Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Evolution of the Hipster

The neglected to mention that if you were a hipster girl in 2005, you were learning how to knit. They do get half credit for having the model wear what looks like a hand knit scarf.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Baby Benji Beanie

Pattern: Baby Beanie (ravelry link)
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock
Needles: size 2

This was a cute, easy pattern, just right for full term preggo/new mommy brain. I really wanted to finish it before he was born, but he came 4 days earlier than predicted. A friend and fellow knitter was coming to meet him so I HAD to finish it.

How is that more motivation than the birth of my first child? Re: Ben can't yet discuss the pros and cons of various sock yarns.

But he looks so cute wearing them that this will not be the last knitted hat he is subjected to wear!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Happy Birthday, Baby!

Baby Benjamin

Our little boy is here! After 19 hours of labor (I went natural!), he finally made his way into the world. He weighed 7 lbs. 14 oz. at birth. Now here we are two weeks later, and the little chunker in my lap is 9 lbs.! He can already wear the next size in diapers and has grown out of some of his newborn clothes.

We had a little scare with severe jaundice that ended us up back in the hospital on bili lights. We were fortunate to be able to room-in together so I was able to continue to breastfeed. We are all home, healthy and happy now.

Baby crafting posts, commence!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Cuddlefish, aka Nautie from Knitty

Pattern: Nautie from (free!)
Yarn: O-wool Balance (in my top 5 favorite yarns of all time!)
Needles: size 6
Made for: My baby-to-be (about a month away!)

This was a fun and weird knit. I like making toys...there's also a Mr. Dangly 2.0 waiting in the wings for his photo shoot.
I don't have all that much to say about this project. It wasn't boring, wasn't too hard, and make people laugh. All in all a good deal. Also, my poor future son will realize that that his mom has always been a little odd early on. : )

Hopefully I will get my other creations blogged about and current projects finished before d-day. Only a month left!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Baby Earflap Hat

Pattern: Baby / Kid's Earflap Hat (infant size)
Yarn: Jo-Ann Sensations Soles and More
Needles: size 2
Made for: baby - to - be, modeled by the ever adorable Baby Chris

I made this for my little one due in November, but I made it infant size since baby sizing seems to be all over the place and they grow so quickly. But, it fits my 6 month old nephew (who is in size 9-12 month clothing). There's no way my kiddo will be that big by February, which is the last month cold enough for a hat in Texas.

Luckily, the pattern is a fun, quick knit and I have plenty of yarn leftover. I did increase the stitch count by 50% because I didn't get gauge. Why bother knitting a bunch of swatches when you can do math? And then have your sweet and patient husband correct it?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Hello World...'s been a while. I have two excuses. One, as evidenced above, I am with child. A sacred vessel. My eggo is preggo!
This picture was taken soon after we found out the gender, at about 5 months. I hit the 7 month mark this week. I haven't been able to see my feet for a while.

Excuse number 2! We bought and moved into our first home earlier this summer. Owning a home is a lot of work. If it wasn't the hot water heater going out, it was the AC. Or the brand new dryer (I'm glaring at you, Maytag). Ah, the joys of home ownership. Why is it that whenever you mention a problem you're having with your house, someone says that to you? It's infuriating.

So, between sitting on hold with warranty departments, incubating a tiny person and being pregnant though one of the hottest summers on record, I haven't had much time or energy left to blog. I have some things to say now, though, and some crafts to post about, so I am more or less back in the blogging game again!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


My little sister got my hooked on this band.They have a unique, upbeat sound...the music is very textural.If you like Polyphonic Spree, Sigur Ros, or even Led Zepplin, Yeasayer is definitely worth a listen. I'm hoping Pandora picks up on them soon.

Right now, you can check out the site and get the albums here.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Like Roadkill, Possibly


My crafting mojo has disappeared. I've been trying to finish the blue deer above for quite some time. Then there's the half quilted quilt...anyway, there have been a lot of good, happy and exciting things going on in my personal life. They have sort of sucked my energy away, so when I have a free moment, I turn to Lexulous or staring vacantly at the wall to unwind. The muse has left the room, but I hope he returns soon.

What do you do when you need to get the creative juices flowing again?

*Jenny Hart is so cool*

In other news, I went to the SXSW Craftster party with my friend Tiffany back in March. It was good times! I got to meet Jenny Hart, the brain behind Sublime Stitching. She is very sweet in person. Tiffany shared the secret code word with me, so I scored a free pattern.

I definately want to embroider the "Hi, how are you?" alien on a onsie. One day...when the crafting mojo flows again...

Friday, March 27, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are

*see the trailer here*

...and, yeah, that is Arcade Fire. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs are supposedly doing some work on the score too. I'm so excited!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Donyale Socks

Pattern: Donyale Socks, by Black Dog Designs
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock in Tizano red
Needles: size 1

Quite obviously, these socks aren't on target. The first one I knit (started before Thanksgiving) it too tight and too short. The other one is almost too lose but I think the length is perfect. Both legs have the same number of pattern repeats. oh, and I increased the CO number to 65 to accommodate my large-ish feet.

This odd couple is not the pattern's fault. The pattern is beautiful and easy to memorize. I think I must have been stressed out while knitting the first sock. The yarn is also beautiful - too beautiful to waste on this little disaster.

*Ah, what might have been*

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Catching up

First off, Tasha was kind enough to bestow upon me a Kreativ Blogger award. I've never gotten any kind of blogging award before. I'm just happy when I get more than two hits a week. Thanks Tasha!

I've been busy with real life non-bloggable things. Spring is a busy time. I'm almost done with a sock, I have a headless felted deer, and a quilt that needs binding. My Spring Break starts at 4 pm tomorrow so hopefully I can wrap these projects up in the next week.

We gave up drinking for Lent. It's ruined our social life. I never realized how much of our entertainment involves beer. So the friends have stopped calling and we don't invite anyone out since it's weird to invite someone to a bar and then not drink.
The not drinking thing isn't bad. I miss the bottle of wine we usually have Sunday nights and I miss our partying friends, but other than that, it's not as big of a deal as I thought it would be.

My birthday is Sunday. Ides of March, take that Julius Cesar! I am offically in my late twenties. We're going to have a nice fancy dinner at one of my favorite restaurants (sans wine, darn). Hopefully there will be some double chocolate brownies involved.
My birthday is always during Lent, Spring Break, and SXSW. There's a lot of fun stuff going on, but not usually many people around for a party. Or, they've given up drinking, brownies and parties.
* chris III was bored by this post*

Friday, February 27, 2009

More Mits and Felting

My sister flew in from California last weekend to see the baby and surprise the family. I was the only one who knew and I was very excited since I only got to see her for a couple of days over Christmas.
What does this have to do with fingerless mits and a tiny bluebird? Everything.

My sister is a musician and plays a lot at the local farmer's market. I gave her the Wiggle Mits as part of Christmas gift and she'd mentioned how much she likes to wear them while she plays (violin, cello, you name it, she's super talented). It's still chilly up there, so I decided to whip her up another pair.

The yarn is Debbie Mumm Traditions and very soft.
I think I used size 8 needles, knit what was basically a rectangular swatch and then seamed it up, leaving a hole for the thumb. Easy-peasy. If had I been thinking, I would have done a provisional cast-on and then kitchner stitched the sides. oh well, I think they still look good.

Now, the bluebird is her idea. I showed her how to needle felt and she made a really cute flower which was immeaditly made into a hair clip. Then it was decided a tiny bird would also make a really cute hairclip.

It only took about 30 minutes to make him and I think he's pretty darn cute. I've gotten the hang of needle felting finally and started another four-legged creature (not a giraffe).

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mr. Dangly in the Wild

Back in January, I gave Mr. Dangly to my then-yet-to-be-born nephew. Unfortunately, he went a little crazy with his freedom...when he auditioned to be Chris III's favorite monkey, he only proved that he would be a bad influence, at least until little C turns 21.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Welcome to the World, Little One!

I'm happy to announce the birth of my nephew, Chris the third!
He was born on Friday the 13th (just missed being a Valentine's baby by an hour); he clocked in at 6 pounds, 11 ounces and 19 inches long.

He, my brother and my sister-in-law are healthy and happy. They are going to be great parents. I was really impressed by how calm and confident they are taking care of him. And I appreciate that they lets us all hold him as much as we liked.

He's the first baby in our family. My parents are thrilled at becoming grandparents and my sisters and I couldn't be prouder aunts.

It was neat to see him and recognize his features from both of our families. He's got his mom's nose and chin and it looks like he'll have blue eyes like my brother. He's got long fingers and feet like my dad. And, although I wasn't able to get a picture, he's got a dimple like people on both sides of the family.

And clearly, he's already got a personality of his own. He was very patient with his aunts, uncles, and friends passing him around, making faces at him and generally loving him like crazy.

It was sad to say good bye to everyone, but hopefully we'll be able to see them again soon.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Songwriting Workshop with Okkervil River at the ABC

The Austin Bat Cave is hosting a free songwriting workshop with Austin's own Okkervil River. The workshop is on March 1st from 2-4 pm. Students in 9th to 11th grade are welcome.

And although the workshop is free, space is limited. You can call 524-1489 or email austin bat cave at gmail dot com.

The Austin Bat Cave is a new non-profit bringing the model of San Francisco's
826 Valencia
here to Austin.
Any donations to the ABC would be much appreciated!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Quarter to Noon - Women in Film International Showcase

*smile and keep working*

Quarter to Noon, a short written and directed by Kat Candler and for which I did the production design, will screen at the Women in Film International Showcase in Dallas/Addison on March 8th. Woot!

Monday, February 9, 2009

This Here Giraffe

Despite my initial misgivings about needle felting, I'm becoming a bit addicted to it. The gratification is so quick!
I re-tried making a giraffe and I'm really happy with the results. The other little guy is cute, but this one actually looks like a giraffe.

He doesn't have a face because I couldn't decide what color to use for his features and the blank stare has grown on me.

I guess giraffes are my animal. Some people prefer penguins or koalas or turtles or whatever, but I've grown fond of these silly things. I blame Jason Polan.
This isn't to say I want to collect figurines, wear giraffe print socks, or redecorate my house in a giraffe safari theme.

But I might want to make a small herd of these...

Friday, February 6, 2009

St. Nick at SXSW

ST. NICK trailer from ST NICK on Vimeo.

*The adventures of a borther and sister, trying to survive, all on their own, out on the plains of Texas*

One of my talented and awesome movie making friends, David Lowery, had his film accepted into South by Southwest! St. Nick is his first feature length film, so the acceptance is doubly impressive. I haven't seen anything but the trailer, but I'm sure it holds true to his other work. Thoughtful, original, and a little dark. Good stuff. I wish I could make it to the screening - if you are going, make sure you put St. Nick on your list.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Not Quite Weekend Knitting

Pattern: Fluffy Lace Camisole and Pull-Off Cowl (just the cowl)
Yarn: Elann Super Kydd
Needles: size 10

I've been really happy with most of my projects lately; this is not one of them. The first beef I have is that it took me over a week to just make the cowl. I guess if you have the time and stamina to knit non-stop for two days you could maybe complete both pieces.
The second beef is the size. I think it's too big. Had I cast on fewer stitches than the recommended 133, it wouldn't be so droopy. I'm not going to block it for fear it might become even larger.

*it seems to also make my neck look alien skinny*

I can kinda tuck it around and wear it with my coat. It is pretty warm and I think the blue looks nice with the grey, so I won't count this project as a total wash.

Monday, February 2, 2009

When to Quit

It's been said that a mark of being a great artist is knowing when to quit. I make no pretensions of being a great artist, but I think knowing when to quit is a good skill for any creative endeavor. Right up there with "Keep it simple, stupid.
I had a little more fun felting this weekend and attempted to make the giraffe from Wool Pets. The book had to go back to the library before I finished him, so some of his parts have been guesstimated.
Clearly, he is still a work in progress, but how much more progress? I kinda like him how he is, even though his exact place in the animal kingdom looks a bit ambiguous right now.

How far should I go? full spots? a face? is he sweet enough? Your thoughts.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Brad Sucks

This is the latest song to be stuck in my head. I first heard it on Pandora and went slowly crazy until I was able to figure out who the artist was.
Some of his other songs, particularly "Borderline" (below), reminds me of earlier Beck.

Can ya tell one of my resolutions for '09 is to be more open to new music? So far, so good.

I also kinda want to induldge my inner hipster and by a shirt. Nothing says "I'm cooler than you" than an obscure band shirt, right? ; )

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Felted Chicken...Yup.

Crafting is always comforting to me. So is stabbing things with barbed needles. Well, by things I mean roving. I had a ton of it left over after decorating the Kandinsky slippers so I decided to put it to a more sculptural use.

I've been occasionally interested in learning needle felting ever since Alice of Katherine Ivy sent me Rupert as part of a Forest Friends swap on Craftster. Years later, I have finally gotten around to it. I checked out Wool Pets from the library and bought the stabby needles. There are a ton of cute ideas and each step is shown in photographs. I started with the chicken first since a friend and I are planning on getting a live one soon (more on that later).

The nameless chicken isn't proportioned correctly. His head is too big and causes him to fall forward on his little wire legs. I always have unreasonable expectations when I learn something new. I think "Maybe this will be the thing that I am excellent at. All this time, my true, hidden, and world changing talent will be this new thing.". I'm not delusional. I know that the first time you try something, it's usually not perfect.

And I have to say, I'm kind of relieved that my one true world-changing talent is not making felted animals. Now I can hold out for something a little cooler. If you want to see cool needle felted pets, check this out. You can have your pet made into a little felt miniature. You can even have it done using their own fur. Personally, I am kind of grossed out by that, but to each their own.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sign of the Times

Today I saw a man fishing in our dumpster. With a fishing pole. I'm pretty sure it had a magnet on the end and I assume he was looking for metal he could turn in for cash.

While we don't live in a bad part of town, there are always a few homeless-looking types near the major intersection. That's where the bus stops are and there's a gas station and a small shopping center so there are decent places to loiter I suppose. Austin has a large and visible homeless population but after living here a year I've come to think of it as normal. Not a happy part of normal, but a reality of the situation here.

There seem to be an increasing number of dumpster divers and transients around our apartment complex. We've gotten a few notices from the office reminding us not to leave valuables in our cars, lock our windows and report anything suspicious. Again, we live in a nice part of town. I've never felt threatened by anyone around here but now I can't help but feel a small twinge of anxiety when I'm out in the parking lot and see someone who doesn't look like a neighbor.

I teared up watching the inauguration yesterday. Obama's message of hope combined with a clear headed acknowledgment of the rough situation many citizens are facing inspire a true feeling of hope within me in a big picture way.

But in my day-to-day life, I carry a quiet burden of fear. I've grown out of my teenage feeling of invincibility; I have become acutely aware how we are all a major disaster or tragedy from completely changing our life as we know it. I fear for my safety and that of those around me.

The best I can do is keep my head up, count my blessings, and trust that everything will be ok in the end.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mnolo - Collagist

Back in the day, the KTSW days to be exact, I worked with this guy named Manny in the production department. He always made really creative, technically and sonically awesome station promos/sound beds/PSAs...everything he worked on sounded professional.

These days, he owns an independent record label and multimedia production studio and is an electronic music producer.

He just released a new album called Collagist and it's available for free on his website. He collaborated with a ton of talented musicians; each track seamlessly combines his talent with theirs. A range of influences are woven through his music - Latin American beats, hip-hop and experimental electronica are the first that come to mind. One of my favorites songs, "Muse", is Portishead-esque.

It's an excellent album. I've never been hugely into electronica but Collagist is really accessible. The sound is not rave-tastic, it's not bizzare static and it's not redundant sampling. And, if you can't commit to a full download, you can preview a few songs here.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

How to Make a Diaper Cake

*make sure you have enough diapers to get the kid through college*

*roll them and tie them individually*

*then tie the tied ones together into a cake layer*


I bought a pack of 258 diapers at you can probably see, I didn't come close to using all of them. I really wanted to make a huge cake, but then I realized there was no way I would have enough ribbon to wrap it with and that I was going to have to road trip this thing up to Dallas, so I scaled it back and just gave them the 180 leftover diapers.

I went with the size two diapers (12-18 lbs) which is definitely bigger than newborn size, but everyone is predicting that the baby will be pretty big to begin with. I'm so excited to be an aunt again and can't wait until he's born!

It only took an afternoon to make and I think it came out really cute.

Monday, January 12, 2009

What my Dreams Sing

I woke up this morning with this persistent beat and a line of song looping endlessly in my head. I typed in the lyrics my brain was singing into teh Google and was able to figure out that the song was "Kids" by MGMT.

Thank goodness. I really like the song and it got my morning off to an upbeat start. But if I hadn't been able to figure out what it was, I'd start developing an ego over the tiny talented electronica musician in my brain that creates awesome pop sings while I sleep. I'd start recording these things and releasing them to the public, only to be shamed to find out that I was actually a just poor copycat and there is no tiny musician in my brain, just that I've probably been taking too much allergy medicine.

While no one has discovered a homonuculus musician,
Radiolab did an episode about "Earworms" a while back...why songs get stuck in your head, people who hear music constantly...fascinating stuff. I <3 radiolab.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Kandinsky Inspired Slippers

Pattern: Keep Away Slipper (ravelry, sorry)
Needles: 9 and 10
Yarn: Patton's Classic Merino, wool roving

I only increased up to 24sts, because a lot of people on ravelry mentioned that their slippers were turning out too large. @4 ended up being perfect. I also knit 5 rounds instead of 3 after turning the heel.

I used the Turkish cast on and knit in the round on two circulars. This tutorial was really helpful in casting on. I think both techniques are pretty cumbersome, but the nice thing about knitting with the intent to felt is that minor mistakes blend away. The increase lines on my toes had huge holes. I went back in and wove a strand of yarn through them before felting and they closed up with no problem, but I would never use this for non-felted socks.

This project was really an excuse to try my hand at some needle felting. The needle felting was fun and really easy. The only drawback is that my wrist and shoulder would ache after a while. But, like any good knitter, I would never let a little carpal tunnel stand in the way of getting a project done!