cotton floss to attach them. Since this is my first adult-sized sweater, I hadn't even considered this stuff before. I am amazed at the thoughtfulness and outpouring of ideas you guys have shared. I can't wait to finish the sweater so you all can see which of your ideas I chose to use.


I did start one new project. (Don't worry, it's on the list.) Here's a game: See if you can figure out the difference between the next two pictures.

The item in the top picture was started about four years ago, then abandoned to a bag in my old, old abandoned objects basket. I pulled it out the other night, decided I could do better, and started the item in the second picture. Looks like I've improved on my fair isle ducky style. Yeah, yeah, the orange and yellow yarns are different, but the main difference I was noticing was the way the stitches are so twisted in the top photo, but pretty straight in the second. That's because I used to think that I had to wrap the yarn I was carrying around every stitch, as opposed to only catching it every three or four stitches. I definitely like the change.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Button Advice

Due to a couple sessions of uncharacteristic focus, I am now officially one buttonhole band away from a completed sweater. However, before I can make the buttonhole band, I need to know how many buttons to use. This is where you come in. I need some button advice.

Most people say that you should use an uneven number of buttons on a garment. I took pictures of the sweater with five, six, and seven buttons. I am already leaning toward one of the three options, but I'm looking for some input before I make the final decision.

Keep in mind that the buttons will actually be sewn onto the knit ridges just below where they are in the pictures. I couldn't get them to sit properly on the knit ridges, so I rested them in the purl "valleys" of the rib just above where I'd actually sew them for the pictures. Which one do you think looks best?

Five Buttons. In this layout, there is a distance of 5.125 inches (13 cm) between the buttons.

Six Buttons. In this layout, there is a distance of 4.25 inches (10.8 cm) between the buttons.

Seven Buttons. In this layout, there is a distance of 3.5 inches (8.9 cm) between the buttons.

So which one do you like? I also have another question. How should I attach the buttons? I was thinking about using the Donegal tweed yarn because the holes in the buttons are definitely big enough. However, this yarn is a single ply and it's not very strong on its own. Plus it could be kind of bulky if used to sew on the buttons. I could use thread... maybe black or invisible? Any thoughts on that?