Friday, August 29, 2008

Cable knitting...the beginning

I've had this pattern for making something called a Koolhaas hat for the last month or so. I found it on Kathryn Ivy's web blog, and loved it, so I had to get the pattern for myself. I have never actually knitted using cables before. Once an overly anxious co-worker attempted to show me how to cable and I was lost from the first stitch. I've been attempting to read up on it for the last month or so, and today, while working on my friends hat, I decided I should try it (I frogged the entire hat, just so I could work on cables...who wants a plain black hat anyway?)
So I went online (again) and looked at Knitting for Dummies. The quick little how-to guide resulted in the image to the left. I'm actually shocked how easy that was. I'm sure I could manage to screw it up. But maybe if I practice this over the long weekend I can make a fantastic Koolhaas Hat for my friend so she can recover from knee surgery in style!
Here are the mittens I made for her already. Nothing too fancy because I just learned with the cabling and what-not. But I hope she likes them just the same.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Green is a wonderful color, don't you think?

Pssssttt!!! Did anyone notice the header? I finally changed it! Go me!

So yeah, pardon my horrible photography skills here (I blame the horrible lighting at my job). For the last week or so I've been knitting this thing. I like to call it a scarf. It's actually the magic scarf. And of course it's on, because that's where I get all of my instructions from (ok that's not true, just lately that's where they've all been coming from).

I started knitting this with the intent to just get rid of my Mt. St. Pile-o-yarn, and eventually this lovely little number would find a very happy and loving home. While knitting it, two co-workers commented on how much they loved the color. One also commented on how much she loved scarves. I decided to give it to the green scarf lover. (If I had more of this yarn I would have knitted another one for the other co-worker- but even then, I'm not sure she would want a scarf and I just feel weird doing the whole "hey, so you said you like this color, what do you want me to make you?" Hello pushy!)

So I've been doing that, I've also been working on some mittens for the last two days. I have a friend back home in Wisconsin (Funny how the place you grew up in will always be "home"), who was hit by a car in December of 2007, conveniently on my birthday (she will forever remember and hate my birthday). She was crossing the street and a jerk who was driving too fast for conditions (it was blizzard snowing), and failed to yeild at a crosswalk struck her. She's been a tough trooper for all of the injuries and physical therapy. They just discovered that part of her knee cap is floating around inside her knee area, so she's going to have to have knee surgery. I'm putting together a goodie box of stuff to send her for "recovering from knee surgery". Since she lives in the Fridged North (i.e. Wisconsin), I'm knitting her mittens and a hat...possibly a scarf (we'll see how that goes). My parents are also getting in on the act and helping me make her something that she is going to 1. laugh at and 2. hopefully use. I'll post the knitted stuff, and once my parents finish their project I'll take pictures and post's going to be greatness.

Anyway, back to the green scarf. I don't know how long it is, I didn't measure it. I don't even remember what size knitting needles I, I'm slacking. It's Lions brand Wool-Ease yarn, Forrest Green Heather, I think was the color...I could be way off on that (not the green part though). I still have to sew in the ends to make it all presentable. I'm still debating on whether or not I should block it. I've never blocked anything before, and I'm still waiting for my steamer to get here ( is awesome!). Any thoughts on blocking? Especially blocking a magic scarf? I just don't want to screw anything up, especially since I'm giving it to someone.

Ah well, I leave you with the overexposed picture:

(Gonzo hates when I use the flash, he's all about natural lighting...)

So seriously, did anyone even notice the header?

Monday, August 25, 2008


I didn't do anything this weekend. Well, in the arts and crafts sense of "anything". I did go check out "Pineapple Express", which made me laugh so hard I think I still have tear streaks on my face. And I did enjoy some asian food with some good friends. But pretty much, I slept, or was overly bored and didn't feel like doing anything. That's a first. Usually my weekends are jam packed with goodness. Not that sleeping and being bored isn't goodness, it's just not my norm.
I did work in photoshop though for a few hours. I did a drawing forever ago, of a woman standing on a cliff with the wind blowing. My whole intention with that drawing was to paint it up in photoshop. I'm just now getting around to it. The battery just died on my laptop, otherwise I would throw up some great screen captures of it. I'm actually kind of glad the battery died. Working on stuff at work can make me stressed out. For instance, I'm painting in photoshop- erasing a giant chunk of black that I had painted that went way beyond the line it needed to be in, and a co-worker is looming over my shoulder and goes "what are you doing?" and I said "painting in photoshop", his reply was "why don't you just select everything?" my response was "because I'm having fun" and his retort was 10 steps to this side of "wow, you're an idiot". Maybe this is why I haven't taken a career in utilizing photoshop thru-out my day. I know there are short cuts, I think I'm pretty aware of all of the short cuts in photoshop, be it a keyboard short cut, or how to make something go faster. However, I'm old school when it comes to art, so unless I can actually take my time on something and not rush thru it, then I'm going to end up hating it and quit working on it 1/2 way thru. I like the eraser tool, ok? Let me use it to erase stuff. I do things my way, you do things your way. We're all unique that way. Geez.
Seriously, it's enough to make me drag out the knitting. That way I'll only get the "um, you know it's 97 degrees outside, right?" questions, and I can make everyone think I'm psychotic with a "what are you talking about? i'm freezing!!!" response.

Friday, August 22, 2008

"Cupcake Baby"

This week I did something I don't normally do. I went looking for things to draw without being asked to draw something. Lately I've been reading a blog, which is quite entertaining, not to mention visually stunning. The woman that composes the blog actually is a fantastic photographer. I love just visiting her blog to see what photos she has put up. One of them peeked my interest last week and I was so conflicted. "Do I ask her to draw the photo?" "Should I just draw it and never show anyone?"** "What's the worst that can happen if I ask her if I can draw the photo?" (of course in my head the worst that can happen is I come across in an email sounding like a crazzed stalker type and the cops are called and I'm questioned about being a stalker and then my blood pressure raises, migraines insue, calamity happens and I cry that I have zero online social skills.)- But none of that happened. The worst that could happen, in actuality- not in my head- is she would say no. As luck would have it, She said YES! So I did what I do best- I drew it while I was at work! (Yeah work!) I started it on Tuesday evening and finished it on Thursday.
As you can see, I started with the eyes. (Yes it is roughed out in the background, although from the looks of these photos, it's not clear) Like I've said many times before, I like drawing eyes, this girl has the most precious eyes I have ever seen. So wide and full of wonder, I think that's why I was so interested in drawing this particular photo.

I was actually going to start with the hair, but couldn't. For some reason if I start any drawing, anywhere but the eyes it's like I forget how to draw. (I don't normally take this many pictures of the "during" process, but this picture really inspired me to do a really fantastic job and take my time, paying especially close attention to every single detail- not that I don't pay attention to details in any other drawing that I do, I think the "extra" attention was brought on by what an amazing photograph it was that I was drawing from.)

After I finished the hair and part of the clothing, I stopped for Tuesday (about 8 hours into the drawing). On Wednesday I finished the clothing, the cupcake in hand and the signature and called it finished.

It's finished! I mailed it off today. I can't thank Maryse enough for letting me draw her adorable niece! Keep up the beautiful photography!!!

**Please note: If you ever want to draw something and it's either from a photograph, magazine, or book, or whatever- please always get permission before you draw the image. If you can't obtain permission from a magazine or a book company, please note the location you took the image from in any written form or showcase of the art. Stealing images is never ok. Someone worked really hard to produce something, give them credit. If you don't understand the importance of that, then just think about how you would feel if you drew/painted/created something and someone did the exact same thing after seeing your creation, and they tried to pass it off as "original". It's stealing. Please don't do it.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Really Quick

Has anyone noticed the ad in the corner? I have. I actually look at my blog daily to see what the ad is going to be for that day. Usually it's something about dental junk, yesterday it was about website graffitti, which made me smile. But today. Today it made me laugh so hard! See, that ad is generated to reflect what's on my blog- so being that it was all about dental stuff for 2 weeks was kind of annoying. But today. TODAY! It's about adult ADHD! The google ads people have noticed! I'm a spazz!!!!
Have a great day everyone!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

haha! You just thought you would be seeing more drawings

Worst side of the hat ever...Gonzo loves his black and gray 35mm hat, right? So that's why he asked me to make him a new blue hat using really expensive yarn from The Shabby Sheep. One of these days I'm going to teach him to put the "bad" part of the hat at the back. I'm really bad at math, can I just say that? I thought this was going to be the most even hat I had ever done, and then "WHAM!", the last 2 stitches show up and I'm like "um, but wait, there's too many of you"- Thus the "bad" part that you can see. Righ there. On the side of Gonzo's head. It's really only noticable on the light blue part, so that's good...
I haven't drawn anything since the landscape picture from the previous post, but I have a few things "in the works" so-to-speak. I actually got in the mood to paint yesterday, so maybe I'll get a few paintings done soon- if they turn out 1/2 as good as they look in my head then they should be pretty sweet looking.

Last night I went thru my yarn collection. HOLY CRAP. Can I just say that I have a compulsion? Seriously, I have so much yarn that I actually started to feel like I was suffocating. I found 1/2 done projects laying at the bottom of Mt. St. Pile-O-Yarn. I actually discovered that I've made hats before.
This lovely number was knitted on the knifty knitter in 2006. It's warm- kind of. And breezy in parts (the gaps in thread are ginormous because of the kniftiness of the knitter).

I found 3 other hats that I'm too ashamed to even post. I found no less than 5 scarves- all about 1/3 of the way finished- none of them having needles in any of the stitches, so basically that means I have SO MUCH MORE YARN TO USE.

Anyone want some yarn? Seriously? I have so much, and not enough projects...

Oh yeah, due to the sheer lack of comments I've decided to nix the comments contest for winning something fabulous (or maybe it would have just been some yarn, or a free 8" x 11" drawing). And as for the person who won a hat for letting me know what the weather is going to be like in North Carolina in October...well- I win for looking it up on yeah me. i get another hat. And also one goes to my dad for telling me to "watch out for hurricanes". Seriously though, I appreciate anyone who does read my blog. Please don't be shy, feel free to comment. I know back in 2004 or 2005 I posted a blog that went off on someone who posted a comment who was trying to get me to switch internet providers, I said some harsh things, which I don't 100% take back, but I know I was all like "I'm going to make rules for people who want to post comments...blah blah blah"- seriously, there are no rules, I've even lifted the comment posting ban- so all are welcome. But I understand if you are annonomously reading this. Most of the links on the side of this blog are blogs that I quietly stalk (not in a creepy way), I haven't left comments on many of them- but I have emailed a few of them.

Anyway, come September, I hope to have a few more drawings to post here, even if they are pages from my sketchbook. I'm also working on a few items to sell thru So once I have some of those things up and for sale, I'll put a button on the side of the blog so you guys can go check it out.

See, it doesn't look SO bad here.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Happy Raining Friday!!!

This is something a little different than what I usually do. I started it earlier this week and just finished it this morning (well it's as finished as it's going to get). I've only tackled one other landscape, several years ago of the Lake Superior Shore Line for someone in Wisconsin. I found it challenging, and this one was no different. Although I also found that drawing landscapes is rather freeing. The line movement for grass and trees and lakes is so free, it's really great for loosening up before tackling a larger drawing (not that I'm doing that for this, but whatever.)
Anyway, I used 2B, 4B and 6B pencils to complete it, and it's on 8 1/2" x 11" printer paper (because it's so smooth!) I figured my blog was a little knit heavy, so I should throw in some drawings to show you that I haven't traded in the pencil for 2 sticks :P (still makes me laugh).
Oddly enough, while completing this drawing today, a cold shiver did go down my spine. I've been visiting Shadow Lands the last few days, and could have sworn that I saw one of the trees in the drawing move (ok, this could be sleep deprivation, Olympics are still on and I fell asleep right before the U.S. girl in pink who was almost in tears because of bad scores, won the gold in gymnastics), but with all of the personal experiences detailed on it sure does make you take a double take for everything.
Anyway, I didn't draw this landscape for anyone in particular, and currently it's not for sale. I do have a purpose for this drawing, but I can't share that with you just yet. Hopefully by December of 2009 I will be able to let you in on it- and you will probably have a flood of blog posts to read thru then, of all the drawings I've been doing that I can't post just yet. Hopefully I find some more inspiration for drawings to work on in my free time...and hopefully business picks up pretty quick here (haven't had anything since the drawing I finished and posted on August 1st for commissioned work).
OOOHHHH yeah, keep an eye out for a "win by comment" contest for some knitted stuff in the near future. I can't tell you what it's going to be, or when it's going to happen, but I have just recently opened my comments to everyone- even those without a blogger account, so hopefully it will be a good turn out of commentors.
Happy Friday, whoever sent the rain- thank you!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

It's only Tuesday?

First things, first. If I make no sense I blame the olympics. I'm usually the anti-olympic person- mainly because I'm not athletic in the least, so why do I want to watch a whole bunch of sports? But this year...this year is different. Gonzo loves the Olympics. So I've found myself, even when he's not at home, watching the Olympics. Such is last night. Men's Gymnastics. Holy crap! Those guys are insane- and really good at what they do. They would cut into the gymnastics with a race here and there from Phelps- which is just like watching a fish in the water. So yeah, needless to say, I stayed up way past my 9:30pm bedtime to watch me some Olympics (so tired! Can't function!).

Now with that out of the way, I've knitted some more stuff. That picture over there is a Red and White crazy yarn, that I don't remember the name of, or the exact color, BUT, I can tell you, both the mittens and the hat were knitted in the round, with Double Pointed Needles. Size US 9 Double Pointed Needles to be exact (except the thumbs on the mittens, those were Size US 5 Double Pointed Needles).

Here's the close up of the hat. It's a Roll Brim Hat, which of course I obtained the pattern from one "Crazy Aunt Purl" and her blog of hilarity. I actually haven't tried this hat on without a pony tail in my hair, so I'm not sure how well it actually fits- but I have a size 21" head and it fit perfectly over my pony tail and didn't look all crazy, so this is good. Maybe tonight I'll try it on and take a picture. Although I didn't make this for me. I'm probably going to sell it, or donate it. (The hat AND the mittens of course, their a set, can't split them up)

And here are the mittens close-up. While knitting these I had several co-workers comment on how "scary" it looked while I was knitting them. Because I knit the mittens from the bottom up, so I'm using US 9 DPN's for the most part, then when I hit the thumb, I knock that out before completing the rest of the mitten, so then I'm adding 3 US 5 DPN's into the mix, so I have 8 DPN's just hanging around while I'm working. Sure, it looks scary, but you only concentrate on 2 needles at any one time, so it's just like knitting with 2 sticks, instead of 8. 2 STICKS. HA! I don't know why that just made me laugh.

And here's MY hat. Yes, mine. It's all mine! I knitted this with the Roll Brim Hat pattern that is found at she's funny, you should go read her stuff. She's so great she even has a book! A BOOK! That means she's awesome. So really, go read about her knitting, and her cats, and the wine.

Anyway, since I'm guessing you are still reading and being slackers and didn't click on any of the linked stuff up top, I should tell you about this hat. It's my most favorite thing that I've ever knitted. It's quite possibly the most expensive thing I have ever knitted too. That is Alpaca yarn. ALPACA is not cheap. I'm thinking about buying an Alpaca so I can make my own yarn. I'll put in the back yard- they do like pools and concrete, right? (Dad if you are reading this- NO I have not been living in the city too long, yes I do realize Alpaca's like grass and farms- they also like to spit- It's called a sad attempt at humor dad. Thanks for making sure I'm still country.)

Anywho- the hat. Yes, the hat up there is the softest and warmest thing I've ever made (well the warmest thing I've ever made was the freakin' "almost poncho" I knitted on the knifty Kniter for Gonzo- that thing is heavy!). But once again I knitted this with US 9 Double Pointed Needles. I started it on Sunday, and then a severe lapse in judement happened and Gonzo and I ended up at Chocktaw Casino in Durrant Oklahoma for a few hours, and I wasn't able to finish it until yesterday. Wow, side track, side track...FOCUS (Dad stop laughing).

Ok, so the hat is made from Alpaca yarn (I think I've covered that part already)- I bought it at this place in Downtown Dallas on Saturday called The Shabby Sheep. This is the cutest store, with the most friendly people on the planet, and it has so much yarn that Gonzo and I were in there for over an hour (the place is not that big) looking thru all of the yarn and deciding what I wanted to buy. Let's just say I now have to have children, because I officially signed my first born away to buy the yarn I wanted- this yarn for the hat up there being 2 of the things I purchased. But I had to buy something that I liked, right? I'm knitting it for a reason actually. Gonzo and I are going on a trip in October (middle of the month), we'll be going to North Carolina, so if the gas prices dramatically increase during that time, I appologize in advance for our ROAD TRIP, we will be the ones to blame for all of America's mass gas usage. I digress. I'm acutally not even sure that it will be cold enough in North Carolina in October to use knitted goods- I've never been over there- but it's further east than Wisconsin, so I can only assume that it will be so cold that all of the snot in my nostrils will be frozen as soon as a gust of wind blows. But then again it's on the coast.

Does anyone know what the weather will be like in mid-October in North Carolina?

I'll knit you a hat if you can tell me and it's acurate. (SSSHHHH, But don't tell anyone else)

Happy Tuesday- stay warm...wait, stay cool, it's still in the 90's here (and I'm knitting! That's hard core right there).

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

knitted goods- this time with pictures!!!

My purse! Yeah, it's completely not done, or anywhere close to being done, and quite frankly, I'm sick of this periwinkle color already, but that's what I've got done on it so far...that's about 75 rows right there. And I screwed up on 3 rows can see it if you look close- but I'm so ready to be done with the FRONT of the purse that I'm not ripping it all out to start over. I kind of think the mistakes give it character (at least that's what I'll tell myself!)
Here are 2 -35mm hats that I did (totally not following the pattern at all because it took too much effort to figure out the knitting code), both were supposed to be for Gonzo- however the first one I did, over there on the right turned out waaaaayyyyyy too small for his head (and mine for that matter- stupid knit 2 pearl 2 method!). So I made a second hat there on the left- which fits me and Gonzo awesomely. I decided on this pattern because Gonzo works in the "film" industry, he sees a lot of it everyday, and the fact that it's 35mm just made me laugh. I showed him the pictures from the blog I got the pattern from and he loved it and begged me to make it for him (ok, that might have been the other way around "please Gonzo? Just let me make a hat for you! COME ON!!!")

But see this picture, it makes it look like there's a giant gap in the hat...It doesn't do that on Gonzo, and I have a smaller head than he does, so the fact that it's doing that is making me question my knitting abilities (or my head size)!

Geez, could my eyes be greener? Anyway, I think I took this picture after seeing the last one and deciding I was annoyed by it all.
Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Family of 5

I did it! I finished the drawing! You know, the one I was referring to in the previous post. Yes, it was difficult to complete, but I finished it over the weekend and hand delivered it yesterday. I think because of this drawing I may have to implement some new rules for photo submissions- the 1960's and 1970's photos did not age well:
While I was able to complete this drawing, I am not happy with how it turned out. There is a great loss of detail in the photograph, along with over-exposure and under exposure making the shadows that I normally do look weird for a drawing (this is no fault of the photographer- perhaps the blame should be put on camera companies and development places from those decades)- yet not having good reference material to go off of, I had a hard time adjusting it. Also, the lack of detail in the photo made it very difficult to draw the faces and hands. I did what I could, and the recipient seemed pleased, but me as a perfectionist with drawings am severly unsatisfied with how it turned out. I guess if the customer is happy I should be happy right?
I think I am ok with it, I just got frustrated with it and I have the lingering feeling from that. And you know, it was a challenge which I do like (sometimes), so maybe drawing from 60's and 70's photos won't be all bad.
Oh well, I leave you with a close up:

Friday, August 01, 2008

still no pictures of the knitting, but...

I did complete this drawing yesterday while at work. I actually fully intended on doing this drawing several months ago. Gonzo and I had gone to this car show...forever ago...called Pistons & Paint, and we took a crap-ton of photos. I had printed all of these cars off that I wanted to draw and managed to block out all of them except 2, and then just let them sit there, stewing in their own filth (you know, as much filth as a 2B pencil and white paper can muster while hanging out in a manilla folder), and yesterday I didn't want to draw- I didn't. But I have another drawing that I've had for a week now, and I just can't get into it- so I figured if I drew something else during the day, by the time I got home from work I would want to draw it. I completely got into drawing this one- all of the intricate details, and the shadows- I loved it- I even managed to find a happy home for it, but by the time I got home I just stared at the other drawing- blocked in the rest of the faces (there are 5 people in the next drawing, which will hopefully be done by this weekend), and added some shadows and called it a night. If I'm not into drawing a photo, I have to walk away for awhile, do something else, because if I just rush into it, to get it done, it'll look like crap and I won't be happy, and most likely the client won't be happy. So I'm taking my time. I want to make it right. I think the reason I'm getting blocked by the other photo is because it's from the 1970's and it's really hard to see details...I thrive on the details. I'll get into drawing it, soon I hope. But until then, it's the Piston's and Paint mean looking piece of machinery that was finished. The only other vehicle drawing that I've managed to draw from all of the photos that were taken at Pistons & Paint is here. I'm trying to work on drawing vehicles- the wheels still don't turn out completely round, there's usually one tire that looks flat, and there are some straight lines that aren't so straight. Practice, practice, practice.