Wednesday, February 27, 2013


When I'm not busy studying or playing Plague, Inc. on my phone, I spend way too much time cruising Pinterest...Luckily, I have managed to convince myself that this is productive time, since I have found some really neat patterns, ideas for future projects, cute shoes, and awesome color schemes in case I buy a house one day.  Hooray for rationalization!!  :D

But while I hear other students on the bus planning their spring breaks in Cancun or Panama City Beach , I have plans to spend that time doing some serious organization, particularly in my Art Room O' Doom.

I already have a little date book I carry around with me to organize my schedule, but since I am a visual person, I thought that hanging something like this in the kitchen might help things along a little bit:

This has some really good tips...Sometimes the most obvious idea doesn't always occur to me, and the whole separating your WIPs from your stash?  ZOMGS, WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THAT BEFORE???  I might have already finished that sweater's worth of olive merino if it wasn't sitting in a tote with all of the other stuff!  ;)

I absolutely love how she's displayed her finished shawls here, and the whole yarn room has such a finished look to it, while still being a viable (and beautiful!) workspace.

Then there's this...

Not so sure I want to sit around winding yarn onto old TP rolls, but maybe there's something to be taken from the concept?  Or not...  ;)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Wherein I Express An Opinion

So...Knitpicks, huh?

If you're one of the folks who got burned, this blog right here has some very helpful information on how to check your various credit reports, state law, and internet security.

Like everybody else in the Knitting 'Verse, I have been a big fan of Knitpicks for years.  When my Knitpicks catalogue arrived in the mailbox, I would almost literally squee in delight and race home to check out all the pretties.  As a Kromski owner, I was ecstatic when they started carrying their products, and while I have not bought any fiber from KP, I was very happy to see the expansion of their product lines into spinning and weaving.

I have ordered from Knitpicks on multiple occasions, and was always impressed with their customer service (and I am Seriously Picky about customer service, so I do not say this lightly).  Shipments were always very fast, arriving well before the expected arrival date, and I never had any complaints at all about the quality of my items.

A good friend of mine has done some designing for Knitpicks, through their Independent Designers program.  I was really impressed with the deal KP had with their designers: the artists kept the rights to their designs, a huge amount of support, advertisement online and in the catalogue, etc.  Hell, any time my buddy wants free yarn to work on a design, they send it right off!  FREE YARN, PEOPLE!!!  :D

And then this whole debacle.

Now, I know the website wasn't "hacked".  It seems to have been worse than that: private information was left in files on an unsecured server, and the perpetrators basically just helped themselves to folks' credit card numbers.  That is bad enough, but it seems that the information theft actually began on December 21st, was not even detected until January 25th.  Knitpicks did nothing to alert customers to the possible danger until February 17th.  Many people found out about it via Facebook and Ravelry, or their credit card company/bank, rather than from the company they were so fond of.

I just don't get it.  I received at least two emails from Knitpicks during this time period, and the theft of credit card numbers was never mentioned.  KP claims that snail mail letters have been sent "to those affected", and though I have seen dozens of people talking about this on Rav and FB, noone seems to have received one of these magical letters.  The Knitpicks blog post that finally showed up days after the news about the fraud broke seems to be problematic at best.  On reading it, it really struck me as a Cover Your Ass post rather than an actual apology or attempt to deal with the situation.

By 'situation' I mean Knitpicks' negligence and disregard for their customer's online safety.  No website is 100% safe, any site can get hacked/taken down.  That's really not the point.  The fact that it took KP a month to even figure out that information had been stolen is very worrying to me; the fact that they took another month to even TELL their customers about it is infuriating.

I love Knitpicks' products.  Their yarn is some of my very favorite to work with.  I had been saving up money from my Poor Stoodint Budget because I really, really, REALLY wanted a set of Harmony Wood Interchangeables.  I had been lusting after those for several years, literally, and had finally started trying to set aside the bucks to get them.

This is probably all a tempest in a teacup.  KP will revamp their security system, get their act together, and keep on selling yarn.  But I think it will take quite some time before I feel like I really trust them again.  I am really disappointed. Yet another large company just pays lip service to the idea of customer care, and when the shit hits the fan, it's not their fault.  They didn't know! They really do care, really!  No, no, really!

Meanwhile, there's this:                                                                                           And this:

DFFR MS-Blue DolphinKey Chain

And this and this.

Nobody has ever died because they couldn't buy some yarn.  And I get to choose where I buy it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Roving Pr0n

OK, so I was all ready to start gushing over this bit of BFL, since it's my favorite fiber, and it's all green and teal and mint and evergreen and YUMMY...

But then I clicked on the main part of Edgewood Garden Studio's Etsy shop, and Oh Em Eff Gee.  Go look at her huge selection of handspun.  Exquisite handspun.  Glorious handspun.  Incredible handspun!  If I could spin like this lady, I would die a happy woman!  OK, go look at it, I will wait here.


I also love the very complete descriptions for each of her items, with extra info about the fiber animal, as well as specific information about the handspun itself.  Impressive!  This shop is definitely going to become one of my Etsy favorites.  :D

Friday, February 15, 2013

Patterns I Love

OK, so I may have mentioned before that I am The World's Worst Knitter, and the thought of trying lace just scares the bejeezus out of me, but this shawl's little bit of lacy edging might just be a possibility...

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Whatcha Doin'?

So I decided that I needed to put some effort into finishing up the approximately 4700 WIPs I have lying around, because it is just ridiculous at this point...I have a box FULL of scarves in the art room that just need the ends woven in, and afghans that are done but for a couple rows of edging, and three quarters completed shawls, and who knows what!

This scarf is so old that I can't even remember the pattern or the yarn (unfortunately), and all it needed was blocking and a couple of ends woven in, so I did it.  I wish I could remember which yarn I used, because it is so very soft and smooth that it's gotta have some silk in it...At a guess, some flavor of silk/merino blend?  And I love the colorway...

I have actually been wearing this scarf since last year, but it really needed blocking, so I figured since I had everything laid out from blocking the Mystery Green Scarf, it was high time it got done:

The pattern is one of my favorites, from this book...And some discontinued Knit Picks yarn, the name of which escapes me...Whichever yarn made way for the Stroll Tonal Sock a couple of years back?

I've made this pattern at least three times...The first was a scarf out of Caron Simply Soft, funnily enough, that garnered loads of compliments despite its humble acrylic beginnings.  Then I made it in a much larger gauge, again in acrylic, but in a shawl size that is still so cozy to wrap up in when I'm watching the teevee.

But I tend to like my scarves long, and I have been pinning and pinning and pinning while blocking just these two scarves until I am quite sick of it...The next couple of WIPs I pull out of that box better not need blocking or all my good intentions may end up going out the window.  ;)

Friday, February 8, 2013

I Need One Of These...Hell, I Need FOUR Of These!

Hand turned wooden top whorl drop spindles...Inlaid cherry, walnut, maple, cedar...BEAUTIFUL!!

My current favorites:

Walnut Whorl, Bubinga, Maple, Padauk, drop spindles

Yeloowheart donut, Walnut Whorl, drop spindles

Apparently Mr. Kundert is no longer filling wholesale orders, but luckily we can still buy individual spindles from his website.  Go there now, and buy ALL THE THINGS before I do!  :D

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I Has A Crafty

Ever since I moved into my apartment over a year ago, I have been struggling with organization, particularly in the bathroom.  My old space had a large linen cupboard, and a long countertop where I was able to keep my makeup all sorted into bins, hang my necklaces on pretty scrollwork jewelry organizers, and all kinds of good stuff.  My new place, as much as I love it, has absolutely NO counter space, and nowhere at all to put my beauty junk.  I have hardly worn earrings other than for special occasions, because it is such a pain to dig them out of the bottom of my jewel box.

Since I have no counter space, and no extra room for additional storage, I have been wracking my brain for ideas to maximize the space I do have, and came up with this:

An afternoon of stitching around the edges of some plastic canvas with a bit of acrylic, some ribbon, and I have a handy little earring organizer!

The top part is my favorite bit...Little bows, and I used a decorative brad I had on hand as a hanger.

My local JoAnn's had some 12 x 12 decorative metal squares, and I looked at them a few times, wondering what on earth they could be used for...

Slap a few magnets on the backs of some makeup containers, and it's handy cosmetics storage!  (And you get a cookie if you notice the reflection of my little paw in one of the eyeshadow cases  :D )

Done and done, the bathroom counter is cleared!