Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hurry and get out all your acrylic and whip this beauty up to wear at the family table!

Or not.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Knitting for Victory

As an historian, I've often thought that World War I has to a certain extent faded from public consciousness, obviously due to the horrors of the war that followed and the length of time that has passed since the battles at the Somme, Ypres, the Marne, and the tragedy of the Lost Generation.

Modern warfare is often at a distance.  With the use of advanced technology, a soldier can sit at a work station, do their job from 9 to 5, and be home in time for dinner.  And unlike past conflicts, the general population is usually not part of the war effort.

With the United States' entry into World War I in 1917, aid agencies such as the Red Cross appealed for help to clothe the men at the front, and the country's knitters leapt into action.  Terrible conditions in the trenches created a huge need for woolen socks, both for warmth and to prevent the dreaded trenchfoot.

As soldiers mobilized, even schoolboys began to knit for the troops, and almost everyone did their bit to support the war effort.  Radio was in its infancy, and methods of mass communication differed greatly from those available today.  Popular songs rallied the country behind the troops and conveyed propaganda to the public.

    "In May 1918 the Seattle School Bulletin printed this patriotic knitting song:

Johnnie, get your yarn, get your yarn, get your yarn;
Knitting has a charm, has a charm, has a charm,
See us knitting two by two,
Boys in Seattle like it too.
Hurry every day, don’t delay, make it pay.
Our laddies must be warm, not forlorn mid the storm.
Hear them call from o’re the sea,
‘Make a sweater, please for me.’
Over here everywhere,
We are knitting for the boys over there,
It’s a sock or a sweater, or even better
To do your bit and knit a square."
Patterns, yarn and needles were distributed to those on the Home Front and the entire country prepared to do their bit.

Thanks to the internet, knitters (and history geeks!) can knit up these historic patterns today (scroll down for knitting patterns).

 For more detailed information on war relief knitting during World War I, check out this excellent article from

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Patterns I Love

Great way to use up some of that bag of acrylic your cousin got for you at Goodwill "because you knit, right?"

I bet these could be prettied up a bit with some ribbon and pressed into service as holders for notions, makeup (washable, so yay!), or almost anything!

Free pattern available here!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


One of these days, Imma win the lottery and buy everything off the Golding website...

Crazy bat spindles...

Ring spindles...

Awesome Celtic spindles...

I'll definitely need a new Lazy Kate...

And some lucets to play with...


Since I am such a Fiber Artiste, a sheep wheel will also be necessary...


And this wheel too, WANT IT.  ;)


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Ira Glass

I don't know if I can express how very true this amazing quote from Ira Glass is.

“Nobody tells people who are beginners, and I really wish somebody had told this to me, is that if you’re watching this video you’re somebody who wants to make videos, right? And all of us who do creative work like, you know, we get into it and we get into it because we have good taste. Do you know what I mean?

Like you want to make TV because you love TV. You know what I mean? Because there’s stuff that you just like love, OK? So you’ve got really good taste and you get into this thing that I don’t even know how to describe but it’s like there’s a gap. That for the first couple years that you’re making stuff, what you’re making isn’t so good, OK? It’s not that great. It’s really not that great. It’s trying to be good, it has ambition to be good, but it’s not quite that good.

But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, your taste is still killer and your taste is good enough that you can tell that what you’re making is kind of a disappointment to you, you know what I mean? Like you can tell that it’s still sort of crappy. A lot of people never get past that phase and a lot of people at that point quit.

And the thing I would just like say to you with all my heart is that most everybody I know who does interesting creative work, they went through a phase of years where they had really good taste and they could tell what they were making wasn’t as good as they wanted it to be. They knew it fell short, you know, and some of us can admit that to ourselves and some of us are a little less able to admit that to ourselves.

But we knew that it didn’t have the special thing that we wanted it to have and the thing what to do is… Everybody goes through that. And for you to go through it, if you’re going through it right now, if you’re just getting out of that phase or if you’re just starting off and you’re entering into that phase, you’ve got to know it’s totally normal and the most important possible thing you can do is do a lot of work.

Do a huge volume of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week or every month you know you’re going to finish one story. You know what I mean? Whatever it’s going to be. You create the deadline. It’s best if you have somebody who’s waiting for work from you, somebody who’s expecting work from you, even if it’s not somebody who pays you but that you’re in a situation where you have to try not to work. Because it’s only be actually going through a volume of work that you are actually going to catch up and close that gap. And the work you’re making will be as good as your ambitions.”

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Knitting for Charity Redux

I know knitters are caring people.  I know knitters love to make things with their hands.  I know knitters are some of the most generous people I have ever come across.  I also know that the folks in the Philippines do not need crocheted washcloths, knitted teddy bears, or handmade afghans.  They need cash.

I realize that online fiber folks are seeing a lot of pleas for disaster relief right now.  People really want to help, and truly  the best way is to donate to a well-known charity such as Doctors Without Borders, the Red Cross, or another reputable aid organization.  These people have boots on the ground in areas hit hard by the typhoon, they know what they need, they know what people can use, and they have the organizational infrastructure in place to use your donations to assist people immediately.  Shipping a giant box of baby soakers to Manila because someone in your knit group said their neighbor's nephew knows someone who was once stationed at Clark AFB is a super-bad idea and just contributes to the problems they're having right now.

If you simply MUST knit something, why not try one of the many organizations that are actually requesting donations of knitted or crocheted items?  Pine Ridge Reservation, the Project Linus, and the Mother Bear Project are always looking for donations.

Take up a collection at Knit Night, sell a few items from the stash, and give the folks most affected by this disaster what they really need, not what makes you feel good.  That's what altruism is, right?

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Scrap Yarn


Did I post this already?  I can't remember if I posted this already, but it is so cute!  Meli Melo has so many neat things on her blog...Check it out here.

Knitted Bow Hair Tie

This is a little bit more sewing and weaving in ends than I would usually do, but it is so much prettier than your average mug cozy... Instructables has tons of crafty crap beyond patterns for knitting and crochet, it's definitely worth adding to your favorites list.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Washi Tape Noob

So I'm always looking for little things I can do to decorate my place...Unfortunately, in an apartment, there's a limited amount of stuff you can do while still remaining on good terms with your landlord.  I have seen a whole bunch of fun ideas to add a little color using washi tape, so I decided to experiment a little bit.

This?  THIS IS FREAKIN' CUTE!  And so easy to do!  Basically line up your washi tape all nice and straight over the switchplate, poke a couple of holes for the screws and cut out the bit the switch goes through, and you're done!  

These are all ready to go in the hallway.

The black and white brocade one was basically an experiment, so the corners could have been a little neater, but if you come into my home and start staring at the corners of the light switches, I'm going to ask you to leave anyway no matter what your opinion on my switchplate decorating abilities, you big weirdo.  ;)

I think the only thing I would suggest is to make sure you leave a little bit of tape around the edges in the center when you cut it out.  Then you can fold that tiny bit over to ensure complete coverage and not have any of the plastic showing around the light switch.

Now I just have to restrain myself from buying washi tape in ALL THE COLORS and covering my entire place in stripes and dots and little dancing cupcakes and ZOMGS ASTRONAUT WASHI TAPE!!!

Resistance is futile.  Obviously.  :D

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Patterns I Love

It's starting to get colder, so I am embarking on my yearly search for the perfect slouchy hat pattern...Look at this!

So cute!  So cute!!

This one is close to perfect!  Free Rav download too, you can't go wrong with that.  :D